Half way up the hill it suddenly stopped. It just gave up. The battery lights on my scooter’s dash mat went from green to yellow to red, only confirming that it was not going anywhere.
“Come on!” I said to it, turning my blue key off and on, off, on. Frustration was peaking. I had so much to do. No use! I turned the key one last time to the left and leaned back into the black leather, dusty cobwebbed seat. I was stuck midway between my local café and home and my vehicle (Harley) was positioned in the middle of the footpath.
I knew as soon as the battery light flashed on red, or empty, that it was only because I hadn’t regularly charged it like I’d been instructed to. I admit, I’d become used to my Dad plugging it in to the charger for me; it was one less thing I needed to do. However, now that my Dad had moved to the country, I had been lazy about doing this and today I was copping the consequences.
An onlooker walking fast down the hill, keys in hand ready to hop into her car, suddenly stopped, her eyebrows raised upwards behind her glasses, clearly surprised by my random park. Her bright pink lips moved together in a straight line, holding her passing comment in.
“Sorry,” I said “ It’s run out of….” but she didn’t wait for my explanation, just dodged the silver vehicle and without asking me if I was ok, went past me, out of sight. Stranded. Alone. Sitting there I noticed a little clump of purple star-like flowers perched precariously on an almost furry- light green bush. I’d never seen this before – the only things I’d noted when flying from my home to the café were roads, cars, traffic lights and people.
This incident forced me to stop and reflect on what I was doing, why I was doing it, where I was going, why I was going there and how I could best spend the 90 plus minutes until the RACV rescued my scooter and me.
I left my scooter (yep, conveniently in the middle of the footpath) and went back to the café, ordered lunch and continued to work on my laptop.
After a mouthful of cottage cheese, tuna and beetroot my iPhone flashed – a private number. I swallowed and answered.
“It’s Constable Alan….do you own an electric wheelchair?”
I put my left index finger in my ear to block the café noise. Had I heard him right?
“I own a electric scooter. I can hardly hear you sir” I said frowning.
“We’re with the RACV man, a local shop owner called us concerned after finding this wheelchair vacant in the middle of the footpath…” I inwardly smiled, picturing a ‘loose physically – disabled person roaming the streets’.
I exited the café and walked up the hill towards Harley. Sure enough I was greeted by two concerned policeman and an RACV man.
So often we all go about our everyday and in our autopilot mode, and forget to stop and replenish our own stores. We become reliant on the ‘normal’ routine, often on others’ input, and become oblivious to what we have taken for granted.
Stopping forced me to realize that being stranded was the result of my own irresponsibility. It also made me aware of Dad’s past action of automatically plugging the scooter into the charger and made me see that by not charging it, events like this would happen.
So, let’s acknowledge our frustrations and take responsibility for our actions. We can choose to feel defeated by these moments or to learn from them.
What ‘s happened in your day that’s suddenly changed your plans? Why not choose to view as it as an opportunity instead of a hinderance?