Last week, while having lunch with my friend Joslyn at my favorite new spot, Nopalito, a small tragedy occurred.
My car got smashed into by a hit-and-run driver, and the front bumper was destroyed.
Okay, it wasn't a tragedy, but it was a more than minor snafu in a busy day I had planned. And, while we were surveying the damage, a meter maid pulled up to inform us that we were parked in a street cleaning zone, and we better move, PDQ. With my bumper dragging on the ground right in front of my tire, moving was not an option.
The old Tom would have freaked out, or at the very least, had a dramatic blood pressure spike.
But many years of yoga, and many years of life, have taught me that freaking out doesn't make one iota of a difference in difficult situations. In fact, it just makes them worse.
I took a deep breath, I called my insurance company, they called a towtruck, and within a few hours, I was in a rental car.
I got a good story out of it, and lots of sympathy, and now, I'm getting a brand new bumper. And, for a moment, I felt like a super enlightened yogi.
I wish I could say that I always react to life's tribulations with this much equanimity. However, a few hours after picking up the rental car, I went home to discover that my DVR had malfunctioned and failed to record my favorite TV show. I had a minor freakout.
Oh well; one Buddhist moment at a time, right?
As told to Joslyn Hamilton by Tom Lee
Outside Eye Consulting