Little things in life typically go unnoticed, and the good things are easily forgotten in lieu of the bad.
I was reminded of this fact over the weekend as the wife and I headed south for a friend’s baby shower.
The kids had been dropped off at the grandparents’ house and we found ourselves with a rare opportunity to unwind.
The plan was for the men to handle the grill and spend some quality time. The women were to head to the baby shower for their discussions on how cute the outfits are and how handy Boppy pillows can be with newborns.
But things rarely go according to plan, and as we turned onto our friend’s street, our car developed an intense knocking sound, followed abruptly with a complete shut-down.
Though my mechanical knowledge is limited, it was obvious that the car was in trouble.
After spending hours on the phone trying to coordinate repairs, finding a wrecker and a rental car, and formulating a plan of action, we were finally able to enjoy our mini-vacation.
During the execution of "Plan B," I realized something unique and special -- that we were able to enjoy ourselves despite the circumstances.
Face it, we were stranded in Kansas, away from the children and without transportation. A situation that would have ordinarily carried high stress levels.
But a minor tiff was the end of the disagreements about our scenario, and we actually had a good time.
On a day to day basis, it's easy to get lost in the murky waters of life.
Taking a step back -- combined with a deep breath and some sensibility -- can make a huge difference during some of the worst situations.
I personally have a strong desire to control my surroundings, and I get uncomfortable in situations I can't control, along with many people.
But sometimes you get a curveball, and you can't help but swing even though it's way out of the strike zone.
It's during those moments that a man's composure, nerves and moxie are put to the test.
Through the whole process of dealing with unfortunate situations, taking the time to focus on the positives helps to make or break the scenario.
I think that by the time we came to "Plan C," I had another epiphany. When life gives you lemons, spray paint them gold and sell them on eBay.
Cars break down, kids get sick, work can be awful, but when it's out of your hands, you really have no choice.
So why worry? I think stressing and worrying about things that you have no control over falls under the definition of insanity.
All we can do is just that -- all we can do.
"Plan D" unfolded, and as I loaded our luggage into a gracious friend's truck, I thought of all the things that happened over the weekend that I should be grateful for.
I was able to spend time with great friends that I rarely get to see, I had a vacation with the wife, and most importantly, my whole family was safe and sound.
Those thoughts were enough to put a smile on my face. When the wife saw that smile, she smiled too (even under the circumstances), and I knew that she understood.
Life is way more important than cars, and I don't mean in the sense of merely being alive. It's about enjoying life, and making the best of what’s put on your plate.
Remember what is truly important when things don't go as planned, you may be pleasantly surprised the next time it all seems to be going wrong.
Jesse Murphy is a reporter for the Maryville Daily Forum. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found tapping into his piggy bank to fix the car.