Week 24: Perception is 100% of Reality

minvanFor the record, I really don’t like car shopping. Well, okay. Let me rephrase that. I did like car shopping, once, when we knew exactly what we wanted, and a really good friend who was a dealer helped us find it with zero hassle. But this time around, the specs were harder to find, and my current car sold so quickly that we found ourselves crunched. We needed something NOW.

But nothing was falling into place. We got cancelled on by a dealer when we were 10 minutes away (and had already driven an hour in rush hour to make the appointment). We had a great priced van sell out from under us 30 minutes before our scheduled appointment. We took an extra half day of Easter vacation time to test drive a promising looking ride that ended up being filthy, and piloted by a clueless college student because his uncle, who was selling the van, just couldn’t make it to our appointment.

Meanwhile, the very kind gentleman who bought my car (for his sixteen year old daughter – yes, apparently my Toyota Matrix was the perfect fit for a teenager with braces and a shiny new license) was getting restless for us to hand over the keys.

My perception of the reality of our situation was growing muddier by the day.

***

You may remember an earlier post where I worried over failing my gestational diabetes test. Yep. That was all going on this week too. And in case you’re wondering, I did have a miniature breakdown on the couch one evening. Pregnant hormones, a potential loss of pancakes, and not knowing how I was going to get to work in the next few days was simply too much.

So I stopped. Took Jason’s (right again) advice. Opened a new box of Kleenex. And had a show-down with perspective. Here’s what I saw:

  • Our car had sold just a few days after we put it on Craigslist. That part of the equation was already taken care of.
  • We had options for other cars to buy. (We just couldn’t decide on any of them.)
  • We had a perfectly functional other vehicle to drive in the meantime.

Dan Feldkamp, the awesome pastor who married us, told us over and over in our premarital counseling sessions that perception was 100% of our personal realities. In other words, it didn’t matter what was really going on – if I saw something one way, that was my reality, and if Jason saw things another way, that was his reality. What we needed to, do in tough situations, was adjust our perspective.

I remind myself of this now and then, because he was totally right (even if I secretly rolled my eyes during our sessions at hearing it so many times. Sorry Dan.) My perception of a situation changes its reality. If I allow that perception to get out of whack with a true perspective, I’m heading into dangerous territory.

***

Well ladies and gentlemen, guess what. I like my new mini-van. (new is a relative term. It’s a 2004, but it’s new to me.)

Yep. I’m going to say it again. I like my new mini-van. I like it a lot. Want to know why? Because it’s got great visibility – seriously, it feels like I’m driving a spaceship with the gigantic open windshield. It’s super easy to get in and out of – no small thing to appreciate when you’re carrying an extra 24 pounds and counting of gigantic twin baby belly. Ellis can climb in and out, and I don’t have to step on the running boards to get her in her car seat. And yes, it has automatic sliding doors. This means when I have two armfuls of car-seated infants, I can push a button and voila. The door opens I can I can pop them into place.

And in the meantime, I’ve learned an important lesson.

Perception: Minivans aren’t cool. And are apparently hard to shop for.

Perspective: I don’t care about being cool anymore. Nor do I need to let my somewhat emotional self get worked up over something that is out of my control.

For what it’s worth, Jason and I both feel like we made a good decision. Having a vehicle that accommodates our growing family is just another way we are normalizing this whole impending twin arrival situation, and it feels good. This week, we feel prepared. Kind of. Well, at least we feel like we know where we’re going to put the car seats. And this week, maybe that’s half the battle.

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