You get by with a little help from your friends

You know how some weeks just suck? Really suck and you can’t wait for them to be over?

And even though you know you are blessed and you count those blessings it just doesn’t seem to be quite enough?

Well for a lot of reasons I have had a week like that. I seem to have a seasonal headache that doesn’t go away. Don’t feel quite like myself. I feel a bit like I’m sleepwalking through my life.

The senior educators where I work are on strike and they are all dedicated professionals who want to have better conditions and are being marginalized by the government. And we all talk about needing more resources put towards education but it seems like just another empty political promise.

No, I didn’t cross picket lines. My union was on strike a few weeks ago. We ended the strike thinking there would be negotiations. So far it’s just talk.

So many bad things are happening

The wildfires that continue to rage in California are heartbreaking to watch. I lived in both Southern and Northern California for years and my heart goes out to all the people affected by this tragedy. It looks like the end of days.

And children are still separated from their parents at the southern border of the United States, and a country full of immigrants is grappling with closing borders and keeping immigrants out.

Yemen is in famine conditions and wars in the middle east rages on. It doesn’t matter what side of the political fence you sit. The world is a mess.

The fact that more women were elected into congress is a good thing. That RBG broke three ribs, not so good.

I did not listen to my own advice

One of the things I tell my clients is to limit the amount of noise they let into their lives. Especially things they cannot change. This week I did not listen to my own advice.

I was coming home a few nights ago after a long day. It was dark and in between torrential rain showers. There were flashes of lightning in the distance. I was listening to the news about a ceasefire on the border with Gaza and I heard a terrible noise coming from my car. I thought I had run something over and noise grew louder and the car was shaking. The stirring pulled to the left and I pulled over a few miles from home.

I got out of my car shaking and walked around to the passenger side and my tire (that I had check a week before) was shredded. There was nothing left of it. I had never seen a blow out quite like this. The rim had taken the puncture and reduced the tire to strips of rubber. It reminded me of retreads you sometimes see on the highway from big rigs.

It was deep breath time

I put the flashers on and called my boyfriend. He lives an hour away and sent me a YouTube video of how to change a tire. Seriously? In the dark by myself? He way over estimated my abilities in this situation. I can jump a dead battery. I cannot change a tire in the dark at night alone.

Leaning against the car I thought about my best option. A tow truck would take hours. I could have called my daughter to pick me up but had to do something about the car. And I couldn’t leave it there in a bus lane overnight.

I called my friend M and said I needed help. It was passed dinner time and I figured she would be home or at least nearby. She is the strongest woman I know physically and her father made her learn how to change a tire before she could drive the family car. She trained as a nurse and is a good friend.

“Hey girl” “I need help” “Where are you?” “On the side of the road with a blow out”

“I’ll be right there.”

While I was waiting I dug in the trunk and put all the accumulated crap in the back seat. I found the small replacement tire. People drove by and honked. A couple walked by and just stared as if I was an attraction on the evening walk.

Within five minutes my friend was there

First thing she did was park her car behind mine, put on her flashers, find the hazard triangle and find the jack and lug wrench which I had never used. As I was holding the flashlight apps on both our phones and she was jumping up and down on the lug wrench to release the tire.

A young man rode by on his electric bike. Parked under the dim street light and asked if he could help. We laughed and said of course. He was dressed in rainwear head to to. Then he said his name was Or which means light. He installed the jack and within a few minutes he and M had wrestled the old pieces of tire free and put on the replacement.

I thanked him profusely and asked if I could buy him and his wife dinner. He said no, he had stopped to help someone with a dead battery up the road and he knew it wouldn’t rain on him because he was doing a Mitzvah, a good deed. His wife was waiting at home and he would be on his way.

We repacked the trunk. M took a picture of the tire and then took it with her as her family owns a tire shop. Same shop where I bought the tires. I hugged her and told her I would see her husband in the morning. Then she took the rim chuckling at what was left of the tire.

So in those moments with the help of a friend and a stranger my little corner of the world was okay. I was safe and it was fixable. And that’s the lesson. If something can be fixed we count our blessing. (Tweet it!) Try to be fully present in your life.

Be kind to yourself.

Now over to you: How have you been lately? What do you do to be fully present in your life?

Originally published at on November 18, 2018.




Tamara Mendelson is the educator, writer, positivity mentor & coach where she helps people who are stuck to move forward and thrive.

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Tamara Mendelson

Tamara Mendelson

Tamara Mendelson is the educator, writer, positivity mentor & coach where she helps people who are stuck to move forward and thrive.

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