Hi everyone,

I haven’t posted a blog in a little while and there is a reason for my absence. You see I had some “Series of unfortunate Events” that has somewhat distracted me from my daily/weekly routine. I may not get a movie or a TV show from such events, but I thought I would share it with you as it may amuse you somewhat at my expense. So here we go, my nightmare of a week or two.

My horrible week began with me driving up to Dublin on Sunday 22nd of April, as I do every Sunday as I work and live in Dublin and go back to the West of Ireland every weekend. heating was on, radio was blaring, I had coffee in one hand and control of my steely, reliable stallion Opel Astra with the other. Everything was going well. Everything was normal. Then just an hour outside Dublin suddenly, my battery warning light came on. My first ever car issue. I pulled over. Opened the bonnet, looked around the engine bay. Spotted the culprit. My Alternator belt snapped. My car battery was no longer recharging itself on the move. This was serious. However, the car could still run. I rang my father. He assured me I could keep driving, but slowly, consistently and try to make it to the next garage exit – 30km away. I was determined to make it. I hopped back in. Revved the engine to life and carried out, driving slowly and carefully. Suddenly my whole dash lit up like a Christmas tree with warning lights. I tried my best to ignored them. I simply thought this was because of the belt snapping. I kept going. Kept persisting. However, it didn’t last long. I suddenly noticed smoke coming from the back of the car and before long there was smoke coming out of the front of the car. I had to pull over. Something was seriously wrong. I was stranded on the side of the motorway on a cold, wet Sunday. It was getting late. I had work the next morning. I had to get the car home. An hour later a tow truck arrived. Another half hour later the car was on the back of the truck. It was dark at this stage. I was dreading work the next day. However, I had to keep going. Got a whopping €170 bill for the privilege of getting my beat-up car delivered to my place in Dublin.

I still had hope. I still thought I would be able to revive my old-reliable Opel Astra. Another €150 bill later it was confirmed by a mechanic that my car is dead and only an even heftier bill of €1200 would revive my old beat-up car to its former glory. For such an old car (13 years) it was hardly economical for me to spend more money on the car than it was worth. I was half devastated, half excited. I had money saved and this was my chance, my excuse, to treat myself to a new car. Yes it would be a big hit to my mini money pile that I have worked so hard to build up. However, that life. Sh*t happens.

I spent the next 3-4 days looking for my next car. In the mean time I was cycling to work, it was tough but at least I had some sort of transport to ensure I kept earning a living. Finally, Thursday of that week I got a phone call that was music to my ears. One of the cars that grabbed my eye the night previous was available for purchase and I was willing to buy it that day. I was excited. It was a little more than I wished to pay initially but, it was such a nice car that I just went for it. I was a little bit too excited to get such a good car for such a good price. I cycled into work in record time that morning. I was restless all day. I was sick of cycling to work, I was sick of searching for cars, I just wanted to get my new wheels and carry on as I was prior to the incident. I scrambled the cash required later on that day and headed to pick up my car. It was reasonably long drive to get to the owners house. I was itching to hop behind the wheel of my new vehicle. All the car troubles of few days prior and all the cash I spent on a “dead” car seemed a long time ago and at that moment I didn’t care. I was about to get back in line with my new car.

I somewhat be-grudgingly handed over the cash in exchange for the car keys and rushed out to hop into the driver seat of my new car. I revved up the engine and enjoyed the next half hour drive, playing with all the buttons, trying every lever, looking at all the features while trying to concentrate on driving home. I was excited. I had a long drive the following morning back to West of Ireland to see my girlfriend, spend the weekend with her and show off the new car to her. I woke up early the next day. I was looking forward to the smooth, peaceful drive on a sunny Friday morning. I had cruse control on all the way. Radio was on. Sun was shining. The ride was smooth. My stress levels were stable and I was looking forward to spend some nice time with my girlfriend.

Suddenly I glanced down and my engine temperature gauge was at its maximum. Sh*t. Not again. This feels too much like a Dejavu. Surely not. I quickly pulled over and began to investigate the problem. Perhaps it was just a faulty gauge. I opened the bonnet. There was no smoke. Thank god. However, the engine cooling fan was on at its maximum. This was not good. I glanced around the engine and I suddenly noticed the culprit. I could believe it. Another fan belt snapped. That was the second belt, the second car in 5 days. I just couldn’t believe my bad luck. I spent so much time and money days prior to this that I was exhausted dealing with car issues. The next few hours were spent getting the car on another tow truck, pleading with the mechanics to try and get it fixed as soon as possible. I was looking at a big repair bill and I was not happy.  I spent the rest of the day shedding money and going back and forth annoying the mechanics to ensure the car got fixed that day. The mechanics worked over time. They were very nice. Very understanding of my situation. They mechanically repaired the car. Everything was put back into place. The key was entered into ignition. Turned and NOTHING. The car safety feature kicked in and the car was in shut down mode. It was not going anywhere any time soon. It was late on a Friday, the mechanics went home. I was left on my own to deal with a non-working car. I was getting frustrated with having car troubles. It soon dawned on me that only a Ford garage could get my car going again. Here’s a kicker. The were not open until Monday. I was stuck without a car for the weekend. However, I had work duties on Monday. How was I going to get around that and get my car fixed at the same time. My mind was racing. I wanted to enjoy nice weekend with my girlfriend but the car was constantly on my mind. I had my new car stranded in the middle of Galway city. I decided to take the Monday off to get the car repaired. As I understood the car was mechanically ok, it was the car computer that needed a reset. This can only be done by a Ford garage as they have all the fancy equipment. I was under impression that I would get the car fixed in 10min on Monday morning and head straight Dublin and perhaps make it to work on a half day or something like that. I was trying being positive. I didn’t want to take a day off work on Monday as that would leave me under pressure for the rest of the week and on top of that I wont get paid for Monday. So instead of working, earning money I was too busy spending money on the car. Madness. Frustrating to say the least. My girlfriend was very supportive and understanding. That helped a lot but the situation was still weighing on me.

Monday rolled around. Another tow truck trip later I had the car at a Ford garage just after 9am on Monday. I was hopeful that I would get the car fixed a.s.a.p and I be on my way to Dublin. I approached the reception desk and told them my troubles. I was met with a resounding:

“Not going to happen today. You be lucky if we get it looked at this week. We are very busy”.

My head dropped. I was sick off constantly running into barriers. I just calmly handed the receptionist the keys. Told them I be in Dublin for the week and to call me when they get it done. I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care about the price. I just wanted to get on with my normal routine and stop stressing about the stupid car. I was done worrying. My glass half full attitude turned into glass half-empty attitude. I hoped on a train back to Dublin that afternoon and negative thoughts flooded my mind. I was tired of stressing and I just had to get on with my life. Biking to work it was for another week at least. However, my troubles didn’t stop there. Couple of days later I lost the keys for my bike lock and couldn’t cycle home that evening. My bad luck was still hunting me. I couldn’t believe the run of bad luck I was on. It was unbelievable. So much so that I just had to laugh at it.

There is a reason why I am telling you this story. There were many lessons to learn from this experience. I am going to mention one of those lesson as part of this blog. In life you will always have ups and downs. That’s just part of life. I am writing this blog with the car fixed, bike lock key found and life back to normal. I went through two stressful weeks of being pushed out of my comfort zone and routine. However, all things came back to normal eventually. I was stressed, worried and frustrated with my situation. I put my normal life on hold for those two weeks. I was slacking in work, stopped writing blogs, neglected normal routine etc. all because one thing in my life was not as it should be. I should have handled the situation better. I should have accepted the situation for what it was and carried out with my daily/weekly routine. I just started feeling sorry for myself. I wanted sympathy. I wanted the world to know how sh*t my luck was. Little did I know though is ALL of us have stressful times in life and nobody cared about my problems, nor should they. Things going wrong is part of life. You get the good with the bad and you just have to ride that life roller-coaster the best way you can. In a way I am glad that this incident happened. It was a lesson. It was knowledge. It was experience. Although in the middle of it all I was stressed, frustrated and angry. Looking back on it now it was a good lesson to learn. I just want to share one thought this Monday:

During the times of stress, anger, depression etc. don’t look for excuses or regret. Look for lessons. Look for knowledge. Look for understanding. We learn in good times and in bad. However, the bad moments are what makes us appreciate the good.

I hope ye all enjoyed the blog and take away something for yourself. I just wanted to share this story with you and the lessons that I learned through such experience. We all go through hard times in life. However, we all have the ability to rise up, learn from it and push forward. I wish you all the power to change your stressful situation, whatever it may be, and be sure to learn and understand from the experience. It will stand to you, your friend, your family and more. Life is not fair, but it is unfair for everyone. We all have the power to turn dark days into light. My situation is just one situation out of thousands. The problems I went through with my cars(s) is nothing compared to the struggles of so many. Be sure to help yourself and help others in the time of need and things will all fall back into place as they should. Don’t be afraid of the roller-coaster of life. Enjoy it.

As always I encourage you to share your views, comments or feedback through the comments section below and if you feel your words of encouragement may help others reading this blog please feel free to comment. We all can help each other by giving some motivation to one another. We all have problems and we always will. Learn from the bad times and appreciate the good times. Thank you very much for reading and I welcome any comments below.

47 Comments

    1. Hi Mattew,

      She was very understanding. It was understandably tough situation for both of us but I think after the initial frustrations, we just got on with it. She was very supportive. That was exactly what I needed. I didn’t feel alone with this problem and as the saying goes:
      “Problem shared is a problem halved” and that was very true in this situation.

      Like

    1. Oh that’s for sure Ronan. It was my first real life experience of a “financial” emergency and that “Rainy Day Fund” came in very handy. I am back to square one with the fund but just have to start building it all up again.
      It just shows that it could happen to anyone, at anytime, with anything. The Rainy Day Fund is vital to financial security in my eyes.

      Like

    1. Patrick,

      You can say that again. I am planning to do a blog regarding the money that goes into a car. Its crazy expensive. Care are, what I call, an “Expensive Convenience”. Stay tuned for that blog going live soon.

      Like

    1. Yes. At such bad run of luck all I could do was just laugh at it all. It was out of my control and I just had to get on with it. As the saying goes:
      “No point crying about spilled milk”

      Like

  1. So you are from Dublin and your partner is from Galway? Would love to hear a vadthought on coping with long distance relationships… cause they are tough……

    Like

    1. Hi Collete (and everyone who commented under this),

      Yes it can be tough at times and I have already spoken to my partner and we are planning to post a blog next week on how to cope with long distance relationship. It will be from both of us so hopefully you and all the readers get an idea from both point of view.
      Stay tuned.

      Like

  2. Wait a minute… so you are in a long distant relationship and you make it work and seem to have mastered it really… Please please do a vadthought on the key to a successful relationship… in my opinion it is very very tough to master it and nearly falls apart after a year… do you not find the long distance hard?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Aoife,
      Yes, my emergency fund that I started months ago has served me well in this scenario. It just shows how important it is to have money aside for situation like this.

      Like

    1. Hi Colm,

      There are a lot of lessons that I learned. However, the biggest one is the “financial” lesson. My emergency fund was tested in real time and I was glad I had money set aside to deal with such situation. If I had to worry about the car and money all at once it would have been twice as hard to deal with it all. I knew I could comfortably pay for repairs and new car etc. (I didn’t like paying it, but it didn’t break me). That was all down to me saving little bit here, little bit there. It all added up.
      Hope that answers your question Colm.

      Like

    1. Hi Bobby,
      I bought a Ford Mondeo. I bought it purely for the fact that they are known around the world for being very reliable. I blew that theory out of the water within 12 hours of having it 🙂
      Hopefully it will stand up to its reputation going forward. It drives very well now after the repairs.

      Like

    1. Hi Brenda,

      The hardest lesson is realising how much I depend on my car and how one small thing going wrong in my life throws everything out of shape. I had to take a look on my daily routine and try and put measures in place to ensure if this happens again I can continue as before. The whole situation just threw me off my path completely and I was like a lost puppy for few days. I should have just got on with it. It was a tough lesson yet an important one.
      Hope this answers your question.

      Like

  3. It is always good to reflect on these situations.. think about what happened… what was bad.. what was good.. and if you could go back again what would you change

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      My girlfriend was the one that kept me calm. She was very supportive and understanding and having her by my side I just knew I wasn’t alone. The situation would have really got to me if it wasn’t for her. I always knew I be fine whether the car is fixed or not because I had her by my side and that is more important.

      Like

    1. Hi Tim,
      That’s for sure. I had to deal with it for real and it paid off. The emergency fund was my savior in this situation. I encourage anyone to start one and keep putting money aside for as long as you can.

      Like

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I regret rushing into buying the new car so fast. I didn’t think in the situation and once my first car broke down I was vert frantic in my behaviour and wanted it sorted as soon as possible. As a result I rushed into my decision and perhaps paid a bigger price than maybe I would have if I just taken my time.
      When things are against you I think its good to slow down and reflect on the situation but I didn’t do so in this particular situation and I paid the price for it. Every day is a school day I guess.
      I hope this answers your question Sarah.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s