The parking lot was empty and it was late. Walking to my car, mentally rehearsing whether I should run or fight if confronted, someone said my name. Because my best moves are more like Kung Fu Panda than Bruce Lee, I figured I’d better establish my confidence with a loud, “What?” as I turned around.
There stood a beautiful, petite girl I had met earlier that evening. “Can you help me? I borrowed a friend’s car for tonight and it won’t start,” she smiled.
“Of course,” I said, feeling the leftovers of the false alarm adrenaline rush. We successfully attached the jumper cables without blowing anything up and got it started. I drove home with the satisfaction that we had fixed it, without help, all by ourselves.
Last night I woke myself up getting out of bed to go find a flat head screwdriver. Jim Brawner and I were fixing the washing machine. A lot of women dream of being rescued by a knight on a white horse. I dream of fixing things with my knight. I’m sure a therapist would love to analyze that one.
I do like to problem solve and fix. Some things are easy with duct tape and Windex and others aren’t. A young friend called me several years ago wanting me to help fix her marriage. We met every couple of weeks for six months or so. I answered a lot of questions and challenged her to make some changes. Each time we met I asked if she had tried any of the suggestions. Every time there were countless excuses why she hadn’t. A year later she ended up in the middle of a messy divorce.
It bothered me for a long time because I couldn’t fix what was broken with my friend’s relationship. But I’ve finally come to understand, unlike washing machines and cars, people have to be willing make changes for things to be fixed in their lives. And that’s not anything any of us can do for anyone else.