I’ve been complaining. My landlord’s lawnmower took a hit a few weeks back, and hasn’t been the same since. A concrete block hidden under tall grass was all it took. After that, even if I managed to get it started, it shook like a mangy dog and sounded like a pneumatic drill in agony.
After shlepping the hobbled beast to three different mechanics, looking first for parts, then for miracles, the diagnosis came in: the fork was bent beyond repair and the cost would be €500 (about $580) either to replace it or to repair it. Either way, I was at my wits’ (and my wallet’s) end.
That evening I decided to go on a “worry diet” and to simply suspend judgement. I thought, “let’s see how this thing plays out.” Call it a new mantra, if you will. Even though I didn’t know the way forward, I couldn’t – or wouldn’t – accept failure this time.
So the next day I’m at lunch with my friend Domenico. As I tell him about my latest fiasco, laughing despite myself, he reminds me that my Dutch neighbour had gifted me an old lawnmower the year before. Since I hadn’t had a place to put it, I had left it at Domenico’s house. I had completely forgotten all about it, and now here it was, a free lawnmower.
This is what happens when we change our mantra from self-pity to “let’s see.” We get to see beyond the problems, and surprise, surprise! the solution is often already at hand.
We just weren’t allowed to see it before!