Either Things Will Work Out Or They Won’t

Quite unexpectedly, I seem to have developed a new attitude.

A couple of days ago when I told someone about my father’s death and his house going on the market soon, she kept asking, “What are you going to do?” Either to calm her or more probably to calm myself since her feigned concern was getting on my nerves, I kept answering “I don’t know. Either things will work out or they won’t.” After about the third repetition, it hit me — that is exactly how I feel. I’m not particularly worried about what I am going to do or what is going to happen to me. Either things will work out or they won’t. If they work out, then there is no point in worrying. If they don’t work out, then I’ll figure something out based on my circumstances at the time.

Of course, it could be that I’m stressed beyond all caring, but for now I like not feeling any need to worry about anything. I do think of possibilities, of course, and try to imagine what I might like to do, but it’s nice not knowing what the future holds. Right now, today, I have a place to stay, and today is all any of us have.

This attitude seems to be bleeding over into other areas of my life. I drive a vintage vehicle — I’m being kind. The thing is simply old. Very old. It’s the only car I ever had, and I’ve had it 43 years. (It’s so weird the way life works. I certainly never planned to keep it this long. It just kept chugging along. I guess that’s how I got so old, too. I just kept chugging along.) Lately, I’ve been having problems with the car — and with my mechanic. They lost their VW specialist, and no one there knows how to fix it. Or maybe it’s just that they can’t get parts for it any more.

Yesterday, on my way back from driving a friend to her house in the mountains, the poor car sputtered and backfired and stopped dead. This is the fourth time it happened, so when I called the emergency road service, I asked them to tow it to a different mechanic, one that specializes in Volkswagens. (Actually, it wasn’t that simple. My phone had died, too, but someone stopped and let me use their phone.) I would have had a ten mile walk back to the house since obviously I wouldn’t have been able to call anyone and ask them to pick me up, but I figured well, I’ve been wanting an epic walk and that seemed pretty epic to me!

As it turns out, the tow driver couldn’t tow the car to the new mechanic — that place is closed on Sunday, and the property is fenced in so there was no place to leave the vehicle. We ended up taking it to my old mechanic’s place.

Walking back to my dad’s house, I thought how nice it was not to have a car, which is probably a good thing since there is no telling when/if I will get it back. Still, there’s no need to worry — either things will work out or they won’t.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

11 Responses to “Either Things Will Work Out Or They Won’t”

  1. frederick anderson Says:

    Here in UK, those cars are classics! 43 years with one vehicle almost makes you Siamese twins. You can’t part with it, bonding has taken place here. Best of luck with the repair – something will work out.

  2. Carol Says:

    I’m with Frederick Anderson… it’s a classic! The older well built vehicles were designed to last, and without all the complex electronics that are trademarks of newer ones, remained relatively easy to repair. My son keeps his old Dodge diesel pickup for the same reasons, although it’s not all that old. I think I’d make the effort to get the services of that VW mechanic, if not this time, then the next time you need a repair. We have a 1930 Model A that is unrestored and still runs, not that my hubby drives it regularly, but it pleases him to take it out occasionally. It always starts.

    Your philosophy probably keeps your stress level down. No point getting worked up over things you can’t control.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      The old mechanic fixed the car, and didn’t charge me, but I’ll take it to the new guy, see what he says. I like the idea of maybe restoring the car. Something that old deserves more than eventually being parted out or cut up for a dune buggy. Besides, a 43-year-old car that runs? How cool is that!

  3. Morgan Says:

    I love your car! Everything about the classic Beetle is good, from the clunk of those solidly-built doors to the strange burbling of the engine. Hope you keep it forever!

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