It takes a humble man to admit it, but in most cases, your wife is probably right. The longer I'm married, the more I realize this. I had one of the more significant revelations about this topic lately, one I think is worth sharing and proves the point well.
Recently we decided to make the move from California to the east coast, where we're both from. As we examined our moving options, my wife did a little research and decided it would be best to rent one of those portable storage units, sell everything we could and fill it with what was left in our Prius. Unfortunately, selling everything included my beloved Subaru Baja, which I did not want to do.
Well, I decided to do some of my own research, and found that it would actually be cheaper to hook up a 5x8 Uhaul trailer to the Baja and sell everything we couldn't fit in there and the Prius. It would be a stretch, but we're kind of into downsizing, and so we decided on that option.
It worked -- we sold just about everything thanks to my friend Aaron, and packed the rest into the tiny trailer. The problem is we packed it too full, which I didn't realize until it was too late...
As I was cresting the mountains southeast of Los Angeles, heading into Arizona, I was disheartened to find my car overheating. I let it cool, sitting on the side of the road while watching the sun set over the mountains, wondering if this was a big sign we weren't supposed to move. It worked, and eventually we made it to Flagstaff. My dad and I managed the overheating all the next day until we got to Texas, where we changed the thermostat. After that, no more overheating! Problem fixed...
Wrong! Later that day, somewhere in Oklahoma, my car started shaking, particularly up hills, and later simply shut off. Thank God for AAA, because we got towed to a shop and spent the next night in Shawnee, OK, hoping we could get out before the wave of storms (including tornadoes) was set to hit later that day. The shop found a bug that had clogged one of my sensors, which had caused the shake -- kind of random, but we were happy to have an easy fix. Unfortunately, the overheating had started again, and they found what was about the worst case scenario had happened: I blew a head gasket. A $1200 fix and 4 days is what they told us...or we could put a nasty little fluid called Blue Devil in the radiator, which might fix the leak long enough for us to limp home. We were already a day late because of the previous problems, and so we opted for the quick fix to just get home (and avoid the tornadoes).
Well, it worked for about two hours before the same old problems returned. After a desperate 3-hour job fixing everything we could in the parking lot of a gas station in Arkansas, we gave up on the car and decided to rent a Uhaul truck, towing the broken and battered Baja. Having already maxed my budget, this did not make me happy, and it only got worse as we walked in our hotel and found ours to be laden with bugs! It had been the most stressful trip of my life, and was only getting worse by the hour.
But the next day, a dim ray of hope shone through! The lady at Uhaul told me that I should never have been allowed to tow that trailer on a 4-cylinder car, and that Uhaul may cover all of my damages. Awesome! I made the call, put in the report, transferred the load to our new truck and headed off, encouragement anew! It was just enough good news to make it all almost worthwhile, and get us through the last leg of our trip (where I also happened to catch a small fever).
Eventually, with about a third of the country left to cross and a short sleep in a Wal-Mart parking lot, we got home! Finally! It was the most stressful week of my life, but if they fixed my Baja, it would have maybe, just maybe been worthwhile. Unfortunately, I got news a week or so into it that Uhaul would deny my claim, saying it was my fault for overloading my trailer. The car is now sitting in my driveway, and I'm not sure what to do with it.
So what's the big lesson? Why did all that happen to me? To be honest, I'm not really sure. There are a couple things I can say I've learned from this experience, the first I already mentioned: your wife is probably right. If I had listened to her, sold the Baja and shipped our stuff, I would have made more money selling it in California (probably), skipped all the stress of this trip and had a nice drive with my dad across the country. Of course none of this is guaranteed and something else could have gone wrong, but you never know...
This isn't the first time I've made a purchase my wife had reservations about, or made a decision contrary to her advice, and she ended up being right. Women know stuff. It's weird, but I guess we should listen to them.
Last stop before home!
The second thing is that, even in the climax of bad things that happened on this trip, when I was lying on the sidewalk in a hotel parking lot yelling to my dad that I couldn't afford to pay for a room because my car was destroyed, I had a feeling deep inside that everything would be okay. I didn't know how, but I just felt like all this stress and yelling would eventually be for naught. And it's true -- we got home alive. We still have all our stuff. We're not broke. It certainly could have gone better, but it certainly could have gone worse also.
We're never promised smooth sailing (actually, we're told the opposite), and we're not even promised another breath; but as long as we're here, we are told that we'll have enough. At the end of it all, I guess that's all we can ask for, so why stress when everything blows up in your face? It's hard not to, and I'm sure there's grace when we do, but hey -- grace is something we weren't guaranteed in the first place, so even with that, we're ahead!
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34)