Don't Panic, Stay Safe


In light of everything going on in the world with the virus scare to the politics, the one most important thing to remember is to keep calm. 

I know it's easier said than done, but it is crucial to survival. Not only does our health take a hit when we worry, but we think frantically and make bad decisions when pressed to decide on the spot. 

That and the news can make one go a bit crazy. I try to stay away, but it creeps back before my eyes. My advice? Read a lot, from different angles, then make your own decision. Maybe do some research. 

It's a crazy world and if you listen to everything you run the risk of gaining false info. Just like with everything. Like my run in with a literary agency that claimed to want to "help," me, was I ready, did I want this!, then ask for me to send them money to edit. And later I found out they were a scam anyway by Preditors and Editors. Great site. Though they might be here for the time being. They went down for a bit, but seem to be mostly back in action. If you search them, it currently brings you to a site to sign up for when they come back. 

That's good. 

Almost every year my wife, daughter and I travel to Puerto Rico to see her parents. In the earlier days, I'd borrow a car from my father-in-law to drive to the other side of the island, Ponce, to see my wife's cousin.

The trip runs through the mountains and the other side, going down the hills, looks like in those movies where you see the action scenes take place and one wrong move could mean instant death. 

Well, the importance of good breaks in Puerto Rico is of the utmost importance. And this car was supposedly serviced and such. But it was an old car, and worked very hard for that reason. 

Coming down the hill, I braked and braked, going up and down small hills and deep hills. Before I knew it, we were on the other side of the mountain and it was mostly going downhill. 

And that's when it happened. 

I pressed the brakes and the pedal went almost all the way down. 

I calmly said the brakes went out. My wife was like, "what?" and I repeated myself. Calmly. 

Do I get anxious or upset? Sure. Do I let it get to me? I'd like to say not as bad as a lot of people. But either way, I pumped the breaks and before we knew it, we were on a fairly straight road and I pulled over. My parent-in-laws and wife's aunt were in the car up ahead. My stepson went to the other car and wanted no part of the old car the rest of the way. 

The breaks had overheated. 

I didn't panic, I did what needed to be done. My wife had called to the other car and we all pulled off to the side of a straight road and waited until the breaks cooled. 

My father-in-law told me to use lower gears on the steeper hills, and it worked going back, but that was mostly uphill. When we got back he took it to a mechanic, who supposedly fixed the breaks, mostly said there was nothing was wrong with them. I just had to use the lower gears. 

The crazy thing is, the next year, when we went to the exact same place using the exact same path, which is pretty much the only way save going all around the outside of the island, and now I was using the lower gear, the breaks couldn't take it yet again. In the same exact spot, too. They gave out. 

Now, I've heard there was a ghost along the road we took, of someone who had an accident where a rock had fallen and the ghosts purportedly tries to lure you off the side of the mountain. 

I don't know if that was happening, but it was very weird it happened in exactly the same spot both times. 

I got the car pulled to the same place and we waited until the brakes cooled. 

Needless to say, the next year and subsequent years I rented a vehicle. To heck with that! 

But I didn't panic. 

Is there a time to panic? Maybe. Some may not do it until it's in the face of demise, but then it doesn't even matter. 

The point is, live life. I'm not saying don't be careful. Please, be very careful. But don't let it destroy your time. 

Did I get scared and not want to drive the rest of the way? Did I let it get to me that I didn't go there the next time? No.

If that was the case, do you know how many things would get in the way of living? 

Lots. 

So stay safe, don't panic, and look around and be grateful for those we have with us right at this very moment. Because we're in some crazy tolerance, but they can still be great times. 

Talk soon. 

WCM







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