Monday, September 8, 2008

old car, new lock

I drive a 1999 Protege. It runs fine, gets good gas mileage, but I do have to put up with a few inconveniences where the car has broken down over the years. One, is that the lock on the driver's side door has been broken for a few years now. The key fits in the lock but it doesn't turn. So I simply unlock the car on the passenger side, and walk around.

This morning I drove over to a neighborhood diner and had breakfast. I locked the car. After breakfast I walked back to the car thinking about the next item on my morning agenda, which was to go the bank, and then some other errands. I came up to the car with my key out and without thinking approached the driver's side door. It wasn't until I already had the key in the lock that I remembered it wouldn't work, but by then I was already turning the key. And it did work. The lock popped right open. At first I felt a slight hesitation as though something were jammed, but I quickly overcame whatever that was and the key turned just as though there had never been a problem with it. After the bank I tried the lock again and it continued to work with every indication that the problem was permanently solved.

Sometime in the past several years since the lock broke (and I last tried the lock) the problem had fixed itself. Maybe I had driven over a pothole or slammed the door and whatever had been jamming it came loose. Maybe it was only a few days ago, or maybe it was years ago. If not for an unconscious moment of doing anyway what I knew wouldn't work, I would have continued to unnecessarily inconvenience myself by using only the passenger door. What else is fixed in our lives but we continue to act like it's broken? Where else are we continuing to make life harder because we're following an old routine and haven't noticed that circumstances have changed?

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