Small Fixes

This has been the week when I just need to fix something.

Right now, I’m dealing with a lot of things I can’t control.  I can’t control the economy, or the hiring practices of tech companies, or the amount of time it takes for someone to return an email or a phone call. 

I can’t control the election cycle or the broken political system or the real anxiety that keeps me awake at night. 

I can’t control my friends, though I think sometimes I try.  And when that person who I thought would always be there starts to pull away, I’ve learned that holding on tighter only expedites his departure. 

This has been my week, full of unreturned messages and difficult conversations.  And no matter how many follow-up emails I send, no matter how many times I apologize, no matter how many different ways I try to make it better, sometimes broken things cannot be fixed.

But in the midst of it all, I got my grandma’s old bike out of the garage, and on the fourth try, I squeezed it in the back of my blue hatchback and managed to close all the doors. 

The guy at the bike shop said it was in great condition, which isn’t surprising, figuring that my grandma is definitely the woman who bought a top-of-the-line Schwinn in 1974, and then just let it sit in her garage for forty years. 

I got a brake tune-up, I put some air in the tires, and brushed off some rust with lemon juice and steel wool.  I went for a ride through the city, and something inside felt a tiny bit better.  Because in the midst of so many things I cannot control, I fixed something.

It’s a small thing, but it’s progress. 

I know that someday, the bigger things will be fixed, too.  Job prospects will improve, anxiety will lessen.  And while I can’t guarantee that relationships will all be fixed, I know from experience that one of these days, it will hurt less.  It will take time, though.  You can’t fix these things with a screwdriver and some rust-remover. 

Today, though, this is what counts.  It’s the small resolutions that will make it possible to wait for the bigger ones.  And today, this is enough.