Winning a gajillion dollars would be wonderful, don't get me wrong. I collected those McDonald's Monopoly pieces last month, reasoning that someone has to win, it might as well be me. Alas, it wasn't me.
I've realized lately, though, just how little things can bring so much joy. Like discovering a certain four-digit code.
A few months ago, my car battery died, so my car stereo thought it had been stolen from the car and locked itself up. It required a four-digit code to reactivate and because we bought the car used, the magic card displaying said code was no longer in the glove box. (What a silly name, "glove box." Like any of use it for gloves anymore. It ought to be called, "Collection of Crap Box.")
So the stereo routinely gave us three tries to guess the code, and then it locked itself up again for a random amount of hours. I could never figure the rhyme or reason behind that number of hours, either. But anyway, the code option would come back on with a loud BEEP, and the kids and I would scream, "Code Time!"
We tried so desperately to guess the code; we all took turns and I was waiting for the moment when someone would guess the right combination and we'd have music in the car again. I was going slowly insane from the quiet. Well, relative quiet. When the kids weren't in the car, it was quiet.
Time came and went and we couldn't get the dang code. I kept thinking of Terminator 2 where the young John Connor has that PIN code contraption that he sticks into the ATM and gets money out on people's stolen cards. (That was when John Connor was a delinquent and before he was destined to save the world.) I needed one of those machines.
I finally just called the dealership, (duh), and asked if there was any way, even though we bought the car used, if they could look up the stereo code using my VIN number. My heart sank, the lady said "no." BUT, if I took off the casing around the stereo and pulled out the stereo itself, I could find the manufacture number and model number on the stereo, and THEN she could look up the code.
Yesterday, I took out my screwdriver and pried the face off the stereo. Oops. Silly me, the lady meant we had to take off the ENTIRE CASING AROUND THE STEREO, THE VENTS AND CONTROL NOBS. Hmm. I decided I needed reinforcements for that, so I tracked my husband down at work and asked for his help. I was relatively certain I could get the casing off, but I wasn't sure I could do it with any kind of, shall we say, finesse.
So we got the casing off, called the woman at the dealership, and got the magic code! I was slightly disappointed that we hadn't managed to guess it, but I was desperate enough to not play the Code Time Game any longer. It was amazing. Punch in four little numbers and voila! Paradise!
It was in that moment when I realized how grateful I am for little things. My stupid little stock stereo in a car that has its share of dings, (again with my finesse issue), and the glorious sounds that poured forth had me in absolute ecstasy.
I started thinking about the other little things I'm grateful for. My kitchen, for instance. It's a galley kitchen, ridiculously small for more than, say, half a person to be in at any one time, but I have all the little gadgets I feel I need to make yummy stuff for my family. ( I even use white flour to cook with, on occasion. Take that, David Woolley!) And even though I don't have all the counter space I'd like, I'm not lacking for anything I feel I need.
My house is small, but we have heat, running water, and fun Norwegian decor. My children each have a bed, miscellaneous and sundry age-appropriate paraphernalia, clothing and cute hair. My husband has the job of his dreams and I get to write pretend stuff for a living.
So yes, while I was genuinely bummed that I didn't collect both Park Place and Boardwalk, (did anyone notice the profusion of Park Place pieces and total lack of Boardwalk this year?) it really is ok. I have a good little family, food in the cupboard and music in my car.