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Listener Commentary: Flat Tires

By Nicole Kelly

Genesee County, NY – Many of us find it challenging to deal with everything we face in our daily lives. For listener-commentator Nicole Kelly, it takes a flat tire to put everything into perspective.

Listener-Commentator Nicole Kelly lives in Genesee County and is a frequent visitor to the area's tire shops.

You can read her commentary here. Click the "listen" icon above to hear the commentary now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

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Whether it's a Zen exercise or divine Christian intervention, I have a knack for getting flat tires when I need them.

Yes, you heard me right. Outside of the initial frustration and aggravation, I greatly benefit from flat tires. I benefit from the time I have to sit, reflect and ask the bigger questions while I wait for the friendly service person to fix the tire.

The following flat tire stories actually occurred. Any character, situation, or coincidence that sounds familiar to you may very well be.

Flat story number one takes place on my 31st birthday. Coming home from dinner, I hit a metal something in the road. To this day I do not know what I hit, but that, quite simply, I was on automatic and did not see this metal something or anything else on the road.

It got me thinking about how often the automatic way of living rules my life. Do I listen when I am talking with others? Do I really hear what they are saying or what's indicated by what they are not saying? Does my husband think I am really concerned about what work or a home issue when my mind is on the next issue? Does my daughter sense I am not with her when she says, Play Mama! And I sit down with her, but my mind goes to making dinner; cleaning the house; the fact I am tired; planning for the week or weekend; and countless other things.

Do I routinely miss the sound of the birds; the trees in bloom; and the swift changing of the seasons as automatic rules and I am not really truly part of what is going on in front of me.

As the sound of thud and a deflating tire reverberate in my mind, so does yes, yes, yes.

Flat story number two takes place a month or so back. I was not just in automatic mode, but superwoman mode. It was a morning like many other mornings. I left the house with my superhero cape barely attached. I was superwoman on a mission. On this day, I would be all things to all people.

I planned to work with dazzling effectiveness and efficiency. My boss would be singing my glories as I left for the day to get the last ingredient for our utmost healthy meal. The house would be neat and orderly and I would have extra time to organize the spare room today. My daughter would get in for her nap early; leaving me plenty of time for writing, yoga, and catching up with the friends I had not spoken to in months. My husband would come home and we would share some quality couple time before we all went to bed.

Oh yes, this was going to be a stupendous day.

As I brought my bat mobile to the cave (okay my car to curb) I was met with the sound of a deflating tire once again.

Granted this time may not have entirely been my fault as huge piece of metal was sticking out of the curb, but certainly I deflated right along with my tire. When the anger washed away from me, I was left with a raw sense of exhaustion and realization I just could not do it all.

As I sat at the tire shop once again, I realized how I was literally forced to stop and take a look at my life again because of a flat tire.

My life, along with my tire, felt like it was going to implode. Like the treads on a heavily traveled tire, I was completely worn out.

While I would like to report that my life is much simpler and changed, I can tell you that a few changes I've made have been helpful.

This automatic superwoman has started to do less and therefore be more - more present; more awake; and less overwhelmed and taxed out.

Perhaps when I get my next flat tire, I will have more answers. Perhaps I should walk and slow down? Whatever your tire story is, may it help you pause for a moment and be awake enough in all that you are.