My dad enjoyed telling a story about a man and his family driving on a country road when a tire blew out on their older model car. They were returning from a day at the beach and the man was hot and tired and in no mood to deal with the tire situation. His wife and kids were hungry and eager to get home. The man pulled up his shirt sleeves and opened the trunk to discover he didn’t have a jack. He’d taken it out several weeks ago for another purpose and failed to return it to the trunk. Now he was in a pickle, he was angry with himself and annoyed with the family for complaining.

He set off walking down the road (this is my dad’s story so there were no cell phones or AAA) all the while complaining and talking to himself, “I’ll probably never find a farm house”, “The farmers dog won’t let me get to the door”,,”The farmer won’t be home”, “He is probably some old geezer who won’t lend me a jack “. #!*&%

After walking several miles and talking to himself the whole way he finally arrived at a farm house. He bangs on the door and when the farmer answers he shouts, “I don’t want to borrow your damn jack.”

Have you had a similar experience? Working yourself up for a situation that hasn’t even happened yet? Getting all upset about something bad that MIGHT happen? In our family we call that borrowing a jack.

Last week I needed a headache prescription refill from the pharmacy. My new doctor was skeptical about giving me the prescription in the first place. After I convinced him I’m a responsible adult and was capable of taking this medication properly, he finally gave me a few pills with no refill. Proving I’m responsible, the pills lasted much longer than I’m sure he anticipated.

A nasty headache invaded my space and I was down to just a couple of the magic pills. Now I got busy borrowing a jack. Should I call the pharmacy, or just go straight to the doctor and listen to his lecture again? He will probably say come in to the office and we will talk about the issue. Or worse yet suggest a specialist and get to he bottom of it. I’ve had headaches since I was a kid, so has my mother and brother. Let’s just consider it a family curse and move on.

Give me the meds that work and no one gets hurt. I stewed about it for several days, vacillate between calling the doctor or trying the pharmacy. I finally decide to call the pharmacy and request a refill knowing there are no refills. I’ll wait, in the meantime I can’t shake the headache. But I know he won’t refill it and I’ll have to make and appointment and then explain it all to him and justify why I don’t think it is necessary to see a specialist, I don’t like confrontation.

To my complete and utter surprise the pharmacy calls the next day and had the prescription ready. REALLY, I can’t believe it, I spent so many hours borrowing a jack, getting upset, and creating a scenario that never even happened.

Moral of dad’s story, don’t get caught up in the what if’s – don’t borrow a jack.

Oh, and put the jack back in the trunk.

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