There was a meme that circulated recently on social media that encouraged the reader and potential participant to leave a one-word comment that started with the same letter of one’s first name which was to be something positive to carry forward into the new year. I liked the idea of ending last year with positive words and associations, and also of it being absolutely okay to start the year with the expectation that great things will happen. Only a few weeks ago, I observed that Friday the 13th (of December 2019) had a few of my friends and acquaintances having fits, even if only jokingly. The truth is that if we look for bad things to happen, we will totally succeed in finding what we’re looking for. My Friday the 13th was most excellent, productive, and fun (can a Friday really be that sinister?), and I’d like to think that many others had the same experience.
What’s also true is that each added year of life experience brings with it new ways of being disappointed. As each of us cruises further and further into adulthood, it can become increasingly difficult not to become jaded, and so it becomes a conscious choice to look for what’s good and embrace those things. I spotted our featured car while visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Nashville almost seven years ago. Many families fall outside the ideology presented by TV shows like “Father Knows Best” and “The Cosby Show”, and mine is no exception. My sister and I are fifteen years apart and (obviously) didn’t grow up at the same time and in the same house together. One could say that our personal relationship started in adulthood, and with effort and genuine care on both of our parts, we’ve now been pretty tight for quite a long time. This was no small triumph.
My sister is a little thing (as was our paternal grandmother), echoing our featured car’s diminutive size. The Triumph TR250, which replaced the TR4A for model year ’67, could be considered a winner, even if it was basically a two-year stopgap before the TR6 was ready for ’69. The 2,138 cc four-cylinder from the older car was replaced with a a 2.5L six-cylinder in the TR250. While the rest of the world got the TR5 PI (“Petrol Injection”) model, which featured 150 horsepower, the U.S.-market TR250 had about the same 100-or-so horsepower, and was about as fast as the outgoing model (0-60 mph in the upper ten-second range), but it was also noticeably smoother under acceleration. Only about 8,500 of these TR250s were produced over two model years, so this little, white Triumph is something of a rare car. Seeing it pass my brother-in-law’s Grand Marquis on the expressway miles after we had seen it at a gas station gave me a little thrill.
I would have missed getting my final shot of this Triumph in motion if I hadn’t been in the moment, paying attention, and ready with my camera. Similarly, we must be open, ready and attentive – not just in the new year, but always – in order to capitalize on the treasures set along our respective paths that will manifest themselves from time to time. We’re all going to experience (more) setbacks, so let’s just learn to shake hands with that fact of life. I can say from my own personal experiences, however, that some of the best photos I never took were opportunities missed because I was stuck in a negative mind frame that kept me from being ready for the possibility that something good could happen in the next moment. It is my hope, for both myself and for the CC readership, that we will all contain some degree of optimism as we take a few more baby steps into this new year and decade.
Saturday, April 13, 2013.