A couple of Tuesdays ago, I was headed to teach a few violin lessons, and I rear-ended a car on the highway. Badly. In stop-and-go traffic. I had taken a nap that afternoon following back-to-back work shifts and was just exhausted. Of course, I’d planned on only crawling into bed for “10 minutes,” but we all know how that ends…
Waking up in a panic, I realized that I was running late to my lessons, and still a little sleepy, I made a dazed and rather hurried decision to take the highway. It was rush-hour and there was construction along one of the exits. I briefly remember a larger truck trying to merge alongside me, which must have garnered most of my attention because how else would I have failed to see that the jeep in front of me had reached completely stopped while I rolled right into it.
I’m shaking my head at myself right now just thinking about it.
This weekend I learned that the car is pretty much totaled, and that we’ll need to purchase a brand new car (far more than I can afford right now), so I spent a lot of yesterday trying to gain perspective.
No. 1: Nobody was hurt.
No. 2: In a situation that was very clearly my fault, the lovely older couple and younger man in the other car were so kind and caring and didn’t hold anything against me. The younger man who was sitting in the passenger side came over right away to check that I was alright, and when I started crying (which was pretty immediately afterwards), he kept handing me Kleenexes and offering comforting tidbits, such as “it’s okay – nobody was hurt,” and “things like this happen – I understand.” They even offered to stay with me till somebody came to pick me (and the car) up.
No. 3: I can’t necessarily afford a new car right now. But I will eventually be able to afford one, and that in itself is encouraging.
So I wrote this poem to help myself process everything and remember that it’s important to have perspective during these times. It can be so hard to do (I’m still working on it right now – the whole “not-beating-myself-up-about-it,” but instead learning from the accident. Not taking the highway during rush-hour. Not taking naps right before having to drive somewhere. Avoiding back-to-back work shifts as much as possible), but mindfulness is certainly something that I want to improve in my life.
I hope you have a wonderful week, and although I know this is an overused phrase, I hope you have a mindful Monday. Here’s to perspective in a new aspect of your life.