Last week I was in a car accident. It’s not really the car accident that is important here, it is what happened next. However, I will preface to say that the accident was not my fault, I did everything I could to avoid it, and the New Orleans Police Department took four hours to respond [that’s a whole other issue in it’s own right]. The young girl who turned into the incorrect lane (my lane) did have insurance, which is a plus and never a true given in New Orleans. Yay for me, seriously yay–I couldn’t bear have a claim on my already expensive car insurance . Thanks State Farm. I’ll save that issue for another blog as well.
Moving on…as I sat there waiting on the N.O.P.D., I realized that my 32 year old self needed to have a little chat with my 22ish self about a few things:
Patience – Upon impact, my 22ish year old self would have had the pressure rising, face would have been beet red, and words not suitable for virgin ears would have been spewing out of my mouth. However, this was not the case. I slowly got out of my vehicle and as the young girl is apologizing profusely I reached out my hand and introduced myself. That is all.
I began assessing the damage to my vehicle.
Materialism – As an avid car lover, the younger version of me would have been absolutely livid to see pieces of a 4 month old Audi, lying on the ground being ran over by passers-by. She probably would have screamed a little, touched each area gingerly, attempting to put it all together again. Older me, however, began snapping pictures and making notes. No biggie. It’s just a car, a very expensive one, but still just a car.
Thankful – Woe is me would have been my cry at 22. But in this instance, I was thankful. I smiled knowing that my kids weren’t in the car and that the driver & her passenger were okay. I had no scratches and no real aches…though this was a big inconvenience, it really wasn’t all that bad. I used the time to arrange all the puzzle pieces that is my life and waited for blue lights and a uniformed officer to arrive.
Peace – I am a very busy person and this accident pretty much ended my day. Not because I was no longer compelled to do work, but because my work was over by the time the police came. I used that time to relax, take some deep breaths, and meditate on some other thoughts that I really didn’t have time to do before. This was a very 30s thing of me to do since my younger model would have dwelled on the situation at hand.
Life throws us curveballs. It’s all about having the right swing. At 22, I was inexperienced and I would have swung my bat erractically, hitting anything in my path with no real success. However, at 32, I know a lot more, I’ve seen a lot. The pitch that was given to me, though it be a curveball that I wasn’t anticipating, only made me more focused. I knew the right swing to land a home run and keep moving with my life.
Self, I enjoyed this little talk we had. 🙂