Thursday 8 – Friday 9 September 2011
So, this week has been . . . interesting. I’ve had to delve into my Clarky and The Meat toolkit, and pull out anything and everything that I think will be of benefit. Short version of the story: my mum, driving my car, was in a car accident that has resulted in my car being written off by my insurance company’s assessor. I’m exceptionally ecstatic though, because despite having to be taken to the ER department by ambulance, my mum was okay and she was released the same evening. She suffered from shock, and is currently sporting a fabulous seat belt shaped bruise, and has quite a bit of soreness, but that’s it – physically. Psychologically and emotionally, she is feeling guilty about totalling my car however, my theory is that cars can be replaced, but people can’t. And now, at the end of the week, with everything basically organised and back to normal, I couldn’t help but look back on how things went.
I’m pretty proud of the fact that in a situation like this, or any other sort of emergency that I’ve been in, I can genuinely say that am eerily calm. I don’t panic until after everything has settled down. And normally in an emergency, I’m the one in the family who tends to step up and take control, probably because I do stay calm and logical. We’ve been through my controlling tendencies before, so I won’t reiterate. This is where my Clarky and The Meat toolkit came in handy. I didn’t try and control this situation, other than getting the other driver’s details, which proved to be a lil more difficult than I had expected.
As I was finishing up at work when the accident occurred, other people (who happened, luckily, to be family and friends) were first on the scene. When my cousin came to tell me what had happened, and I made my way across the school oval, unathletically lumbered over the perimeter fence laptop bag, jacket and backpack firmly attached to my upper limbs, and across the road to my car, the scene was essentially under control. And for once in my life, I left it that way. I didn’t try to jump in and fix things to my liking. No, I’d done enough jumping that day, trying to vault over the fence.
The thing that I did do, was allow the other people to finish what they’d started. I let them help me, which is something that I’m not a regular subscriber to. If something needs doing in my life, I’m the one who does it. I don’t request assistance very often . . . okay, probably at all. But, on Tuesday, although I didn’t ask for it, I allowed a) people to offer me assistance, and b) myself to accept that assistance. It was a lil weird not to be in control, but at the same time, in retrospect, I actually found it a relatively easy thing to do. Yeah, I know, I must have been taken over by alien pod people in my sleep, because the Dani that I know would never have given up control that easily.
And yet, she did. I did. Quite placidly too, I might add. I’d also like to point out, that eighteen or so months ago, I never would have been as relaxed about my car getting so banged up as I was on Tuesday. In fact, I didn’t even look at the damage to the car until after my friend asked me if I thought the car should be towed away. Then, the two of us scrutinised the damage, and I remember thinking, ‘Huh, it’s not that bad. Surely I can drive it home and figure things our from there.’ I’d probably already settled on the idea of a tow truck after my friend kicked what was left of the bumper and bits fell off the car. We did get a good laugh out of me telling her to stop breaking my car at that point though. However, it was decided by my cousin after a quick look at the underside of the vehicle, that driving it home was not the best option. He was right, of course. It’s never a good idea to drive a vehicle that’s pissing fluid from all sorts of places in the engine bay. Take it from me, that’s a very bad sign.
At the end of the week, my mama still feels guilty about writing off my car, and about me now having a mark against my name with my insurance company, even though I wasn’t the one driving, and me? I’m still relaxed about the car being totalled, excited about the fact that I have the brand new car that I’d been considering buying at the end of next year, and thoroughly grateful that it was only my car that was written off and not my mum as well.
And why do I think that it all happened this way, that it wasn’t as traumatic an experience as it could have been? Because I am categorically not the exact same person as I was eighteen months ago. My good traits are still my good traits, but my bad traits are getting a whooping if they’re still around. I thought I was tough pre-Clarky and The Meat. Now, you better believe that I kick ass so much better these days. Being strong really has nothing to do with bend people’s wills to match your own. It has a hell of a lot more to do with you being able to bend.
Lesson nineteen: strength isn’t about controlling your environment or the people around you. Strength is about controlling yourself, and if you can’t control yourself you won’t ever really be strong.
[Whoa . . . I just went all Confucius! No, not CONFUSING . . . Confucius, the very-long-time-ago-in-some-ancient-century Chinese philosopher . . . oh, forget it! )