I was unhappy with yesterday’s post, called “Different Ways,” because:
- I left out the traditional first word — “Day” — from the post title (for the first time in three hundred and eighty-one days), which I didn’t notice until much later (at which point I fixed it).
- I left out the driving point of that post, entirely, because I was feeling guilty about something.
I hope to fix that, now.
I confess, dear reader. I concealed something from you, yesterday. As Diana Schenk, one of my favourite readers and writers here at WordPress, wrote in a comment to yesterday’s post:
avoidance is one of favourite strategies. Well not really, but I do it anyway! haha
Thank you for that comment, Diana.
So, yes, in yesterday’s post I avoided saying something. I used indirect, rather than direct communication.1 And, as a result, yesterday’s post suffered.
Many of my readers still liked yesterday’s post, and for that I’m truly grateful. I’m not going to act like Eddie Van Halen, who berated somebody for praising his guitar work, when Mr. Van Halen knew his playing could have been better.2
Nevertheless, I was aware of my judgment about that blog post, all day. And, last night, I reality-tested3 that judgment, by asking my bf, Michael, to read the post, and to tell me what he thought of it.
And this is what Michael said: “It wasn’t one of your better ones. And I was thinking, as I read it, ‘Isn’t this sort of about the car accident you just had?'”
And it was.
Now, before people get concerned, let me say this: Not to worry. I was in a minor fender bender, a couple of days ago, is all. The accident was so minor, that it’s possible that the other driver is not going to report the damage to the insurance company. But I still feel some shame about it, because the accident was completely my fault.
Here’s what happened: I was driving home from work, with Waze (the GPS system I wrote about in yesterday’s post) on my cell phone, guiding me home. Waze’s familiar voice and the surprising ways she sometimes alters the route can help me let go of anxiety I sometimes feel, after a long day working at the hospital.
The ride home, on that particular night, wasn’t easy, because it was foggy, dark, and pouring rain. And Waze brought me home a different way, which involved at least one scary, unfamiliar maneuver into heavy traffic.
I’m not blaming Waze, mind you. Waze was doing the best she could. And I made it through that difficult traffic maneuver, just fine.
However, soon after that, when I was back on a familiar part of my route home, I stopped at a red light. At that point, a text message came through on my phone from somebody I care about. I thought it might relate to something important, and …. BAM! I had rolled into the car in front of me.
I felt awful, because this was totally my fault. I had been distracted by my cell phone, just like those people in anti-texting public service ads, who have done terrible damage.
The other driver and I exchanged information, in the pouring rain. Her car had a little bit of damage. My car had none.
I reported the accident to my insurance company and — as far as I know — the other driver hasn’t reported it, yet. And no matter what she does, it’s going to be okay. It wasn’t the crime of the century.4 However, it WAS a serious mistake on my part, even though the consequences, in this case, were small.
As always, I learned something from my mistake. And, I’m going to figure out ways NOT to get distracted by texts that come in while I’m driving.
If you now read yesterday’s blog post, after finding out my secret, maybe you’ll see how that story was lurking there, in certain places. Or maybe not. It was lurking there for me, while I was writing, even though I didn’t name it in the post.
I’m glad I’m naming it now.
So, as I end this post, what image should I include? I have photos on my iPhone of the other driver’s license and registration, but that’s REALLY inappropriate to share. What IS appropriate to share, right now?
Maybe something from Google Image, about a phrase I’ve written about before.
I’m glad I’m saying that now, too.
One more thing, before I end. I’m remembering, for some reason, a metaphor that somebody used yesterday, at work. This woman was talking about how she felt shame about her sadness and grief, because she wasn’t used to crying in front of people. She said,
It’s like I’ve kept a curtain down in front of those feelings, my whole life, and now the curtain is up. And I can’t control it.
I thought that was a wonderful metaphor, for the experience of shame. She and I discussed how the worst part of that, for her, was the lack of control over the curtain.
So, dear readers, I’m glad I took control, today, and raised a curtain, here.
Thanks to everybody who has been hurt — or who has unintentionally hurt somebody else — no matter what the extent of the damage. And a special thanks to you, for visiting.
Michael told me that story, about Eddie Van Halen and a reporter at one of his concerts, last night.
See this list for more about reality testing (and other helpful antidotes for unhelpful thoughts and behaviors).
This is something I sometimes say to myself, when my conscience is being over-active, like recently, when I took a rain check for a sale item that a store was out of, and then decided not to use the rain check the next time I saw the item was back on the shelf, but rather save it for a time when the item was no longer on sale.5
If you understand this story, I assume that you have an over-active conscience, too.
I found that image, here, at Lia Halsall’s blog.