Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sometimes people don't pay attention like they should

I was almost in a wreck this morning.  Or rather, my entire family was almost broadsided by a man driving a truck who thought a red light was just a suggestion.

It was a busy intersection, first thing in the morning on a rainy day.  And if my husband hadn't seen him ... well ...

I was driving everyone to their destinations and I'm normally hyper-vigilant, mega-aware because there are so many people who run that particular red light for reasons I can't fathom.  Yet I didn't see him until my husband shouted.

Right after I was more concerned with my children hearing their father yell the 'F' word than anything else.  But then my arms began to shake and my eyes teared up and my stomach turned over itself.

We're fine.  Everyone is fine.  Adele didn't even realize that anything had happened, and Sebastian, in his magnanimous way, just said that sometimes people don't pay attention like they should.

At one point in my life I couldn't stop focusing on the what-ifs.  What if something happened?  What if I lost my babies?  I thought about it all day, I stressed about it all night.  But I couldn't live with that weight on my chest, with the destructive dialogue running through my head.  I couldn't live with fixating on a constant worry.

Sometimes, though, you are confronted with your children's vulnerability, with your own.  And it shakes everything up.

When I was 16, after having my license for less than a week, I was hit by someone else who wasn't paying attention, who ran a red light, who totaled my car.  And from then on I was convinced I would die in a car crash.  I was scared to drive and, though it's been quite a few years, still am sometimes.  If I have a choice I prefer not to be the person behind the wheel.

But I have learned that the worry won't change anything.  All it does is ruin the good times with doubts and negative thoughts.  I don't want to do that to my kids or myself.  It's incredibly hard sometimes to put it aside.  But so important.

So I won't spend today thinking about what could have happened.  I will just be grateful for what didn't.

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