Saturday, July 25, 2009

What an Idiot!

What an idiot! I got in a minor fender bender today and got a ticket. I let myself be pressured by a honking driver who wanted me to pull out into fast-moving traffic and then swerved around me to get out of the parking lot driveway and pulled into traffic ahead of me. I followed him and hit a car he just missed. He was laughing as he pulled away. So I let an idiot turn me into one.

Loss of serenity. Letting someone else's bad behavior affect your decisions. Just a momentary lapse and...boom! No one hurt. My old car has just one more scrape but, of course, the other car was strategically hit in the right front quarter panel and the door with a scrape on the wheel cover. The mother of the young man driving the other car was understandably upset, but calmed down fairly quickly as I apologized and took responsibility.

What amazed me is how she, her son, and her daughter were all immediately on their cell phones and taking pictures with their phones as well as their handy-dandy camera. It all ended fairly amicably since I have good insurance and took responsibility.

But I'll have to go to court to get my license back. Had to call the insurance company. Felt like an idiot.

This is life. I love the serenity prayer at moments like this. It's become absorbed into my nature over the years and in an emergency I go right into that mode.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I couldn't change the fact that I got in an accident or that it was my fault, so I immediately accepted that fact and my responsibility. I could speak calmly and soothingly to the distraught, angry woman, quickly apologizing, and de-escalated the situation quite rapidly so that she apologized to me. I had ignored her screaming at me to stop my car and moved it to a safer place where it wouldn't block traffic and cause another accident. She thought I was leaving the scene. Once she realized my intent, she was embarassed.

Afterwards, I did not go home and eat.

Acceptance and serenity. Two major tools of recovery. I couldn't go back and change what happened, though I surely wish I could have. I didn't dwell on it. I had the courage to admit I was at fault and to change the atmosphere. I had the wisdom to know that I had to act to move my car right away and explain later.

Honesty is another huge tool of the program. "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it!" Step 10 of the 12 steps.

I also made amends which is Step 9. In fact, by having a current license and carrying good insurance, I was prepared to make amends in just such a situation.

Now I did call the reckless driver a bad name--something to do with a donkey's hind end, but realized that would get me nowhere and I needed to take care of my business.

And I did. And I didn't eat.

God is good all the time!
All the time God is good!