I was recently in my first car accident. If there’s such thing as a good time to be in a car accident, this wasn’t one of them.
I was days away from having a cyst removed that had taken residence on the joint of my right hang. While not being a major surgery, it would still render my right hand fairly useless for four weeks. I was running around like a crazy person trying to accomplish all the things I wouldn’t be able to do for a month (like cleaning out the garage, moving furniture, mowing the lawn really short, and teaching my kids how to keep it mowed really short.)
To top off all the craziness, the proverbial frosting on the cake, (and I usually like frosting), I’d been trying to find time to see a doctor about my zombie like symptoms. Exhaustion, continually (or is it continuously?) forgetting things, shortness of breath, mumbling short incohesive sentences. Lets just say I had been feeling exhausted and overwhelmed for far too long.
Which brings me to the car accident. I was running around Friday night headless chicken style (never a very good idea) wrapping up loose ends before my surgery on Monday. I was on my way to pick up Little Caesars (lets face it, it was a string of bad decisions) when SMACK, a car I never saw coming hit my passenger side. I sat in my car (the car that was running perfectly a moment ago but now magically wouldn’t start) in total panic and disbelief.
Thankfully everyone involved was unharmed. Thankfully my kids had opted to stay home rather than join me on the excursion. There was so much to be grateful for. But I was in total all out panic. I had never been in an accident before, nevermind actually being at fault. I felt sick about it. What if someone had gotten hurt? I couldn’t believe I had made such a stupid error. Once I knew that no one was hurt, the damage of my car started to sink in. What if it couldn’t be fixed? I didn’t have access to another vehicle. Nor would I have time to be looking for one since I was heading into surgery and then would be recovering with little use of my right hand. And I still had places I had to be the next couple of days that would require a car. As I watched the tow truck pull away with my car all I could think was that I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! (And there were no plans to make a movie out of my bad day.)
This is when I wanted to feel really bad for myself. I wanted to curl up in bed and cry for three days straight. I was exhausted, had so much to do, had no vehicle, and had caused a car accident! I wanted to have a good old pity party. You know, the one where you tell everyone you know “When it rains, it pours” with a sad look in your eye. At which point people look at you knowingly and nod in sympathy, because they knows that calamity always visits in multiples.
But then I had this other thought. This thought that undermined everything else I was feeling. And it was this, that maybe, sometimes rain is just rain. Maybe it doesn’t have to pour. Just because things were feeling hard and overwhelming didn’t mean that a Noah’s ark style storm was coming to sweep away everything in its path. I still cried a lot the night of my accident. It was upsetting and scary. And I didn’t have the most serene reaction when I discovered (while still coming off the haze of surgery anesthesia, mind you) that I didn’t have collision coverage on my car. But I decided to stop there. To reevaluate. To let rain just be rain for once. I let go of the panic over what would happen with my car, my insurance, my surgery, my lawn (remember, the kids would be mowing from here on out.) I decided to let all the hard things leading up to that moment feel like a bit of a bummer rather than a catastrophe.
In the end, my car was fixed quickly. My friends and family brought dinner over while I was recuperating from surgery. The kids have been helping around the house more. The lawn, well it’s getting overgrown. You can’t win them all. But Noah’s ark never did come sailing through wiping away everything in its wake. So maybe sometimes rain really is just rain.