Yesterday I made my very first payment on my very new car.
Today, I got rear-ended on I-93 South in Boston at the height of morning rush hour.
I was rocking out to the Uptown Funk Pandora station – getting pumped for a day of important partnership meetings when, suddenly and forcefully I heard a loud crash and felt my felt my chest involuntarily lunge toward the steering wheel.
Thankfully my seat belt was on (as it always is) and due to heavy traffic, no one was moving fast enough for the airbag to deploy.
It was just that I had basically been parked, in the slow lane, and so, a collision from the back was just completely unexpected.
I quickly put my hazards on and before getting out of the car called my husband. First, I wanted to tell him I was okay, and second, I wanted some guidance. This had never happened to me before. I was nervous. And that after accident adrenaline had kicked in, making me a bit jittery.
Ken told me to get the other driver’s registration and insurance information, license plate and driver’s license number, take some pictures, and if I felt sore to call my doctor when I got to work.
It was scary stepping out of my car at 9:44 AM, onto one of the busiest highways in Boston. Hell, it was scary just parking my car on that highway at that time.
The gentlemen who hit me quickly asked if I was okay and was sincerely sorry for the accident. He and I quickly decided to move our cars into the slightly safer side near an adjacent on-ramp, exchanged info, snapped some quick pics, and then, we were each on our way.
He was kind, cooperative, and genuinely concerned.
I was grateful for his disposition, that I could safely drive away from the accident, and that my son had not been in the backseat.
When I arrived at work, a little late and still a bit shaky, I was met with hugs and help.
When I called the police to report the accident (and was transferred to the State Police because of where the accident occurred), I was complimented on ‘doing the right thing,’ by not calling (and waiting) for the police on-site.
“At that time in that place,” the officer said, “all that would’ve happened was increased backups and delays and we would’ve just told you to download the accident report paperwork from RMV site.”
I’d already done the download, so the officer said he’d log the accident and they’d keep an eye out for the report to come in.
I also called the dealership where I got my new car and they offered to help me find the best place to get my brand new ride looking brand-spankin’ new again.
The rest of the day was stellar. All of my meetings went incredibly well. I had a great yoga session. And, because my in-laws are amazing and took Briggs for the night, Ken and I got to enjoy a whole two hours together over a lovely dinner.
Starting my day with a car accident isn’t how I would’ve chosen to usher in my Wednesday. But if an accident was due to come my way, I’m grateful for how this one rolled out.
No one was injured. Everything can be fixed. And the energy around all of it – including that of the man who simply made a mistake in back of me – was kind, collaborative, and helpful.
And, it was still a pretty great day…which I attribute to my practice of gratitude.
When I focus giving thanks, I can take what might feel like starting from a loss, redirect that energy, and come from behind to turn it into a win.
Gratitude is my Superpower.