I yelled a litany of profanities. I was mad, like infuriated mad. She left. Who does that? With shaking hands, and my heart racing, I called my husband and then called the police. The officer arrived in less than three minutes, with my husband and son right behind him. I trusted that the girl was really getting her information, so I didn't get her plate number or car make and model. The officer made me feel better, it wasn't my fault and he'd note that in the report. My car still seemed to be drivable, so my husband and son followed me home to make sure I got there okay. Or as my son very aptly stated, he and daddy, “saved mommy from the accident.” Then I did what I always want to do when something out of the ordinary happens...I called my parents.
There was a time in my life when I would have spent considerable time pondering how unfair this all was, and how I should never let me guard down and trust someone again. I would have allowed myself to feel angry about the time and monetary inconvenience the experience caused...and then wallow in all that for days...or longer.
But, I don't really do that anymore. I always let myself feel whatever I feel in the moment, full force...hence the initial litany of profanities. The difference now is that I process it, and then I let it go (ya know, like Elsa). I realize now that letting anger eat at me does absolutely nothing good for me or anyone else around me. I also realize that I love the me that believes in and trusts people. Most of the time that trust rewards rather than punishes me. I'll take my chances, there are good odds. I also no longer believe that a bad choice equals a bad person. We all have our reasons for doing what we do, even the crappy stuff. I've done crappy things and I don't think I'm a terrible human being. That's why tomorrow exists, to start again...and again.
Oddly, I found myself feeling more grateful than usual last night. I think it was because I was considering how lucky I was that it didn't turn out worse. I could have been really hurt. Or much worse, my son could have been in the car. But neither of those things happened. Just some damage to a car. And, I ended up having a really nice conversation on the phone with my mom. So…God is good.
And finally, it's true, life isn't always fair. But, that's not a good enough reason to give up on yourself, others, or life. I've survived many experiences much worse than a fender-bender hit-and-run and come through with more wisdom afterwards. I won't be immobilized because of a bad day...or even bad week or bad month. And, I can choose not to be. What I find is that the more good I put out there, the more gratitude I give, the more kindness I share, the more good, gratitude, and kindness I see in the world. What's important to me now is to be true to who I am--I like being kind, I like believing in the good in people, and I like forgiving others. It's good for my soul and it helps me get through challenges and inconveniences more quickly. Though I might get the license plate, make, and model if there's ever a next time ;-)
In the end, a glitch in my workshop schedule, a few days, and few more dollars getting my car fixed are just inconveniences. These little disruptions are nothing when compared to all the good I experience in the people I love and the work I get to do. The other stuff is just a speck in time.