So yeah, I basically shredded a tire on 695 on my way home. Sat there for a half hour waiting for AAA and then got to drive home on the little donut of a spare, going slow enough that everyone behind me thought the best thing they could do to help was flash their high beams and honk. Good times.
If it sounds like I’m bitter, I’m actually not all that bitter (though at the time I may have let a few expletives fly). I had an oil change two months ago and they said my tires were looking a little worn. I was planning on getting snow tires this winter and so I put it off at the time. Yada yada yada… Egg on my face, but I needed the tires anyway, so it’s not like it’s an unanticipated expense or anything.
But I’ll admit that once I got the car off the road and onto the shoulder I had a little bit of an anxiety attack. The heart racing, the sweaty palms, etc. Fortunately I was able to sit there, close my eyes and concentrate on breathing. Keep coming back to the breath. Mindfulness in action- center yourself, allow your body to catch up to your mind. Nobody was hurt, there’s no real damage to the car. You repeat these things to yourself.
As I mentioned above, the drive home wasn’t a picnic, but I’ll say this- it made me think about all the times I’ve been stuck behind someone, and, I’ll admit, honked, tailgated, flashed my lights when I thought they were going too slow. Were any of them on a donut and I didn’t notice? Were they on an unfamiliar road? I’m a little embarrassed to say that it took being in that vulnerable position for me to recognize my own habitual impatience. We could all probably do with a little more empathy and mindfulness in those moments.
It’s one thing to talk about mindfulness on the blog and another to make sure I’m practicing it between meditation sessions.