I have always taken pride in the fact that since I got my driving license, which was 21 years ago, I have never had an accident, until last week ;-(
Work has been very stressful and even on my ‘supposed’ days off my phone never stops ringing. It will either be an email or a call and it is always ‘apparently’ really urgent. Last Wednesday was a really awful day weatherwise, but I still need to drive to the garage to fill it up with Diesel and check the tyre pressure. Of course I took my work phone with me, in case one of those ‘life and death situations’ will arise again. I got absolutely soaked doing the tyres, so I decided to also take a walk along the seafront. For this I left the phone in the car, as it was blowing a gale, i wouldn’t have heard it anyway. Low and behold I get back to the car and have seven missed calls. yes seven, and that on my day off an dI was only out walking for about 30 minutes. I tried to ring back the caller but they didn’t pick up, so I started driving back home. I was just about 5 minutes away from home a queue of traffic had started to build up by a roundabout and my phone was bleeping and ringing non stop. I got so agitated by that and stressed that I did not see the van infront of me stop and I ran into the back of him.
I pulled up and put the flashers on and looked at the damage. Whilst my car looked like it has been in a minefield, his van was kind of fine. He had a really old van, which was bend out of shape anyway. So he said:”Your car really looks bad. Mine already looked shit, You know what we forget about it. You sort your car out. I’ll be fine”. I was so grateful to that man I could have cried there and then. There was still the problem of fixing my car. I taped it with parcel tape and had it fixed the day after. The grill on the front is still missing as they had to order that.
What I have learned from this is. Firstly work is not that important that you crash your car. Work does not care about your car, they need you to function that’s all. They don’t realise that I am so conscientious and answer emails and calls even on my day off, because I am very dedicated to my job. Secondly whilst driving always have your phone on silent. Nothing absolutely nothing is worth crashing your car and least of all work! Thirdly I have been so stressed lately and have had no time for myself, that I really need to make a stand, for my health sake. This accident has brought my all so busy live to a full stop for a reason. It was as if this accident happen to show me that I have to stop sometimes and put me first. Just stop and breathe. Nothing absolutely nothing is more important than you and your health. I was lucky that it was only a minor crash. It could have ended far worst. It was a warning for me to just stop! I am a very conscientious person and do any job 100% sometimes even 200% but this accident has shown me that it is not worth it. My perfectionism and conscientiousness have driven me too far. STOP! FULLSTOP! Nothing is so important that it can’t wait until you arrive at your destination or at least have a chance to pull over. The sender of the email does not put you first. You have to put yourself and safety first!
I learned one other thing and I will find this very hard to put into practise. Things only stress me out because I let them. So I need to chill ore and not let them stress me out. Like I said, this will take me a while 😉