Are You Hearing the Signs?

I get beeped at a lot. Usually when I’m attempting to make a left turn. The kind where there’s no arrow and I’m hoping a car doesn’t fly out of nowhere and sideswipe me as I brave the open space.  So I tend to be cautious and wait a couple of extra seconds. Other cars don’t like this.

On one recent occasion where a driver expressed his dismay, it got kind of awkward.  He followed me through the turn and then ended up pulling into the same parking lot. Turns out he was going to the same recreation facility. I was taking my daughter to dance class. And he had his daughter with him. Now, my husband warns me constantly not to confront people who beep at me. But this time the situation just kind of presented itself. As we walked nearly in unison to the front door I couldn’t help it.

“Did you beep at me?” I asked. (it didn’t come out all cool like that. I was miffed but pretend -smiling).

“Yes, I did,” he replied bravely.  “You should have made the turn.”

“I was being cautious,” I said.

“You missed your window. “

“I prefer to focus on safety,” I replied. “Especially when my daughter is with me.”  I threw in the last part thinking he would apologize. Instead, he took the opportunity to point out that clearly I shouldn’t be driving if I’m nervous in traffic and blah, blah, blah … (I covered my daughter’s ears).  Turns out my husband is right on this one. Never confront someone who is beeping at you. It’s a clue they’ve got a bit of built up road rage ready to boil over.

So, here’s the sad truth ─ and this is not one I’ve easily shared in the past. Twenty-five years ago this month, I was in a very bad car accident. Our high school girl’s basketball team was driving back from an away game.  The snow snuck up on us and the roads had quickly become treacherous. The car I was in slid sideways into an oncoming truck. It hit us on the right hand-side, the side where I was sitting. My two friends in the back beside me had injuries but were alive.  I had a broken leg and concussion (which I’m grateful for because it made me forget everything). But tragically and horribly, our dear friend Belle, as well as her Dad, who were in the front died instantly.

So now that my story is in black and white it seems pretty obvious why I hesitate when turning left. The crazy thing is that it was only in the past couple of months as I was relaying to my husband of yet another example of a rude driver beeping at me, that something in my brain clicked. That this fear of being side swiped actually has an origin. That the ‘beepers’ were only pointing out something I wasn’t yet ready to see.

We are shaped by our successes and we are shaped by our sorrows. It’s easier to focus on our successes, but there are lessons in both.  Sometimes we get the same feedback at work over and over, but we still blame those who are delivering the message. Other times we’re the ones making the judgements and perhaps could use a bit more compassion. Either way, there’s never a better time then now to start to bring more awareness to how life can move more smoothly for you.

Pay attention to what you’re complaining about. You might be missing a sign.

In the meantime, if you see me at left turn, stop beeping at me ─ I’m working on it!

To have the next blog post delivered to your Inbox, subscribe here:

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Twitter-icon Linked-In-icon