Friday, March 18, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye

So, I was on my way to yoga, feeling all mellow. It was a beautiful spring day. The orange trees have started to blossom and the air is sweet with their fragrance. And, at least for now, it seems like the “check engine” light coming on in my car last night was a false alarm.

There is a four way stop at my corner. I even mentioned it in Hooked on Murder. It’s the intersection that Officer James was hanging around looking for people who ran the stop signs. I wish he had been there tonight.

I stopped and noted both streets were empty. As I moved forward to make a left turn, a car roared out of nowhere, and flew through the stop sign to my left. I slammed on the brakes, but was sure there was no way it wasn’t going to hit me. In the few seconds, it was like time slowed down. I managed to note there were two boys in the car. Either teens or twentish. The car was dark gray and too expensive for them to have bought it with their own money. Somehow our cars never made contact. They continued on, not slowing for a moment as they rushed on down the street.

Shaken and muttering to myself about what I thought of the driver, I continued on my way. As I drove on, I realized I had a choice. I could stay tense and preoccupied with what had almost happened. I could keep feeling angry that not only did they go through the sign, but didn’t even have the sense to slow down after they almost hit me.

Or I could look at it the other way. I could be thrilled that by some miracle they had not hit me. I was okay. My car was unhurt.

I chose the latter. I let the whole thing go when I got to yoga and surrendered myself to the class. By the time we’d done our final relaxation, the whole episode had moved to the back of my mind.

I can’t control what happens, but I can control how I take it.

Have you ever had a near miss like mine? How did you feel afterwards?


Linda O. Johnston said...

Wow. So glad the car didn't hit you, Betty. I like your attitude, but what a scary experience!

Terri Thayer said...

So glad you're all right!

Now the writer wants to know: did you take good notes?

Planner said...

So glad you and your car are OK!

I think we all have near misses on occasion (hopefully, not too often), and it's hard not to dwell on them at the time. I have a friend who allows herself to dwell on such things for 5 minutes and then she won't think about them anymore. Easier said than done, but you and she definitely have a healthy perspective.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, it was scary. This morning I went through the same intersection and flinched when I went through it and looked in my rear view mirror and saw a SUV. The good thing is it was stopped.

Betty Hechtman said...

Terri, I was amazed at how much information I took in as it was happening.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, something went wrong and your comment seems to have gotten covered up. Luckily, I had already read it. Yes, I am glad me and my car are both fine. Also glad that I could let the whole thing go so quickly.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Betty, isn't yoga powerful? I mean, it helped your body return to normalcy after such a near miss. Glad you're okay.

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, you are right, yoga is powerful. I have noticed that people at my gym seem to either do yoga or cardio type classes, but not both. Personally, I like to mix it all up.

Rose, Washington State, USA said...

We have a similar corner over on the next road & in spite of the four way stop, there were terrible accidents! Now they have installed some flashers.

Your vigilance & quick reaction surely saved your car & YOU! I know the feeling, as one night there was a pickup coming right at me in MY lane on a two lane road. It was a good thing I was watching the road & braked hard as I pulled right in trying to get OFF the roadway.

The gravel was flying & thought I'd end up in the ditch, but I was saved by a crossroad where I needed to get off. There was about a foot in front to the ditch & the speeding driver past at the same time! They had to be drunk or asleep at the wheel, as they never braked or stopped!

I sat there collecting myself & then checked my tires before driving on home. They may have lost some rubber, but the T-bird was fine. I felt like it must have been the Holy Angels that saved me.

I'm sure glad the yoga was so helpful and thanks for sharing.