Not Knowing Not Stressing

Blond Girl In A Car

Ignorance is bliss in some situations. While I don’t subscribe to this sentiment, I embraced it Thursday morning. I drove to my office using my usual route. I approached a main corridor which is a 4 lane highway. The speed limit is 45 mph, but drivers consistently drive 50 to 60 mph. Log trucks and other 18 wheelers drive much faster.

As I prepared to merge onto the highway, I noticed an 18 wheel rig approaching. I decided to wait until the truck passed and then proceed with the merge. As I waited, I heard a high pitched beeping sound. At first I thought one of my windows was slightly open and the escaping air caused the whistle. I checked my windows and they were all sealed tight.

The high pitched sound came more frequently. The sound came in elongated bursts instead of short staccato sounds. I looked around trying to figure out from where the sound was coming. I also checked the location of the truck. It was closer, but had not yet passed me.

Then the sound was non-stop. It was suddenly a high pitch whine. I looked in my rearview mirror and realized there were two cars behind me. I thought, surely, no one is blowing their horn; I’ve only sat here for a couple of minutes waiting for the truck to pass. Besides, no one blows their car horn in the genteel south. Southerners are much too polite for that type of behavior.

I checked the truck one more time. The truck had its turn signal on. It was turning right which would allow me to merge right. I looked in my rearview mirror before beginning the merge. It then occurred to me that a man, directly behind me, in the Kia Soul was blowing his horn at me. He laid on his horn as if the very sound would propel my car out of his way.

The funny thing is that the horn was the whiny, high pitched sound I could not recognize. I started laughing uncontrollably. The sound of that horn was not enough to startle a flea. The man passed me glaring at me as he threw his arms up in anger. He sped away only to turn onto a side street 1 ½ miles down the road. I laughed even more. The big man in the little Kia Soul with the little whiny horn could not move little old me out of his way.

Situations like this can get out of hand so quickly. I don’t know if the Kia Soul man thought I deliberately prevented him from turning. His actions and behavior told me that he was very angry. He didn’t know the reason I was being cautious. I figured he saw the truck. Either way, we were both ignorant to the other’s needs at that moment. He was apparently in a rush; I was not.

I wished him well as he sped off and released him from any responsibility for my own happiness and well being. I also released myself from any responsibility for making him happy. It was an empowering feat which led to an empowered day.

I help social workers and other professionals to “get through the day without losing it.” I would love to hear from you. You may join the conversation by commenting on this post on our Facebook fan page REAL Social Workers Online Magazine, joining the “Social” Social Workers Project or connecting with me on LinkedIn. Learn more about and receive notifications about our 7 day “Get Through the Day Without Losing It” challenge.

M.L. Bailey Consultants, Inc. Copyright ©2016 Marcyline L. Bailey All Rights Reserved
Real Social Workers Online Magazine Copyright ©2016 Marcyline L. Bailey All Rights Reserved

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1 Response

  1. That’s a great story, I loved reading it.
    I understand all feelings, you keeping calm, the guy being angry…..
    I remember: sometimes I was just in the right mood and kept calm when I would have gone angry another time. Sometimes I feel the whole world conspires to make my life difficult. I have noticed that when I am in public transport, let’s say in a bus, and the traffic is slow or stuck, if I don’t pay attention, I start feeling physically stuck as if I aligned my emotional state unconsciously with what’s going on around me. If I think of changing, I can easily say to myself: “Hey, no need to stress, I am not even late, and even if I am it’s not the end of the world, why not relax, it’s warm in here…” and I turn my mood the other way round. But sometimes, I just feel stressed and I am trapped in it…….

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