Yesterday I shot myself in the foot. Not literally, of course, but the self-sabotage was absolutely real.
You see, for years, I've driven the same route to work in the mornings. Then, last week, because of construction, I was forced to take a different way altogether. And this new route turned out to be three minutes faster! So, naturally, I decided the new way would be my new usual.
That brings us to yesterday. I had first period prep (no students - preparation time), so I decided to sleep a little longer and go in a little later. Well, as I finally got on the freeway, I looked out to see how full it was, and I panicked. All the cars were moving, just slowly. No reason to panic at all. But my head said "Yikes! You'll be stuck! You'll be late!" So I immediately got right off again.
But, of course, getting off took me in a whole new direction. I had to take a rather round-about way just to get back to my old route, and in doing so, I added a good ten minutes to my journey. During those extra minutes I had a good think, and I realized that the slow down was likely cause by a major exit to another freeway (just a couple miles down the road) and that traffic almost certainly sped up once it passed that crucial point. So my panic was for nothing!
And here's the really sad part. If I had just had a little courage, just an eensie bit, I could have BEEN THERE in the same time it took me to get back on that safe, familiar road.
Life lessons? Probably a million. But here's the three I take away from the whole debacle.
1. Don't panic. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy knew what it was talking about. Panic gets you nowhere. Of course, this is easier said than done. I panic easily. I'm like Scaredy Smurf, only less confident.
2. Don't second guess yourself. First instincts are often correct, and doubt usually just makes things fall apart. If you put thought into making the original decision, trust your judgment.
3. Sometimes your comfort zone is the worst place you can be. Going back to what used to work can't always save you from new troubles. In fact, sometimes it just makes things worse. Holding still might save a rabbit from being discovered by a predator, but in the middle of the highway it just leads to roadkill.