Today, I was running around with a list of endless things to get done before going out on vacation for a few days. The day started out challenging and went downhill from there. Not the best frame of mind to get to a successful outcome.
I ended up 15 minutes late to pick up my son. Luckily the camp counselors stayed until I could get there. That was after scrambling to pack up all his things to stay overnight with his dad “camping.”
Great…now we’re on our way. Oops, not so fast. Turns out I forgot the sleeping bag and it’s going to drop below freezing tonight. Back to the house before heading out again.
I get my head in the game. The kiddo is in the back of the car and we’re chatting about what he will enjoy best about camping overnight and our planned weekend adventure.
We’re coasting along until we come upon a roadblock due to a downed power line, in a town I don’t know well. That’s okay. I have GPS. I take the dirt road I’m directed down and off I go. I can do this. No matter the setback.
At one point, the road narrows and people that were rerouted from the other direction are headed my way. I pull to the right to make room, not realizing the ground is less than stable. No problem, I have 4-wheel drive. That will only get you so far, it turns out.
When you’re stuck like I was stuck, all your best efforts and best tools (or vehicle) can fail you.
I watched as the people I moved aside for drove right by. Those behind me waited until the road was clear, and then continued on to their destinations. No worries, I’ll use my phone to call for a tow truck.
There was no cell service.
Crap. Now I’m starting to get panicky. I have my son in the car, we are a long distance from any assistance and night will fall soon to those freezing temps I mentioned before.
Fine, I have 4-wheel drive. I can rock out of this. I have been on New England dirt roads in the spring before. There was no rocking. I was burying myself deeper into the muck.
At this point, I realized there was nothing I could do sitting in the car. I needed help, even if I had to step in front of a moving vehicle to get it. An older couple in a large truck came up to me and offered to pull me out. The driver didn’t have a chain, but once he stopped, another gentleman stopped who did.
Suddenly, I had cars and trucks pulled over everywhere, offering to help. Within minutes, they got me out of the muck (I was really stuck in there) and we were on our way…after many tearful thanks and high-fives to the kiddo, who was a champ throughout.
Once we got back on the road, I apologized to my son in case I scared him. He said he wasn’t scared and not to apologize. “Sometimes we get stuck and need help. That’s okay. Even for mom’s.”
Very little to be so profound, but he was right. Sometimes, we get stuck. We don’t realize we are on unstable ground and keep going. We can be stubborn about it, trying to move forward, only to get into more trouble. Eventually, we figure out we cannot move, but it’s too late.
We can fight it, we can deny it, we can panic. Or, we can ask for help. Once I convinced myself there was nothing more I could do on my own, I got out of the car and started looking for someone to help me.
Were some too busy, too caught up in their own stuff to help me with mine? Yes. But, as my son pointed out “These were nice people Mama. They helped us.” There are people willing to lend a hand, to pull us out of a rut, and help make sure we can get back on our way.
If we sit there, convinced we can fix things, people may continue to pass us by. It is only by raising our hand, our voice, ourselves and actively looking for assistance that it will make itself known.
Next time you feel like you aren’t moving forward and whatever you try isn’t working, it might be time to look around you for someone that can help. Who is your AAA?