One day on my way to work toward the end of the month, I was listening to one of my favorite audiobooks, You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I wasn’t paying much attention to the speed limit because I was so wrapped up in listening to Jen speak . . . la, la, la, la, la in my own little world. Suddenly, I see this man dressed in a sheriff’s uniform practically jump in the middle of the road, signaling with his arms to pull over. Shit, was I getting pulled over??? Yup, I was getting pulled over. I first looked around thinking maybe there was another car he was signaling to. Nope, he was referring to mwahhh. This really wasn’t a surprise for me, as I love driving fast, I just didn’t realize I was driving that fast on that particular day, I was too in the moment to even notice.
I got pulled over doing 55 mph in a 35-speed zone (see I knew I wasn’t driving that fast). I told myself, “It’s ok Christine, you’re not going to get a ticket, because this man of the law who serves his country is way too kind. So, apologize, smile really big, act like you had no idea that you were driving that fast (which is true). And start crying if you need to.” I didn’t start crying, but I probably should have.
This gentle giant did write me out a ticket for speeding, but he was also kind enough to give me a break. He gave me $150 break, thank you, thank you, thank you. Instead of the $300 ticket that I should have gotten for speeding 20 mph over the speed limit, he felt bad and gave me a ticket for 5 mph over the limit. (The apology must have worked. My dad always said, “If you ever get pulled over, use your manners and always apologize the minute they come to the window.”) Talk about being thankful. I couldn’t stop thanking the Universe for the ticket I did wind up getting. I didn’t get upset at all, knowing it was actually my fault. I coughed up the fine to the multibillion-dollar highway construction project that needed funding.
That morning, I arrived at work and went about my day. I picked up the mail at the kiosk and noticed two envelopes, one addressed to me from the City of Orlando and the other from The State of NY. The one from The City of Orlando was a notice of a violation for going through a red light a few weeks ago. (I happen to believe they have the yellow lights turn much faster on the traffic signals with cameras than the traffic signals that don’t. Just sayin’.) The one from The State of NY was for going through a toll that you were supposed to mail your payment in (which I obviously forgot to do). My $5 toll payment turned into $50 and my going through a red light fine (when it was really yellow, a yellow light means to drive faster to get through the intersection right?) was $158. I am now at a $358 deficit and it’s only 10 a.m. What the Fuck???
Oh, I was just shaking my head laughing, because how is this even happening? I knew when I was going through the yellow light, and it immediately turned red as I was driving through, that I was definitely going to get a violation in the mail as I saw the camera flash go off five times. Yup they got my license plate number, can’t escape that one. And my theory is, that if you’re gonna go through a yellow light and it turns red and you get caught, unfortunately you have to accept the consequence and not bitch about it.
A few hours later I decided to go on my bank app to check my funds, knowing I would have to pay for all my mistakes that morning. I see a debit charge of $200 to Wawa (a 7-11 type store), which I never, ever frequent. You have got to be flipping kidding me??? Is this some kind of joke, am I on the show Punk’d? No, someone actually stole my debit card number and charged $200 at Wawa. It was not a joke!!! What the hell are they buying at Wawa for $200? Can someone please tell me!?! Is one person just filling everyone’s gas tanks up, saying, “Hey everyone gas is on me.” Now I was laughing harder than I thought I ever could, (especially over something like this) but I couldn’t help it, because I knew exactly why this was happening.
The Universe tests us all. The Universe wants to see how we are going to react when difficult situations come into our life. Are we going to get upset and throw a tantrum? Blaming everybody and everything? Or are we going to accept what happened and take ownership and responsibility for our actions? Life is 50/50, we have good days and we have bad days. If we had rainbow and unicorn days every day, we wouldn’t appreciate when life is good.
Life is a test and it’s our actions and how we react to things throughout our life that help show us if we have grown through our experiences. This I know was definitely a life lesson for me. It made me feel free knowing that the circumstances that happened that day, didn’t affect me. I wasn’t upset at all, not one bit. I have to say, I actually questioned if I was ok, because I was taking this so calmly.
Instead I chose to dance. A few years ago, hell yeah, I definitely would have had a totally different reaction. I would have been so upset and pissed off and you bet I would have blamed the police officer for being a jerk for giving me a ticket and for trying to make his quota for the month.
When things happen to go wrong during your day, remember that we all have a choice on how to react. By choosing to not get upset over the things that were out of my control, I felt empowered. I was in total control of my thoughts, my feelings and my actions. I cannot tell you how amazing it feels knowing that I am and will always be in control of my thinking and no one will ever be able to take that from me. Once you understand that you have full control over how you want to think about things, your life will change and start going in the direction you want it to. Don’t let silly circumstances control how you want to live. Next time, instead of getting upset, choose to dance.