I'll just come out and say it. I have road rage.
It is something I try to be conscious of. I try to relax and tell myself I'll get there in good time, and it's better to be safe than save a minute or two. I mean really, this is a concerted effort I make to relax.
I've been called out a couple of times on my tailgating. Can I say how much I hate when people ride my tail? I hate it. I think everyone hates it. So this is another thing I try to be conscious of.
There's a long stretch of road alongside the freeway to get to my work where there are no signals or stops. It's 40 here, so naturally I go 45. It stinks getting stuck behind slow folks on that road. But when it happens, I do my best to keep a car length or two between me and that person.
Today I was afraid coming around that initial bend that the person in front of me would be slow down that road. I wasn't at a point where I was upset or conscious of any frustration, but the worry was there.
It appeared that instead of going down that road, she was going to turn into the first parking lot on the right. But she was just letting me pass.
And it's here where my guilty blue personality comes into play. When someone moves out of the way, I immediately go, "Oh no. Was I following too closely? I feel bad."
As I flew down the road, that crossover SUV far behind, the possibility of that person being someone at my company haunted me. I made my left onto my work street, and there she was in my rear view mirror, making the same turn. As I parked, I crossed my fingers that she wouldn't pull into my company's parking lot. Sure enough, there she was. I parked. And just seconds later, she parked right next to me. The guilt I already felt about riding the rear end of a stranger would have been enough today. But it was a very kind older lady I work with and say hello to every morning.
I smiled as she pulled up, guilt forming in a ball in the pit of my stomach. I could've just walked in to work and brushed it off. But again, being an accountable person, I got right out and asked her, "Was I following you too closely?" She explained that she's been rear ended twice, so she's especially paranoid and sensitive about it. I told her I was sorry, and I really try not to do that. She told me her kids tell her she'll get into an accident just because she's paranoid and does things like that. And she didn't know it was me behind her. Because there are so many red Mazda 3s with a Hawaiian sticker on them, I'm sure she wouldn't have figured it out. :) She told me I didn't need to say sorry. But man. I felt like a jerk.
She asked me to please hold the office doors for her as she carried in a crock pot. I closed her trunk door for her and held open all the office doors as well. I would have anyway and any other day, but then I was attaching those tasks to my guilt, trying to redeem myself somehow.
I know she's not upset. But I'm still kicking myself for the impatience I let myself be consumed by. These humbling situations are always good gut checks for me. I need to be better in so many areas of my life. I just need to learn from it immediately instead of feeling like a jerk all day long. Does anyone else struggle with eternal guilt? So frustrating and stressful.
Anyway. Lesson learned. Challenge accepted. I will attempt to move on with my day now.