Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Petrol Light

Earlier this year something happened that I never thought would happen. This is where you stop and think 'Oh my what could this be? Did she miss a big birthday? Did she quit work on the spot?'


I nearly ran out of petrol.

I can just imagine all your arched eyebrows and going PEERLEASE!

But seriously I am one of, many people I hope, who refuses for my petrol to get low. As soon as it is about to get on the 1/4 full line I am in the petrol garage filling up.

It has always been in my nature to ensure things never run out. When I hear people who have had to call the AA out, because they thought their petrol would last the journey, I just think how silly?

I guess I have something chronic about me in that I have to prevent disasters from happening. When I was having counselling earlier this year I quickly acknowledged that I worry about the small details. I like to get to work on the small things, the niggly things that people don't want to do. I trust the big things get sorted out but the small things - they bother me.

Such as the petrol light.

I was driving to my friends in Kent. He lives about an hour away and I had over 1/4 full of petrol in my tank. I knew I would need to get petrol at some point but I genuinely thought I would have enough.

I had this covered. It was a small thing and it had been dealt with.

About half hour into the journey the light came on and I suddenly felt a little surge of panic. I instantly thought that I needed to get petrol. I had to get rid of this amber light. But the petrol station that was coming up was closed. 'You had to kidding me?' I thought. I was also on a part of the motorway that I had no clue as to where I was. 

So what did I do?

I got a bit of paper and covered the amber light of course. As that would make it go away! I kept looking at my sat nav and the minutes to my destination were getting less. I was acutely aware though that I was passing no petrol stations either!!!

I won't lie I was starting to panic. I was edging closer to the steering wheel as if to make my car move faster on as little petrol as it could. I kept telling myself how silly I was and that OF COURSE I didn't have enough petrol to last the journey.

Then all of a sudden - with 10 minutes left to my destination - the amber light starting flashing. I could see it lighting up every 2 seconds through the paper. 'Just great!' I thought. I was in an area I had no clue about. I was on a stretch of motorway with no lights. And now I was potentially going to be stuck on a stretch of road in the dark.


So I pulled over so I could fight with myself and then decide what to do. My car was lagging and I was anxious. Do I call my parents and tell them to bring me some petrol? I had no breakdown cover on my insurance then so couldn't call them without paying loads! So what did I do?

I laughed.

I laughed and I laughed and I laughed.

Then all of a sudden I felt no panic. This was not the end of the world. I had learnt in my therapy that when faced with situations that are hard to tackle it's a good idea to make a list. The list could range from absolutely ludicrous ideas to rather sensible ones. So my list included to magic a wand and conjure up a spell to produce petrol to googling for help.

Luckily my friend text me (he doesn't drive so he couldn't help me out) and he saved the day. He used the wonders of the internet to track my location and he emailed me a map of a petrol station that was a 2 minute drive away. He was my saviour and I managed to get my car there in one piece. Despite the pull I had to drive it!

Since then I still do not let the petrol light get too low and I tell this story to almost everyone - poor buggers. But it will always stay with me for one simple reason.

'where there is a will there is a way'

I now tend to think that situations could be worse off whereas before my therapy I would always - without fail - think I'd be in the worst situation possible.

I was just amazed at how differently I handled it. On reflection the situation was not funny. If it wasn't for my friend I'd had probably had to fork out hundreds of pounds to get a person to fill up my tank. But I was okay. I was more than okay.

Sometimes you just have to let the petrol light hit empty before you realise that.



Katie said...

I found this especially funny because I noticed how low I was on the way to work and am just hoping to make it around the bend to the gas station! :)

Hey Monkey Butt said...

I found with all of that worry, there was a good message to be found. I've also found myself, realllly low on gas a few times. It's so stressful, but you're right. It's not the end of the world.

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