A random act of kindness…
I got pulled over on Friday by the police, I had the boys in the car and was doing my best to get into town to collect a school book for Charli that she needed Monday.
I was on deadline for the paper but couldn’t get a hold of Rory, he’d been working in Colac and the original plan was that he’d collect the book and Charli.
I only had an hour to get my work sent off in time; I’ve been working one day from home and in order for the set-up to be viable for the paper, I have to get my stories in by Friday.
I realised on the way in that I wouldn’t be able to do everything: there was no way I could finish my work, get Charli’s book then double back and collect her from netball in time.
Something had to give so I decided I’d send my last two stories once I was home.
I was thinking about Maddock whose going into surgery tomorrow for his tonsils, and what time the bookstore closes and how I’m expected to do three things at once when I realised I’d entered an 80-kilometer zone.
At the same time, I noticed I was still closer to 100, so began slowing down and only then did I notice the sirens behind me.
They’d been trying to pull me over for a while but I had been so busy trying to get in touch with Rory, fretting about my deadline and how it was physically possible for me to be everywhere at once, that I didn’t notice.
I pulled over and readied myself to lose my license or at the very least get a hefty fine, a fine that would make all the work and all the running around I’d done for the week void.
She approached my window and said, “Jessica do you know why I’ve pulled you over?”
She breathalyzed me and then looked at me and asked where I was going and I just looked back at her teary. I said I was trying to get to Campion before it closed to get a book for my stepdaughter and then get to her netball.
At that stage I was just sad, I was sad about the expectations that fall upon my shoulders some times. I said I was sorry.
She said hello to the boys, and then she leaned into my car and rubbed my arm.
She said, “I’m not going to give you a ticket today Jess, you look like a very stressed out mum. But I am going to ask you to slow down. You’ve got two little ones in the back, so we’re going to go but I want you to stay here and take a few deep breaths.”
And she rubbed my shoulder once more and they got back in the car and drove off, and I sat there and cried for a little bit.
I got to the book store and to netball and then home and finished my story and cooked dinner for the kids and thought about how kind this police officer had been to me.
I don’t condone speeding and was ashamed I hadn’t noticed the signs.
But she chose to have compassion for me and I am forever grateful that she understood what it’s like, to juggle so many balls in the air.
And as a stepparent, balls that are often not acknowledged or appreciated by most parties but expected all the same.
We take on so many roles, and spread ourselves so thin, that mistakes are inevitable.
You end up dropping the ball, and in this instance, I’m lucky to have not got in an accident or lost my license or worst still, hurt my boys or someone else.
So, I’m going to take the kind ladies advice and just breathe.
And if you’re in a similar boat, trying to do everything at once, burning the candle at both ends, I understand.
Friday reminded me that we can’t be expected to do everything all the time, but we can’t blame anyone else but ourselves for the load we carry.
If people don’t appreciate what you do, stop doing it; be present when you’re driving with your kids in the car, or driving full stop.
And remember it’s impossible to know the stressors or worries other people carry, and a random act of kindness and compassion, can make the world of difference to someone’s life.