wake-up call

Three years ago, I made a really idiotic move that wrecked a rim and the fender on my car – I backed out of my garage in AZ, was at the wrong angle, and backed out scraping the side of my car up, not at any point thinking, “maybe I should stop backing up.” Thankfully, it was on my own property so no ticket ensued, but I did get hit with expensive insurance premium hikes since I opened a claim to fix my car (almost $2k of damage).
As of September 20th, the accident was due to fall off my insurance. Last week, I excitedly marked a task in my BlackBerry to call my insurance company on the 20th, to request a policy rewrite to get the lowered rates. Unfortunately, after another idiotic move this weekend, instead of calling my insurance up on the 20th to get lower rates – I’ll be making a court appearance instead and I know as a result, my rates are going to instead hike up even more.
I was on my way after volunteering at the DFL to my friend Dan’s new apartment, where several of us were gathering to help put some colorful paint up on the white walls. I had had a stressful shift at the League, then completely frazzled myself by taking a few wrong turn downtown (I HATE driving downtown). I was zoning out at one point to try and get my nerves back, completely focused on a traffic light down the street, when I looked to the right, saw the sign of the street I was suppose to be turning on, and realized I was missing my turn. I had a knee-jerk reaction to make the turn, realizing a moment too late that it was WAY too late to make it and I needed to just keep on straight. By the time I realized what I was doing, I jerked the wheel back, only to lose control and have my car drift, hit the curb, and run into a stop sign.
My air bags did not deploy, I didn’t even jolt from the impact or anything since I wasn’t going more than 20-25 MPH, but THANK GOD no one was on the corner and there was the sign there to stop me from going further and hitting some one’s parked car, or getting hung up in the wire surrounding the public parking lot on the other side of the sidewalk. The accident could have been MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH worse. I am incredibly lucky.
I got out of the car and a couple of people came over to ask if I was okay and if I had anyone to call to come help me. I was only a few blocks from my destination, so thankfully Dan was able to drive over and help get the car sorted, while I talked to the cops and to my insurance company. (A firetruck stopped by within minutes as well, I guess someone called it in as an injury accident, but thankfully I was able to demonstrate I was totally fine so an ambulance didn’t come.)
Before I could drive my car, the front tire had to be changed, it looked like it could have been blown out and the cops said not to drive on it. I have towing built into my auto-coverage, but since it was a weekend, my only option was to have it put in a tow yard until Monday. No, thanks. I took my chances with the spare tire.
This is the scene of my accident. I feel so terrible. The sidewalk is now closed, probably since proper sign-age is not in place anymore. (Though, a temporary stop sign is put up just out of sight of the picture to the left.)

I drove by there this morning, on the way back to Dan’s to complete some moving. (I definitely owed a helping-hand, since he so kindly changed my tire yesterday in the sun.) Also, a huge thanks to April and Jeremy who helped caravan my car home last night to ensure nothing worse happened.
So, yet another tough life lesson learned. I need to get my head screwed on tighter and start being better about calming down and staying focused. I’m just so thankful I, nor anyone or anything else, was hurt as a result. And, all of the cops who came on scene were really very pleasant; I was told the DA should slash my offense from a 4-point careless driving ticket. since my record is absolutely clean and it was relatively minor, down to some sort of 2-point offense.
I’m definitely very shaken from this event and realize I need to view this as a wake-up call in life. Some thing’s gotta give – I need to start taking better care of myself: better rest, better nutrition, more activity, more time to myself and to regroup.
My dad is coming over in the morning to follow me to the auto-body shop and to take me over to the rental place so I can get myself all squared away. I’ll be very curious to hear the extent of the repairs and hopefully it won’t be TOO much. Even though I just pay my deductible, I still don’t want a huge bill since I’ll be seeing it in my premium.
Three weeks until my mom and my’s vacation to Finland!!!! I simply hope I can stay sane and together until then :).

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