A few weeks back I was heading off to work. It was a beautiful morning and I had plenty of time so I decided to treat myself to some coffee and a pastry. That’s me the person who knows how to live large. I left the coffee shop feeling positive and relaxed. I drove towards the freeway entrance and looked into my rearview mirror to see a policeman on a motorcycle with his lights on. He waved me over to the gas station. I of course, first did the universal gesture for -“you want me to pull over?” Yes-he wanted me. Crud. I pulled into the gas station and he said almost apologetically “38 in a 25 zone”. I sighed and pulled out all the necessary documents and he went to write me my ticket.
I took my ticket and drove on to work. Then I do what people do when faced with such unfairness, I posted about it on Facebook. Of course, I then heard the place I got pulled over was a known speed trap and other friends had gotten caught there. There is something reassuring about knowing you aren’t the only one to do something like this. I looked at my ticket to see what my financial consequences would be and saw that apparently they copy everything from your driver’s license onto a ticket, so to add insult to injury there was my weight written on the ticket. This spawned a new set of Facebook posts and responses.
I finished my work at job location one and headed out to job location two returning via the same street where I had the morning mishap. I drove 25 the entire way. I was passed by four cars. Yup a speed trap. It would have been easy for me to get caught up in the injustice of being caught in a speed trap. It is going to cost me several hundred dollars when I pay the ticket and do traffic school. And I am bummed about that. But what I have been working on in the last year is keeping perspective. The money isn’t going to cause me to not have food on the table or pay my utility bill. An oversimplification perhaps, but it is only money. As I hit middle age I have seen more and more people experience losses that are breathtakingly difficult it has helped me to put my own life in perspective. At the end of the day what really matters are the people you love.
It may all seem a little clichéd but the lesson here is to try and take the cards you are dealt as gracefully as possible because many people would rather have your problem rather than the one they are facing. And you should always be aware of the posted speed limit.