Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to be going smoothly until it suddenly isn't? Well, that's how our day turned out a few weeks ago when my husband and I were visiting friends in the US.
We meticulously planned our day, as we had to drive from Weathersfield, CT, to Boston, ensuring we'd catch our flight to Bend, Oregon. It would be a long day of travelling.
By 10 am, we were packed. By 10:45 am, we were on our way to Boston, and we made sure we had an extra hour on the road, in case we ran into heavy traffic.
However, instead of heavy traffic, we ran into a day of unexpected heavy snowfall.
Allow me to paint the picture for you. We were driving down a three-lane highway that was covered in white. The snow was melting from the vehicles' heat, creating a thick layer of slush, and the snowplows were just starting to make their way on the highway to clear the roads.
Our friend, who kindly offered to drive us to the airport with his wife, and for whom I am very grateful, was navigating the slushy roads like an ice-skater performer. It came as no surprise, though, since he is a professional driver.
He appeared confident driving, one hand on the steering wheel, the other comfortably resting on the armrest while he changed lanes when necessary.
Everything seemed to be under control until he went over a bumpy slushy part between lanes and he hit the brakes. In an instant, we were sliding all over the highway like ice skates without blades.
The situation was out of our control.
All four of us, eyes wide open, hands clutched on our seats, watched the car slide from the middle to the left lane, then make a 90-degree turn, and we were heading right on the uphill middle section dividing the highway. Flashes from my past accident were rushing through my mind.
My anxiety kicked in!
The car came close to flipping to the right side, and we were seriously concerned at this point. Miraculously, the car didn't flip. Instead, it slowed down and eventually made a smooth stop at the side of the road. Fortune favoured us that day.
We survived—no injuries, no disaster.
Fast forward to the aftermath.
Where did things go wrong?
My AHA moment was when I got out of the car. Fortunately, I was still standing, and instinctively, I looked at the tires. It was the first thing I did. Those tires were not safe even for summer days, let alone rainy and snowy weather conditions. It was terrifying to make that realization.
This incident turned into a contemplative moment. It wasn't just about the snow and the unpredictable weather; it was a wake-up call to take action and control the steering wheel of our lives to head in the desired direction.
Just like in life, success doesn’t come down like heavy snowflakes. More often than we want, we get hit with challenges that are out of our control. In our case, it was the unexpected change of weather. Sure, we can't control the weather. There is nothing we can do to stop the snow from falling like there is nothing we can do to stop life's challenges.
However, we can control how prepared we are by taking action! Maintaining a safe vehicle for all weather conditions is taking action.
Our safety should always be a priority.
Here's the takeaway: control isn't a one-time thing. It's a series of actions, where each action and choice we make will add more to our success story.
Your life is in your hands, and the road to success is paved with your choices.
Road safety is more than just traffic rules. It's a mindset. It's about looking out for ourselves and those we share the road with.