Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 7/30/2018: A LOUD BANG, unexpected events in life!



This was not the blog I had prepared for today, nope, that was about the importance of taking a vacation.  Instead, I’m sharing an experience I had on Saturday morning.

I’ve been on a mission this year to “be brave.”  To push me when I’m feeling insecure, I’ve hired a coach and I’ve interviewed lots of them on my Wine and Dime Podcast:

I love my coaches!  Similar to why you all hire me, they ask questions and talk me through building solutions.  They’ve helped me in my own personal life too.  I really realized that on Saturday night after a particularly wild day that I was thankful I lived through. 
Let me explain, Saturday morning was beautiful, I enjoyed a cup of coffee on our porch watching the moon set as the sun was rising.  I was scheduled to take the NY State Insurance Consultant exam in Rochester.  I did some last-minute review, got around as normal and headed out.
I was between Canisteo and Hornell on route 36 and I heard a very loud bang, it made me duck my head and then the vehicle went out of control.  I was using both lanes and struggling to keep control.  It’s a little bit of a blur, but I was able to get to the side of the road and eventually pealed my fingers off the steering wheel and took a breath.
I thought a tire had blown.  No problem, I thought, I have AAA and they can come fix it for me, I had left lots of travel time, as you never know what might happen.  Well, when I got out of the vehicle to verify, I was stunned. The tire was not flat, but it was basically folded under the vehicle.    I was stunned (I’m still stunned) and began to feel rattled.  What would my coach say, “you’ve got this!  You are prepared.”  Yes, I was prepared, I pulled out the checklist I keep in the glove box:

  • Call emergency contact – “Brent, I’m stranded on the side of the road, I have no idea what happened, but the car isn’t drivable.  The tire doesn’t seem to be attached.”  Can you imagine getting that phone call?
  • Call AAA – the representative was awesome.  She was calm, she calmed me, she asked questions to get me assistance, she asked if I was injured, did I need any help, was someone able to get me home.  She kept telling me, “you’re doing great.” 
  • The company that towed my vehicle was awesome.  When the driver arrived he was professional, considerate, understanding, and very patient with me.  T&R Towing is the way to go in my book, although I sincerely hope to never have to visit with them in this way again.   When he came back to determine the situation, I could see the look on his face, I said, “pretty bad?”  He said in a very calm voice, “you are VERY lucky.  You must have made ALL the right moves.” He stressed VERY and ALL.  That’s when it hit me, if someone had been passing me or behind me, this could have caused a major accident.  If I had been in Rochester on 390 or 590, this could have been a multi-car accident. 
  • Call the insurance company to file a claim.   No one was injured, but there was definite damage to the vehicle and it all happened so quickly. I felt like an idiot when they were asking me questions about the situation.  You know the “shaken, not stirred” comment, well I was both.  Our agent was awesome!  It was a Saturday and he called me back after I left a message on the answering service, walked me though the steps I needed to take and told me to call him if I needed anything else.  Phew, so glad I work with a local agent!

After I got home, and all this sank in, I was trying to recall how I reacted during the “event.”  I simply don’t know.   How did I maintain control of the vehicle?  How did I get it over to the side of road?  How lucky was it that I had both hands on the wheel at that exact time of the event?  What could have happened?  I do believe my guardian angels were with me at that moment.
So now what?  I am okay, no one was hurt except the car, which is absolutely not drivable.   My goal was 250,000 miles, we almost made it to 200,000, I’m so disappointed. 
Now, I like car shopping as much as I like getting a tooth filled.  I love my 2009 Honda CRV, it is (was) comfortable.  It was paid for.  We had worked hard to maintain it, to not have a car loan.  As much as I want to be an agent for change, I don’t like big changes like that, especially unexpected ones.  Brent and I don’t make big financial decisions quickly, we’ve had to work way to hard for our money and we like time to think through the decision and run the numbers sixteen ways to Tuesday, so this was a scary event for both of us emotionally.  And, although we have our emergency fund, we don’t like to part with it.
After my nerves calmed down, we headed out to visit our favorite Honda salesperson, Dave Raymond.  We’ve been working with Dave since 1994, we don’t buy without talking to him because we trust him, but it was still a scary conversation for us.  Hmmm, is that how you all feel about us?  Words from my coaches kicked in – you’re not moving forward unless you feel uncomfortable. OK, so I’m moving forward then, but I’m still uncomfortable.
It was interesting as I sat in the first vehicle – it didn’t feel right, no this just wasn’t going to do.  I made every excuse in the book why that vehicle was not a good fit for me.  Of course it wasn’t – it was not my 2009 Glacier Blue Honda CRV that I wanted to get 50,000 more miles on.  I was struck by the emotion I felt about that first step to a new vehicle, knowing the result of this could have been so much worse. 
We sat in a few more vehicles and ironically I ended up coming back to the first one I sat in.  Dave had such patience, he knows I am not a fan of vehicle shopping.  He never once pushed me, which got me thinking, I hope this is how my clients feel too. 
It’s funny how life events can turn the mirror on yourself and really make you reflect.  I hope none of you have to go through anything like this, but if you do, please know that I am here to coach you through events like this in your life just like the great team that I had walking me through this event.  Special appreciation goes out to AAA, T and R Towing, The Ryan Agency, and Dave Raymond.  Without all of you working together with me, the day could have been so much worse!
Wishing you all safe travels!