My crazy work schedule requires me to be at work at 3:00am every other Friday morning (which is like Thursday night for me). A couple of days ago I was leaving for work just barely on time at 2:40 in the morning when I found myself stuck at the end of my driveway. Shit!
I live in Michigan; we’ve gotten a lot of snow this winter.
That night, though, we had only gotten a dusting, maybe an inch, maybe a little less. Surely not enough to have to worry about the roads being bad or getting stuck.
And, really, this should not have happened. It was a combination of heavy wet snow pushed into my drive by the plows and bad timing.
I am the queen of bad timing…
Bad timing & bad luck follow me like evil twin shadows (except they don’t go away when the sun stops shining which is a lot during the winter in Michigan).
When I backed out of my drive at 2:40 in the morning I hesitated. I slowed down at the exact point that I should have given it a little gas & gunned the stupid car (minivan actually) through that four inches of squishy wet snow and into the street. I knew this but I didn’t do it and I found myself not moving. The vehicle’s back half was in the street but the front was in the driveway refusing to budge.
I tried all the old standbys: rocking back & forth, turning the wheels, shoveling snow out from under the tires and trying again. No dice.
The wheels were spinning but I was not going anywhere.
I needed a push. All it would take is one body leaning into the front of the van while another put it in reverse and pressed the gas petal. And therein lay the problem….. I needed another person.
Moments like this bring how alone I am into acute focus. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always aware of my state of aloneness but most the time it’s like the TV left on for background noise; it’s there but you don’t even notice it, it’s just part of the hum of daily life.
At three in the morning, when you’re stuck in your drive way and you know you could get out if you just had a little help, you notice it. You feel just exactly how alone you are. The loneliness is unignorable.
There is no one in your big empty house to wake for help, no neighbors you know well enough to knock on their doors in the middle of the night for anything less than a life or death emergency, no family who would have to drive less than an hour to give you a push.
You are no one’s primary person. There is no other adult on Team You.
Part of this is my own fault. I chose to file for divorce (a choice I don’t regret). I let this crappy parenting time schedule happen (a choice I didn’t realize the implications of at the time and DO regret). I isolate myself (I haven’t even told my best friend or my mom that my divorce was finalized a week ago). I don’t reach out or take opportunities to meet new people and foster friendships. Yeah, I get it.
Life should come with one of those emergency pull chains that they have in bathrooms at hospitals & doctor’s office. Or a button you can push to tell someone when you need help….and an instant emergency support person who can show up to give you the help you need whether it be someone to listen to you and give you a genuine “Poor baby!” (Which we all really need once in a while.) or someone to give you a push when you’re stuck at the end of your snowy driveway at three in the morning.
I did eventually get unstuck and get to work (only half an hour late) this past Thursday night (Friday morning for all you people on regular schedules). A friend who lives two hours away happened to text me. I told him my predicament. He suggested putting kitty litter down by the tires. It worked like a charm and within minutes I was on my way to work.
I guess sometimes we have to find our own way out of trouble and pull our selves up by our own boot straps so to speak….with a little help from unexpected places.