Life Lesson: Don't stress a guess

6:38 AM

Yesterday I learned a great life lesson and I thought I'd share.

I don't usually text and drive. No, I never text and drive. I'm that person that aggressively tells the driver to drop their phone if they pick it up and begin reading. Very, very anti-drive-texting. But for some reason when I heard my phone buzz beside me on the passenger seat I really thought I should read it.

I was driving home from work (45 minutes from St. Thomas to North London) and it's not uncommon for Cal to write something like "Hey pick up diapers on the way home" or "We're out of honey" or "The kids and I are still at my parents' house, meet us here instead". So when I came to a stop at a red light that I know always takes forever I quickly scanned what it said.

"You're so not gunna want to come home." From Calvin Harrison.

What kind of a text is that?! 

Instantly my heart was racing and my mind was going a mile a minute. I'm so not gunna want to come home? To my own house and my own family, after having been gone for work since 6:45am? What possible reason could there be?

Unfortunately, due to my stance on drive-texting, I didn't choose to engage in a conversation. I put the phone down, looked back up at the red light and let myself drift into a state of utter panic.

My first ten thoughts (and I assure you, there were thousands) were as follows:
1. I've done something really terrible and he's telling me an argument is coming.
2. One of our children is hurt and when I find out I'm going to be heartbroken.
3. He has been in a car accident and either the car is really destroyed, or he is.
4. There's been a fire.
5. Oliver has some how injured Dakota and he doesn't know what to do about it.
6. He's forgotten to pick up groceries and we have to eat popcorn and green tea for dinner.
7. Another flat tire.
8. Our builder has tried to pave our drive way and something got really messed up.
9. We got mail that delivered really bad news like a huge hike in prices of some sort.
10. Job loss.

No matter how much I rationalized, all that could get me home in one piece was deep breathing. I literally braced myself for what horror would meet me at home. As I parked the car in the drive way I scanned our other car for issues (none) and even checked the house for fire damage. I quickly pulled up my Facebook messages to see if there were any clues there. Nothing. 

Then suddenly I remembered something I'd said to Cal earlier in the week.

He had been sitting watching TV and noticed a huge line across the screen.

"Oh my gosh, Oliver must have scratched the tv screen. This SUCKS." He said, and he started brainstorming how he could fix or replace the tv. Just like mine, his brain was racing. He was visibly stressed out. 

I calmly asked, "Did you check if it's actually a scratch, or is that just your best guess?"
"Well, I didn't actually..." He started.
"Don't stress a guess." I told him.

Within a few seconds I'd grabbed some screen cleaner and a cloth and started wiping the tv down. Luckily, the big mark was just dark crayon (Life tip: If you ever want to fake a tv scratch, dark crayon looks PERFECT.). It came off clean and Cal was relieved.

It just doesn't make sense to waste your time, effort, energy, emotions, hormones, on something that isn't even confirmed. He didn't even know if it was truly a scratch and already he was allowing himself to feel the panic as though it surely was.

And I walked into the house, that day, unsure what his text could have meant, but remembering that all of the possibilities that were freaking me out were just GUESSES. That's all they were. And I couldn't stress a guess.

I unlocked the door, dropped my coat and bag, and slipped my shoes off. Looking down the hall I called out to Cal: "Why am I not gunna want to come home?" 

What had I done wrong? What had gone wrong? Who was hurt? What would cost us money?

He appeared around the corner and laughed,
"Oh remember all that laundry you folded? Oliver totally messed some of it up. I thought that would tick you off. Ha ha."

Imagine that, I'd spent 25 minutes of my drive deep breathing myself out of an anxiety attack over 4 shirts that I'd need to refold....

Don't stress a guess!

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