Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Importance of Gut Responses

When I fell asleep Friday night, the streets outside my home had a very light dusting of snow after an afternoon and evening of rain. The forecast for my area had been for 4-5" of snow, and I was so relieved that it hadn't materialized. I had a mandatory meeting scheduled for Saturday afternoon, and I knew that snow would make my getting there extremely difficult. But the snowfall hadn't come, and I went to bed feeling optimistic about the next day's (yesterday's) plans.

I awoke Saturday (yesterday) morning to about 5" of snow on the ground, with heavy snow still falling. So much for the snow not materializing, right? I emailed the meeting coordinator and asked him to text me if the meeting was cancelled and then ventured out to shovel the already-accumulated snow off the front porch and walk. That done, I knitted and pondered the logistics of the 25-minute drive I would be making. Historically, the streets in my planned community are not plowed until day 2 (maybe even later) after a snowfall. Making things even more difficult is that our garages are behind our homes, and they open onto alleys that separate back-door neighbors and parallel the streets in front of the houses. The alleys have been plowed only once in the three years I've lived here and become very difficult to travel. On top of that, I drive a Prius. It sits low to the ground (difficult to get through deep snow) and is light and slides on everything.

The snow kept falling . . . and falling . . . and falling, eventually stopping at about an 8" accumulation. Fifty minutes before the scheduled meeting, I reluctantly pulled on my snow boots and headed out to the garage. The snow was by then about 7 or 8" deep. Long story short, I maneuvered out of my driveway, plowed through the snow in the alley, and turned onto my street. People had been out and about in my community, so I drove through the packed--down ruts they had created until I got to more major roads. They had obviously been plowed, but freshly-fallen snow had partially filled in where the plows had cleared, so the roads were still snowy, and I drove slowly and cautiously. The 25-minute drive took 40, and just before I arrived at the meeting site, I received a phone call telling me it had been postponed. Yes, postponed. Only 20 minutes or so before the meeting was to start, it was postponed.

I've heard more than a few times that a person's gut response to something unexpected provides enormous insight into their personality. With that in mind, take what you will from my gut reaction to the news -- provided just 20 minutes before a scheduled event that, in order to get to, I had, with a death-grip on the steering wheel, driven for 40 minutes over slippery streets among sliding drivers in a car that is notorious for sliding on almost anything.

"What?! I fixed my hair and put on make-up!"

Yes, that was my gut response, and it was a strong one. One version or another ran through my head throughout my entire 40-minute trip back home. Did I fret or fuss about the difficulty of plowing through the deep snow in the alley? Or about navigating the slippery roads for almost 90 minutes? No. Not at all. Those issues didn't even cross my mind, to tell you the truth.Dec2013snow

 

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