Last week I experienced my first tyre blow out. I whatsapped, citing it as a puncture to my social group, but no, even my male colleagues assured me that it was a more like a blowout!
So how did I get to a stage when my pretty sturdy and relatively new car got to that point?
Or more importantly, how did I get to the stage that I wasn’t even aware that I was running on thin treads?
A senior coaching client of mine has similarly been ‘skating on thin ice’. To summarise a complicated story, what she thought was a stable and certain career fell apart in front of her eyes and we have been valiantly navigating her options for the past few weeks.
Again, how did it happen? As she kept saying ‘I can’t understand how I got here?”
Similarly as I stood on the side of the road assessing my sorry tyre, I too wondered how in the world had I got here?
I think the human response is to attempt to attribute blame.
And to look for some rational explanation such as, my husband is responsible for most things ‘car’ in our household. Or, it’s because my stupid tyres took nitrogen and I could never find a place to fill them…
Truth is the warning signs were there.
I knew I hadn’t filled them up, let alone checked their tread in way too long. I’d also had an ‘intuition’, a gut response as I drove another long road trip that ‘something’ was up. That I was not driving in a good healthy state, in spite of my Discovery Drive programme and the many boxes they require you to tick (all for a wretched smoothie….)!
The same goes for our human psyche. The pressures of a 2017 lifestyle are subtle and creep up incrementally;
None of it happens suddenly. And the warning signs remain deceptively hidden.
But as we enter the last quarter of 2017, take stock of those tyres. Go and get a refill of air by explicitly planning ‘time out’.
Get someone to check the health of your treads by teaming up with a friend and seeking some honest feedback.
And check your alignment in your relationships with your kids, your boss and your significant other. These things take conscious effort and attention and are critical to preventing an unseen blow out. Take it from me, if I hadn’t been slowing down as I took an off ramp, that frightening bang may have been more like my careering off the road and the impact may have been far more eventful.