The other day I was feeling a bit out of sorts… so I drove the kids to one of our favourite beaches by the river. We had ice-creams and I let them mess around in the sand.
Two wonderful hours passed, and I felt incredibly relaxed.
But when we returned to the car, I found this little piece of paper stuck under my windscreen wiper.
A parking fine.
I had been fined for parking in a non-parking zone. I couldn’t believe it!
I was stunned, because this doesn’t usually happen to me. In fact, it NEVER happens to me! I am careful and considerate! I am a good member of the community! I don’t *do* parking fines.
I looked around, and saw that my car was – not only – parked on top of big yellow letters saying “DON’T PARK HERE!!”, but there was also a huge sign in front of the car which basically said “KAREN! DON’T PARK HERE, OR YOU’LL GET A FINE!!!!”
I looked around in disbelief. I was sure that those signs were NOT THERE when I parked the car. In fact, I was absolutely confident they weren’t there.
So I was left with two possible explanations.
1. I parked my car in a proper parking bay, and while I was away, someone broke into my car, moved it to the illegal spot, and then carefully locked the car up again – without stealing anything, damaging the locks, or adjusting the driver’s seat. Probably, this would be done by the parking inspector, to make more money.
2. Distracted by the bickering kids and frantic to get them to the river, I just didn’t notice all the warning signs – possibly because I was a bit stressed and anxious. So instead of parking my car in one of the dozens of free parking bays for cars, yes, I parked illegally.
When I got home, I told my husband my story of stupidity. And how I was stressed and upset about being stressed and upset.
He gave me a hug, and said “It’s okay honey, it’s just money. You didn’t crash the car, you just parked it in the wrong place.”
So now, I have accepted that I am a bit stressed, and I am carefully checking every thing I do, every where I go.
For example, now I don’t just COUNT how many kids I have with me in the car when I leave the shops…
I look at them carefully to see if I actually gave birth to them. Very important!