Saturday, 14 January 2012

Snowbank: 1, Car: 0



Last night as I was coming home from my gaming group, I had to traverse one of the more annoying features of a Canadian winter: the unplowed side street.

We had about a foot of snow on the road, with actual drifts and everything, when I arrived but I naively thought: surely the snowplows will come while we’re here.  Especially since the road in question has some nice ditches on either side and with the snow the way it was, it was impossible to tell where exactly those edges were.

So I had a great evening but when we finished up, I peer outside and see the road looks exactly like it did when I came. 

Uh-oh.

Still, I reinforce my courage and self-confidence.  I remind myself this will likely be the worst part of the trip home, the main roads had been plowed and the highway is almost always drivable.  If I stick to the ruts other cars have made and don’t slow down too much, I should be able to get through.

I was almost right.

I got stuck about a hundred metres up the road, within sight of the plowed main road.  I tried going backwards to get another run at it.  No movement.  I tried going forward.  No movement.  Walked around the car to see if I could spot something obvious.  Knocked some of the snow away from in front of the tires.  Tried moving it again.

Nothing.

Luckily my friends were still at the house, so I called them and they came out to give me a push through.  It took a little maneuvering but eventually they got me moving again.  Thank you, guys.

Now, I have to give myself credit.  A year ago, I would have been utterly humiliated and on the point of tears at having gotten stuck.  I would have been convinced that I had made a mistake and that everyone would be upset at me and thinking I was stupid.  But I’m getting better at recognizing that life isn’t a video game.  I.e.  There isn’t always a path to the next level.

In games, there’s a path.  It’s not always obvious, but if you do the right steps, you proceed.  In life, you can do all the best possible steps and still fail.  That’s not your fault.  Sometimes the task really is impossible for you to do.  It’s making the effort which is important.

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