Pump Your Gas: My Self-Inflicted Stress Story

Young black woman leaned on a chrome semi truck laughing blissfully.

I despise pumping gas. I don’t know what it is about this little mundane task but I hate it. Contrarily, I love the smell of gas. Yes I’m weird (this should not be news) so you’d think I would love the act… But I don’t.

A series of aggravating events made me understand the importance of doing those annoying mundane tasks you hate. My slap in the figurative face was the act of pumping gas.

Late Work Days are Lame

I was driving home from a late work day. Late work days are not my favorite. Most of the time they end well. However a few instances where being pretty, young and female made for some incredibly awkward and uncomfortable conversations. Needless to say, I rarely work late evenings if I can avoid it. But sometimes a late meeting gets snuck into my calendar.

So there is the background – you got me working a late night (which I’m not a total fan of) and my gas light comes on. A logical human would have said, “I’m driving home. Work day is over, let me just grab the gas while I have all the time in the world.” Me on the other hand, already desperate to get home and call it a night, opted to IGNORE it. Why put myself through the annoyance? I think to myself, “I hate pumping gas and I especially hate it at night (because once again) one too many weird interactions pumping gas alone at night.”

In a cloak of my own stubbornness and defiance, I ignore all the thoughts blaring in my head like a fire alarm saying to get the gas now, you fool, then go straight home.

Manic Morning

The next morning, I have to meet my manager at a warehouse location I have never been to. The evening before, while I was basking in my cloak of defiance and stubbornness, I also made the assumption that the warehouse was reasonably close. You know the age-old adage, ‘when you assume, you make an A** out of you and me’? Welp! As I plug the warehouse into my phone GPS, thinking I’m being so proactive, when lo and behold it is ninety minutes from my house. I look at the time in a panic and see it is an hour and thirty minutes from when my meeting is supposed to start. I have not bathed or even brushed my teeth yet. My frenzy begins. I frantically text my manager (who is the nicest guy ever). In this moment, that fact made me feel even worse. I think, “Fail – you can’t even be on time for the nicest manager ever. If he was a douche, I would be so less stressed right now. Oh dear, maybe I’m a douche for thinking that. Hey, I’m being honest here.”

Fast Showers and Slow Cars

I take the fastest shower I am capable of taking (10 minutes usually). I know I have not mastered the 5-minutes-or-less shower, yet. Mad dash around my bedroom and get out the door in 24 minutes. I get on the road and get stuck in school bus traffic. There is nothing more annoying than hitting school bus traffic while in a rush. In that very moment, I wished I could teleport the buses and the kids to their destination and out of my darn way.

For any of you who know cars, traffic is terrible for your gas tank. In that very moment, the evil gas light that I had forgotten about in a frantic morning fog, shined so bright I legitimately yelped in exasperation. There was no way I was making it to this meeting without pumping my gas. Another delay on top of all the delays that were already occurring officially made this a bad morning. Thankfully, I spot a gas station a few miles up and I swerve in and pump my gas.

Sooooo… about that Gas

The gas pumping actually gave me five full minutes to calm down and really reflect on the mornings events. Each and every bit of stress that I was feeling was my own damn fault. How often do we avoid necessary little things we find to be a nuisance, resulting in an avalanche of issues stemming from our poor choices.

Blissers, we need to re-evaluate amidst a super stressful situation, how much of that situation was caused by you? We often, in the heat of it, deflect and blame the universe, the world, the stupid school bus, the crappy car, the stupid traffic, the bad drivers, but honestly, we are at the root of our own stress 92% of the time. (It is probably 100%, but I will give us all an 8% benefit of doubt). Then all that stress turns into anxiety or anger and we take that negative energy and hurl it at the next person we feel is an easy target.

Adulting 101

Let me be the one to be blunt with you; you are sucking at adulting if this is a regular occurence in your life. In the moment, take a second, breathe and evaluate where you ignored, came up with an excuse or avoided a task that needed to get done that led you to this moment. I guarantee there is at least one, I’ll bet even two. Take ownership of that and relax. You did this to yourself and the best thing about being aware of your own actions is you can easily make a change.

Let’s all be adults, own our shortcomings, and Decide Bliss.

Managing Editor at Decide Bliss
Badiana is a business women, yogi and writer from Massachusetts. She is known to be a bubbly optimist, but few know she is actually quite introverted. The things she loves most in life are family, friends, nature, her spirituality and her unending quest to harness more joy in her own life as well as helping others to do the same.
Badiana on Instagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *