A lesson in stress management

Brandon D. Wilson
5 min readJul 26

Last week was a bit stressful for me. I had a friend visiting from out of town, and I let him use my car to attend multiple days of flight training. I’ll make a long story short — Wednesday morning, he had an accident with my vehicle. It was dark. He was driving in an unfamiliar area. He was sleep-deprived and not feeling well. He ran afoul of a curb, which caused damage to the driver-side tire, rim, and bumper. The visible damage is relatively minor, but hidden damage either behind the wheel or under the car rendered it undrivable.

Damage to rim and tire
Damage to bumper

I was working at home, attending client meetings, and preparing to deliver a training class when my friend called me to give me the news. I immediately contacted my insurance company to open a claim and coordinate a tow truck to take the car to a repair shop. This is the first time I have filed a claim with my auto insurance. The insurance covered the tow but not a rental car. My friend was stuck on the other side of town and had to get a rental car. I was waiting to see how long he would be in town to complete his flight training. I eventually got a rental car for this week while I wait for the assessment of repairs.

In the past, I would not have reacted well to this situation. I would have been angry at my friend for creating this situation. I probably would have blamed him regardless of the circumstances. I had to cancel appointments and use Uber to get around. He returned home, and I’m still dealing with rental cars and the aftermath of repairs. No good deed goes unpunished! But what good is any of that thinking? Accidents happen. It could have been a lot worse in the grand scheme of things.

You might be thinking, what’s so stressful about this situation? It’s a fender-bender with minor repairs, and I wasn’t involved. Well, it’s all a matter of perspective. I have crafted a life that is generally planned and predictable. An unplanned deviation like this pushes me out of my comfort zone. I decided to use it as a lesson and learn from the experience.

My lessons from a stressful situation:

  • Accentuate the positive — No one was hurt. Damage was only to…
Brandon D. Wilson