This post is by our guest blogger and A Little Peace of Mind graduate, Amie Joof.
Here Amie shares her story of change – you can find all the posts in this series here: https://alittlepeaceofmind.co.uk/amie
A few days ago my sister phoned me asking if I could have my niece as her boyfriend was called into work last minute and my sister also had work until 7pm. In the past this was something I completely avoided as the thought of being responsible for a one year old was just too much for me. However, I have my niece a lot now and I really, really enjoy it so I said yes to having her from lunch time until 7. It was raining all day, so me and Kaliss (my niece) was just spending time drawing, painting, watching endless amounts of CBeebies and reading books.
My friend phoned me asking if I’d drive to Islington with her as she’s never been before and didn’t want to go alone but she needed to go and pick a cage up. It was 45 minutes there and back. I thought, well at least it gets Kaliss out for a little bit as she absolutely loves a car ride, so I said sure, we’d come along.
Around 5pm my friend came and the three of us made our way there, Kaliss dancing to the radio in the back whilst throwing her juice cup on the floor and laughing every now and then.
We managed to get the cage so we decided to make our way home. It was around 6pm now and I was meeting my sister for 7pm, so I kept an eye on the time.
We were driving along, when out of nowhere a double decker bus came within inches of driving into my friend’s car, so thankfully her wisdom at the time told her to turn right quickly. However, doing so, there was a loud bang and her tyre had popped.
My friend is now in floods of tears, trying to pull over somewhere, worried about how the three of us are going to get home when we’re basically stranded. Kaliss was reading a crocodile book in the back and I’m pretty sure she was oblivious to the whole thing. I on the other hand, witnessed the whole thing, yet felt extremely calm and able to manage and cope with everything.
Five months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to look after my niece or leave my house to even go for a car ride, let alone deal with being stranded with a popped tyre and a one year old baby that I’m supposed to be responsible for.
Straight away wisdom kicked in. I comforted my friend, made sure she was pulled over safely and her hazard lights were on. I calmed her down and then saw to Kaliss (who was still completely oblivious). I then phoned my sister and explained the situation and explained I’d be bringing Kaliss home late etc and the first thing she said to me was “oh my goodness, are you all okay? Why aren’t you panicking, I’m so confused, are you sure you’re okay, you seem so fine about the whole thing” to which I laughed and reassured her I was absolutely fine. These things happen and we’re all okay, that’s the main thing right?
My friend was still pretty shaken up and upset, so I told her not to worry about anything. I’d sort everything. I took her phone and called her parents, explained everything. Her dad is a mechanic so he told me exactly what to do.
I got my flashlight and I managed to find the tyre number and size on the wheel. I phoned around about 5 different local recovery companies before finding the right one. I booked for them to come out. Then I thought, it’s about 7pm now, Kaliss has usually had dinner by now. So I got Kaliss out, put her into her pram and got google maps up on my phone. I told my friend I’d be back in 10 minutes. I followed the map on my phone to a highroad not too far from the car and I managed to find a food shop to get us all something to eat.
It was 7pm so it’s pretty dark already, I’m on a strange high road, taking care of things with my one year old baby niece, who even am I?!?
By the time I got back to the car I made sure everybody was fed and watered and okay. The man came to fix the tyre by 8 and we was then on our way home! My friend was so upset about the situation. I felt neutral, these things happen and Kaliss on the other hand was having the time of her life shouting hello to every single car that passed by whilst tucking into her nuggets.
Once I dropped Kaliss off and I got home, it hadn’t actually crossed my mind again. I laid back in the bath and my phone buzzed. It was my friend saying she couldn’t stop thinking about the whole thing and she was amazed with how I was so calm. I didn’t think too much of it until the next day my friend’s dad phoned me, thanking me so much for everything and saying he couldn’t believe how I handled things.
I was a little bit confused when people around me didn’t get why I was calm. I kept thinking to myself, why wouldn’t I be calm.. things that happen around me really don’t make me panic like that anymore because that’s not how it works! It’s inside out, not outside in! Then another thought came.. Ohhh, of course, not everyone knows that, that’s why sharing this understanding is SO important.
It’s amazing what we can do when we rely on wisdom over worries.
Above is a picture of me & Kaliss whilst the whole thing was going on – no idea who she’s copied with those pouting lips.. (sorry sister)