Saturday, March 24, 2012

Going Nowhere Fast

As I've been driving around lately, I notice alot of people in a big hurry.

I'm fortunate to not have to do much driving on interstate highways anymore, so my daily travels take me mostly through residential neighborhoods, business areas, country roads & two-lane highways.

As I'm driving along, at or around the speed limit, a car will suddenly come zipping up behind me, tailgate me only until the driver can pass me & continue hurrying along.  Sometimes I get passed where it's legal, other times - where it's not.  And if I happen to be on a stretch of road with a travel lane & passing lane - I'm almost always in the travel lane getting passed. 

Funny thing happens though...a 1/4 or 1/2 mile up the road, I often find myself at a stoplight, behind the car that passed me.  We get to the same place at the same time.  It's in the getting there that we have very different experiences.

And I know this, because I used to be that driver always in a hurry.  Cruising along, pulling up behind that car going "too slow".  So I imagine the inner dialog of the driver behind me going something like this:

"Are you kidding me?!? Is she really going to drive this slow?  Does she know that she's in my way?!  Doe she have any idea how crazy this makes me?!?  This is ridiculous! She should get out of  my way.  She is totally pissing me off!"...and so on, until the driver can pass me....and then get stuck at a red light or behind another car.

Meanwhile, I'm driving along, enjoying myself.  Taking in the scenery, the weather, enjoying my drive as much as I can.  I'm not trying to agitate anyone.

The other driver does that all by himself (or herself).  In the moment that driver comes up behind me, he has a slow down & enjoy the ride.  Or succumb to frustration, anger & animosity.  No one is doing anything to him.  He's all on his own.  And in those moments of frustration & anger - there's no joy.

We're on the same road...we even arrive at the same place at almost the same time. But our journeys are very different.

And really, it's a metaphor for life, right?  Who is really doing what to you?  Who is really responsible for making you angry?  Who is really responsible for for making you frustrated?  Most of the's just you.  Not anyone else.  We're all on a journey - it's a choice.  What do you want your jourey to be like?

You have that choice.  To keep rushing along, pissed off at everyone who "gets in your way", passing them as you go.  Missing out on the scenery.  Missing out on joy.

Or you can slow down & enjoy the ride.  Practice breathing & staying calm when you find someone (or something) blocking your way.  Finding joy whenever & wherever you can.

And either way - I'll see you at the stoplight.

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