I watched my life flash before my eyes.
I mean I had plenty of time to re-play the whole thing in real time if I had really wanted to. I hadn’t moved from my sorry little spot of asphalt in 20 minutes. I had studied my surroundings several times over in an effort to distract myself from the clock in my car that began to eat away at my lunch hour…and then as I continued to practice patience started to gobble up my leave time. Again.
I guess that’s just life when you live in the land of the freeway and the home of the brake, where the clock always reminds you that you should have left for wherever you are headed 15 minutes ago and your GPS always tries to offer multiple routes to get you to where you need to be.
On this lovely summer afternoon, as the sun baked me to perfection on only one side of my body, my GPS tried to be especially helpful by offering me two ways to get to my job 47 miles away. The helpful little navigator chirped a cheerful beep and asked me if I would prefer to drive or walk to my destination.
‘Walk?’ I thought… ‘Surely this is a mistake.’
The mistake grew more and more plausible by the moment, especially after I calculated that I had traveled an impressive 0.2 miles in twelve minutes. I must confess…for just a moment I thought about trying to find a parking space somewhere and finishing the journey on foot.
While this is at the very least a weekly occurance for me I’m sure we are all going to run into congested chaos on the roads this summer. We are all going to encounter those mysterious traffic jams that leave us wondering long after we’ve moved on what the problem was. You know the ones I’m talking about… Where you’ve been waiting in traffic and then suddenly pass a point in the road where everyone discovers the gas pedal again and the speed nearly instantaneously matches the suggestion posted on the little white signs near the side of the road.
We are all going to be trapped, at least momentarily, behind a vehicle that wants to travel at a speed where the driver is able to admire every leaf on every tree, and every reflective marker painted on the road.
We are all going to find ourselves playing traffic leapfrog, cursing our very helpful, math loving (recalculating) GPS systems, and turning up the radio and singing at the top of our lungs into the steering wheel. We are all at some point going to be stuck when all we want to do is keep moving forward.
The best advice I can give as a daily commuter and an expert in traffic congestion is to breathe and make the time count as best you can. I’ll admit, this might be easy for the first ten minutes but as the time wears on it will get harder and harder. You can do it. Listen to the radio, have a conversation, think out things that might be bothering you, listen to an audiobook or podcast, have a singing competition. If all else fails, get an idea for and begin writing a blog post.
Just remember…we’re all in this together.
Anyways, I have to go. I probably should have left 15 minutes ago…