Today I got up early and went to meet a friend of mine on the other side of town. He was in town from Michigan (where I grew up). When I got on the highway I was suddenly trapped in grid locked traffic. Since I had nothing else to do, I was watching the other cars as they weaved themselves in and out of lanes trying to find the best lane to get ahead. In the end, no one really gets ahead, lanes stop as suddenly as they start moving and when you get in to the lane that is moving it stops and your previous lane starts.
This is a lot how people live their lives. It’s how I’ve tried to live, always trying to get ahead by changing my lane in life. For some reason it never seems to work. There have been many times when I have moved forward in life but it was because of moves that felt natural. At this point in my life I could change jobs and really be no more ahead than I am now but I would lose some of my vacation time.
Heavy traffic brings out the worst in people. It brings out frustration and anxiety. Why? Because people are so worried about getting to their destination and what they can attempt to improve their situation instead of enjoying the situation. You may call me crazy, but I’ve had times when I’ve enjoyed my time stuck in traffic.
No, I don’t enjoy sitting on the highway but you can always make the best of it. Today I watched the other cars and enjoyed the beautiful blue sky, the palm trees and my city. Years ago, as a truck driver, I cleaned out my truck while dead stopped on a highway for two hours. I once was traveling with a girlfriend and we were stopped on a highway for an hour without moving. We chatted with other motorists and played soccer with some people in the median.
One of the most calming things, to me, is driving in a snow storm. You cannot change it, so you have to slow down and just accept that there’s a snow storm. No one ever expected me to be on time in a snow storm so there was no hurry. Once I stopped and had a nice dinner because the snow was slowing me down and it had gotten so late that I was hungry.
These are some extreme examples. Today, I was held up for about 15 minutes, but these 15 minutes I gave to myself to enjoy rather than stress out about. I did change lanes once but that was because the right lanes were blocked off due to a truck losing his load of wood planks. To be honest, I’d rather be stuck in the traffic than causing the traffic jam myself. It’s as the old Monty Python song goes, “Always look on the bright side of life.”
Be well, be positive.