stop-sign-smallI’m trying to live a more mindful life. To stop and notice things. To be less judgmental, more accepting of my own humanness as well as that of others.

Really and truly I am.

I write about it here to help me be accountable. It’s a lesson that presents itself almost daily.

So earlier this week, I was in a hurry to make it to an appointment on time. I’d gotten a late start and traffic was a mess. Both added to my stress.

You’ve been there, right?

I got in the left hand turn lane, the one where it takes an arrow to allow you to turn. I was five cars back.

It took three lights for me to be able to make my turn.

Three lights!!!

Why?

Well my knee-jerk thought was that the person at the head of the line wasn’t paying attention. Wasn’t even looking. Maybe talking on the phone, or even worse – texting. Whatever was going on, this person sat through most of the turn light before even moving the car.

Then for the second go-round, the same thing happened.

“What are you doing up there,” I asked. “Get moving.”

They didn’t hear me.

And didn’t get moving.

Two cars made it through the first time, and two the second. Now I was at the head of the line.

I take this turn lane responsibility quite seriously. Just ask my husband who has heard my observations/rants often!

I sat poised at the light, vigilant. I wanted to get my car moving the moment the green arrow appeared. It’s my regular behavior in the left turn lane.

I know it makes me sound like a showoff.

Someone who thinks she’s better than everyone else. And that’s not what I’m going for.

I just want the traffic to flow smoothly and allow me to get through the darned light.

Of course, life doesn’t always work that way.

What I want isn’t usually at the top of someone else’s agenda.

What is in my control is how I react.

I can fuss and fume, which sometimes I do.

Or I can take a deep breath or two and spend the time noticing the world around me. The clouds or deep blue sky. The child in the car in front of me making faces throught the rear window. The music playing on the radio.

Sometimes I make that choice. It’s definitely happening with more frequency.

I do know this: when I don’t fuss and fume, I feel better – more relaxed. I arrive at my meeting or appointment much happier, less stressed, less harried.

And that’s how I want my life to be.

 

But I also know this: I’m happier when the traffic moves and I’m not sitting through three lights.

Like I said, I’m a work in progress when it comes to being mindful and non-judgmental. Funny how driving is such a good opportunity to practice.

How about you?

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