Ever driven somewhere and noticed that you seem to be hitting the red lights on every intersection along the way?
How soon after you first notice it, do you start feeling the seedlings of frustration sprout within you?
How long is it before your frustration is already a happy sapling?
And then how soon after that is it such a mighty oak that you are spewing vocabulary that would make a sailor look like a priest?
Good questions all. But the most important question is this:
How many times has a red light changed to green because of the anger (rage?) you displayed?
I was driving home the other day and of the 25+ traffic lights I encountered, every single one I encountered was…. wait for it …… green! I literally cannot remember the last time I had that happen and I will not lie, I loved it. I loved everything about it – not having to change pedals from gas to brake and back again, enjoying a non-stop ride as if I was sailing on a calm sea and getting to my destination before time – all made for a pretty enjoyable drive.
As soon as I realized that I was hitting all greens (on about the 9th intersection) I knew that I will likely hit all greens until I get home. Just that anticipation made me feel like a queen and in my perceived state of royalty, I started to wonder why I couldn’t hit all greens all the time, every time I drove. Yup, I got greedy. I had also become unrealistic (I mean what kind of odds was I espousing?).
Within minutes I forgot all about the smooth sailing I was enjoying just a few minutes prior and found a subtle frustration eroding my drive. It was only when I got home and realized I was semi-fuming for no obvious reason that a few life lessons dawned on me.
(A) I had just squandered away the better part of a rare experience.
(B) I had literally created for myself, a frustration out of something that was going my way.
(C) I had become so ‘comfortable’ in my all green light experience I forgot all my regular safe driving protocols, speeding all the way home – neither safe nor savvy and until that day, so not me.
As soon as I realized the above, I realized how very important those red lights would have been to my own safety, the safety of others and to my ability to exercise tolerance. Suddenly, I came to regret not having a few red lights along the way because it dawned on me that they share a bigger purpose than just controlling traffic. They are a tool for self-discipline. So, whether on the road or the journey of life, I have come to regard red lights as a pause that serve me rather than hinder my style and now, I love those red lights!
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