I rounded the corner and there it was – traffic. Far as my eye could see in front of me there was traffic backed up. I grumble to myself.
Generally I have a great commute. It takes me about 12 minutes to get to work in the morning because I leave home shortly after 6:00 am and there is little traffic on the highway. My evening commute is somewhat longer, but generally not by much. Every now and then there is something that causes traffic to move slower and delay my arrival at home.
Today, my first instinct as I caught a glimpse of the backed up traffic was to become crabby and gripe about the slowdown. It was the end of my work-day and I wanted to get home! My radio was tuned to NPR as usual and I was half listening to the talk as I drove, somewhat preoccupied with tasks I had to do when I got home. The flurry of the day’s activities were still driving me just as they had all day. I had places to go and things to do.
Then, something shifted. I switched my radio over to a favorite satellite station and heard a Mozart melody come from the speakers. My breathing slowed as I listened to the crisp notes and soothing melody. I looked toward the traffic lined up beside me on the right and glimpsed a metallic blue PT Cruiser with the words “Just Married” printed on the back window. I could not help but smile.
In that moment I was transported away from a freeway on a summer afternoon to another day in spring when I married Gerry. I carried a bouquet of pink roses, white babies breath, and green ivy. I have some of that very ivy growing in my bathroom.
Then I thought of another bride – my daughter. It’s getting close to the date when she will celebrate her wedding anniversary. I can still picture her climbing out of our Chrysler Concorde wiping an odd tear from her eyes, as we arrived at the park where she was to be wed. A more beautiful bride I cannot imagine!
The point is that in the moment I made a choice to switch off the talk radio and turn on soothing classical music I changed my perspective. Sometimes all we need to do is take one deliberate action to change the course of a day. I had a choice: I could sit there complaining about the traffic or I could switch gears. In shifting from high gear to idle, I was able to enjoy a few moments of that made me smile, and I’ll bet reduced my blood pressure and maybe had a good effect on my cholesterol.