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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Traffic

Yesterday, sitting at a stop sign on a residential street less than a block from my house, I caught myself yelling at the other cars in the crossroad, admonishing them to hurry up. Less than five minutes from my house and I was already tense and impatient. I’ve lived in this city most of my life. In my late thirties I commuted an hour and a half each way, every day, for my job. So when I noticed myself all tensed up and angry, I realized that something was going to have to change.


One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in life, or rather, I’m still learning, is to simply accept things as they are. I may not have chosen to be where I am , to have come back to the big city, but having found myself here again, traffic is just one of the things that comes with the package. The trade off is all the wonderful things about this city that I love, the culture, the food, the museums and concerts. The good definitely outweighs the bad.

Since living my life intentionally and unhurried has become my manifesto, I concluded that in the future I have to have a different approach to driving and specifically to traffic. So here are my thoughts.

Leave early so that I am not in a hurry.
This one should be easy, since I detest being late to anything.

Realize that almost everyone else is in a hurry, or they are old, like me, and tend to drive slow. Funny how I’m fine with the idea of driving slow myself, but only as long the person in front of me isn’t driving slower than I am.

Accept the fact that there will be traffic almost everywhere you go. It’s the destination that is important, not necessarily how long it takes you to get there.

Find alternative routes with less traffic and better scenery.
Since moving back here last year and with the help of my GPS, I’ve successfully avoided the freeway the majority of the time. With the exception of a few road trips, I’ve found that the backroads of the city are easier to navigate. I’ve also learned to trust the fact that even though my GPS tells me that I could cut fifteen minutes off of my commute, that’s not factoring in sitting in traffic, so while the time it adds in taking the back roads appears to make it longer, it is typically faster.

And finally, turn on some relaxing music and enjoy the ride.

Thankfully today is Sunday, when my I try to keep my drive time to a minimum, and I think I heard that a storm may be in the forecast for later today. Sounds like the makings of a perfectly delicious day.

Until then . . .

2 comments:

  1. There's a setting in your GPS that makes it avoid highways. It's usually in the navigation settings. I get anxiety attacks on the freeway so my GPS is always set to avoid, and I've discovered some beautiful back roads that way. :o)

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    1. Yes, that is how I have successfully navigated living in the big city and avoiding the freeways, for the most part, anyway. I have ventured on a few times for a short length, but overall, I find the back road to any destination to be much more enjoyable!

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