“Are you freaking kidding me, van full of senior citizens?!”
No sooner had the words left my mouth, than my hand shot up to cover said mouth.
Did I really just say that?! That?! Out loud?!
Yes, friend. Yes I did. I screamed those words by myself… in my car… two days ago… on my drive to the YOGA studio, no less.
So much for Zen.
My sudden outburst of road rage was brought on by a 45-minute drive through Dallas/Fort Worth that ended in a wildly unnecessary backup around Uptown. The drive was intense, to say the least—constantly checking the clock and comparing it to the time Google Maps predicted it would take to arrive at my destination.
Clock reads: 4:50p
Google says: 45 minutes to destination
Dammit, I’m gonna be late.
Clock reads: 5:01p
Google says: 27 minutes to destination
Oh, yay, I made up some time! Totally worth going 75 in a 65. Maybe I’m on to something.
Clock reads: 5:12p
Google says: 17 minutes to destination
Geez, I’m only gonna have one minute to change?!
Clock reads: 5:13p
Google says: 18 minutes to destination
Clock reads: 5:22p
Google says: 6 minutes to destination
Clock reads 5:25p
Google says: 6 minutes to destination
Longest. Red. Light. Ever! Damn all the red lights.
Clock reads 5:28p
Google says: You have arrived.
The inside of the car was in a state of war. A war of the worlds, if you will. One world was the standard philosophy of Space and Time—events occurring in sequence, one after the other. The other world was Tracy Timm Fantasy Time—events occurring whenever I would like them to occur.
That time is usually “right now,” in case you haven’t caught on.
As though I had any control over that.
Surely if I willed this thing to happen at a specific time (arrival before 5:30p), then it must happen. And it absolutely must be necessary to experience all this struggle and worry that I’m putting myself through… alone… in my car. That’s got to be worth something!
I mean… what would happen if I didn’t struggle to get there on time?
But when all that frustration and speeding and bargaining with Siri culminated in my outburst—“Are you freaking kidding me, van full of senior citizens?!”—I started thinking.
What did any of this accomplish?
I was on my way to yoga, after all. Do you think I arrived in any sort of state of calm? Do you think I felt ready to exercise? Do you think I took anytime to wind down from my day, contemplate my accomplishments, consider the next day’s activities or do anything other than fret and freak that I wouldn’t make it to my class on time.
As Michelle Tanner would say, no way, José!
I was so entertained by this little outburst of mine, that I posted it on Twitter. And I quote:
”Road rage on the way to yoga? Why, yes. It’s Monday.”
Within minutes, I got the most likes I’ve ever received from a post. Now, that isn’t saying much, but my people don’t really live on Twitter. And I’m ok with not being Taylor Swift.
My point here is that we can all sympathize with these little inconsistencies of life.
Cutting someone off in the church parking lot.
Borrowing money to pay off your credit card bill.
Sneaking to the front of the line at a charity event.
My lightbulb went off when I yelled at a senior-citizen van on my way to yoga…
When will yours?
Getting all worked up in the car to get to a relaxing yoga session on time might not be worth it. Zipping into the last parking spot in the church parking lot ahead of a young family who was patiently waiting may not be worth it. Going further into debt to pay off previous credit cards or loans while ignoring the root causes may not be worth it.
At some point in your life, you’ll realize that the juice might not be worth the squeeze.
What you gain from getting where you want or what you want while compromising who you are is rarely worth it.
Look at some examples in your own life. Where have you laid down your values, your authenticity, or your morals in order to get something you really wanted? Or in order to get somewhere you really wanted? Where have you sacrificed the best version of yourself to get ahead?
Are you robbing Peter to pay Paul?
Just think about that the next time you get angry in the car or tempted to cut in line. I know these are seemingly small examples, but I’ve found (even in my short time) that who we are in small things is often who we are in big things. We use the small things to practice and prime ourselves for good choices when the big things come along.
So who will you be in the small things? How will you work to even out the inconsistencies of your own life? What will you do to encourage the best version of yourself to show up in every scenario? How will you prepare for the big things?
When will your lightbulb go off?
And most importantly… what will you do when it does?