As I was sitting in traffic today on my way home I was struck by how easy it is to let things that are happening outside of your control effect your life. For example, the construction traffic I was sitting in slowed my day down considerably. And yes, it was a pain to be in stop and go an inch at a time for what seemed like forever. But it wasn’t something to get upset about. I didn’t have anywhere that I needed to be immediately and I certainly didn’t need to be raging because I was not getting anywhere fast.
Yet, I found myself getting frustrated because of the situation. And I could see that same frustration mirrored in the faces of the other drivers. As I was sitting in my car, grousing to myself about the situation something happened. Something simple and yet extraordinary. Another driver on the road with me waved to me. Nothing big. Just a quick “Hi” and then they focused back on the road. But it changed the way I saw the situation.
I realized I was making the issue worse because I was letting myself get irritated and upset about something that just was. I couldn’t change the construction. I knew it was there before I drove that way, unfortunately it just happened to be right in front of the place I needed to be. I have even left my house early because I expected to be delayed. So why was I being cranky?
Because I wanted instant gratification. Or near instant in the fact that I wanted to be home already. And the spark of realization that simple wave “Hi” gave me the patience to make it through the rest of the trip without being grumpy. I turned on some good music and I started waving “Hi” to the other cars that were stuck with me. I don’t know if it had the same effect, those drivers may have thought I was just a little kooky, but it brightened my day considerably.
That great mood has remained throughout this evening and I’m looking forward to it continuing tomorrow. My take away is – in the grand scheme of things if the world isn’t going to end because of the delay then I need to be looking for the inspiration around me and enjoying the journey. Wave “Hi” to those you see on the road with you, who knows what kind of an impact it could have.