February 13, 2015

Why Traffic Jams Don’t Bother Me Anymore

Life is full of unavoidable delays – from the line at the supermarket to the delayed plane to heavy traffic. I have definitely experienced many a blood pressure spike by being truly frustrated by choosing the “wrong line” or cursing the lane closure up ahead that’s held me up.

But at some point recently I decided to adopt the attitude that “everything is in perfect time” to help me stay zen during these moments. And you know what? It started to work. I found out I could take a deep breath and choose to use the time to think or to plan or to listen to playlist or a podcast.

I started to enjoy the journey. Delays turn a 30 minute trip into an hour-long subway ride? I can take notes or sketch out a blog entry. I can brainstorm ideas for my book, or close my eyes and listen to an audiobook.

Yesterday I was at Penn Station in New York waiting to board a train that was delayed. I felt that familiar annoyance creeping in (why is Amtrak always delayed? Traffic jam on the tracks??) when I noticed an Amtrak worker who was looking at me.

She was a little ways away, sitting at a kiosk and I could make out that she was asking me my name. To be completely honest, I had a moment of assuming she had recognized me from Survivor. But as I got closer and I answered her, I saw that she had MY CELL PHONE in her hand.

Now, I happen to have a cell phone case that also houses my Amex, debit card and driver’s license (this is how she recognized me). I didn’t even realize I’d left it behind where I had been sitting in the lounge about 10 minutes earlier.

If my train had been on time, I wouldn’t have discovered it missing until after I had boarded and possibly departed. (Now that I can’t even think about!) At that moment, I felt such a flood of gratitude for this angel Amtrak worker (her name is Karen), for whomever had turned in my phone (thank you, stranger!) and for the universe, who had given me this sweet reminder that as usual, “everything is in perfect time.”

It doesn’t always feel like there’s a bigger picture and we don’t always see it revealed in real time, but with faith and perspective, we can see it eventually!

Hope you have a beautiful weekend, lovebug!