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(The gift of) Being Stuck In Traffic

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(The Gift of) Being Stuck in Traffic

I was stuck in traffic on my way to work on Friday – a huge, big time hold up!
What should have been a one hour journey, actually took me two and a half hours. Potential pain, agony and seething could have happened.

Rather than get frustrated about my lack of progress over the miles, I chose to think, reflect and observe.

To jump the miles of backed up traffic – that outlook was hot, smelly and boringly uniform, I  swung off the main carriageway and took a detour which took me through some delightful, chocolate-box type of villages.

What an absolute pleasure!

As I was driving down the narrow lanes bordered by lush vegetation I was transported into a different world. Under the canopy of the trees, the morning light was dappled and diffused. I could smell the fresh cut grass, the dampness on the road (after passing through a ford — how quaint) and the birds were singing and chirruping away. It was a far cry from the slow, tortuous, stifling journey on the main carriageway.

Coming out of one particular village, I got caught up in some more traffic. Groooaaaan!  I thought I’d start getting frustrated because I was still miles away from my destination. It wasn’t a problem at all though. Whilst moving forwards inch by inch at a snail like pace it actually gave me the opportunity to observe mums and their little ones walking back from a school drop off. (They were, in fact, were making far quicker progress than I was!)

What struck me like a sledgehammer was that the toddlers were really in the ‘here and now’ and continued with those self indulgent moments. They were 1000% committed and focused to, and in, what they were doing – oblivious (almost) to what their mums were doing.

Committed to their ‘thing’.
Committed to their interest.
Committed to that moment.

It got me thinking about how many times as adults do we stop to experience and really be in the moment?
How many times do we revel in the luxury of being present in the here and now?

I know I’m sometimes consumed by forward planning and organising other things that I’m constantly thinking about the future. Future this, future that. I enjoy making sure things run smoothly by problem solving and planning. The downside of that is that I can be sooooo focused on that that I don’t allow myself the time (and pleasure) to experience what’s happening in the ‘now’ and be fully present. My sharp focus on the future can exclude the possibility of enjoying what’s happening in the present.

Could be a curse.
Could be a gift.

I chose to look at the traffic (and the detour) as a gift.
A time to slow down – literally.
A time to reflect and be part of the morning rather than as someone who was just passing though on her way to somewhere else.

When I eventually got into work (one and a half hours late) I was calm, very awake, happy and looking forward to my day.

When have you had (or given yourself) the opportunity to enjoy being in the moment?
Let me know your thoughts below.

 Original blog can be found here: http://www.theparentingpacemaker.com/the-gift-of-being-stuck-in-traffic/


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