In a therapy group I facilitated last night, people talked a lot about traffic.
(Image of Beijing traffic found here.)
The group members discussed ideas about ways to deal with and reduce the stress of traffic, including:
- listening to classical music,
- letting go of self-judgment, especially “shoulds” (e.g., “I should have left earlier,” “I shouldn’t have taken that turn,” “I shouldn’t have listened to my &*%$#!!&@# GPS system”),
- having a dog with you in the car,
- pretending that you are sitting on a sofa and chilling, and
- loving the traffic.
Loving the traffic is really difficult to do. Usually, when we encounter an obstacle to where we want to go or what we want to do, we get angry.
Speaking of obstacles to getting where you want to go and doing what you want to do, WordPress has apparently changed ALL of its interfaces since yesterday, so I am feeling lost in unexpected traffic as I try to create this post. Feeling lost in unfamiliar WordPress territory like this is also interfering with my need to be somewhere by 7:30 AM — that is, Cardiac Rehab with Danise, Carla, Kathy, and other people with heart.
How should I deal with all this traffic, letting go of stress about what I cannot control?
I could listen to classical music as somebody suggested at the group last night (and I DO listen to classical music in the car), but this morning I’m choosing this instead:
That’s “Forty Thousand Headmen” by Traffic, which I found here. There aren’t a lot of live performances by Traffic trafficking on YouTube, so I’m happy to run into one of my favorite tunes by that 1970s group.
What else could I do now, to relieve the stress of traffic today? I could take more advice from the group last night and have a dog on my lap or happily looking out the window, but this will have to do, instead.
In the group last night, I made the point that it’s the traffic of thoughts in our head that causes us stress, worry, and fear — not so much the external traffic around us.
So what’s my internal traffic report, right now? Well, I detect some thought fender-benders and pile-ups about:
- doing too little and
- doing too much.
Here’s what I notice about that: worrying about opposites like that doesn’t give me a lot of room to maneuver. The result? Gridlock!
Here’s some traffic I encountered yesterday, as I was moving through my day:
If you’ve braved the traffic in this blog lately, you might notice that the last photo is my second try at making some sort of visual pun regarding Christmas stockings and the Red Sox. I could probably drive that joke home more effectively if I had time this morning, but I don’t.
I will be driving in traffic many times today, including twice tonight: (1) to see my 16-year-old son appear in a play and (2) driving him and a friend afterwards to see comedian Norm MacDonald in a 10 PM comedy show. Yes, it’s another day of pin-point timing.
How shall I let go of stress about that? Well, I think if I don’t make everything perfectly on time, everybody will forgive me, including Norm MacDonald.
Speaking of Norm MacDonald, here he is in a comedy bit that fits the topic of today’s post:
Contemplating all the traffic I’m going to face today is driving me to listen to more music, before I send this post into the traffic of the Blog-o-sphere.
Gotta go love me some traffic! Many thanks to all who drove me to write this post and to all driven here to read it (including you, of course).