Day 711: Traffic

In a therapy group I facilitated last night, people talked a lot about traffic.

A traffic jam is seen during the rush hour in Beijing

(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:


IMG_3372 IMG_3374 IMG_3379 IMG_3381

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:


You can find Norm talking about designated drivers here, on YouTube.

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.

If you want to find “Sunset Drive” by Jean-Luc Ponty, drive by here.

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).

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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30 thoughts on “Day 711: Traffic

  1. There is enough traffic in my brain to compete with Bejing at rush hour. It does not are me happy. Maybe I need more dog time.
    That photo was almost frightening – I do, after all, live in a town of seven hundred!
    Enjoy Aaron’s performance and the comedy after. You’ll need the comedy after a traffic-y day!

  2. Your blog is so fun!

  3. No traffic here! I’m sitting in my living room by the Christmas tree and don’t work today. 😜

    May you find peace between each traffic stop. 😄

  4. That comedian sounds funny. What if instead of driving other people to drink, he was joking about a designated non-thinker? Those with traffic-filled heads could invite a zen friend to go out with them for a night of thinking, and he or she would be the non-thinker among them. 🙂

    • That is a really funny and creative idea, Vincent. I wonder if I’ll ever evolve to that role of the non-thinker. Thanks for relieving some traffic here today.

  5. You can’t escape traffic in Boston, can you, Ann? I hope your rehab is working so well that I can mention my very favorite Traffic, “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.” When I think back, it’s hard to believe that it was only five years after that in which Boston gave me “Peace of Mind.” I hope you find that after getting the boys home from seeing Norm make funny tonight.

  6. The WP changes have caused me some grief – I just realized that my post scheduled to go at 7:50 this morning, didn’t really post 😦 Beyond that – have fun watching Aaron perform tonight! Can’t wait to hear about it!

    • Kate I had one scheduled for 7 am and it didn’t post. When I checked WP changed it to 8pm so I changed it to 9 am…what’s going on with that???

      • I’m so glad it’s not just me!! They must have done something when they set up that new platform! I don’t use the “schedule” feature often, but I’d like it to work when I do!! LOL

    • I am sorry to hear about your problems with WordPress, Kate and Diana, but — as usual — you both let me know that I am not alone. I’m sure I shall have something to say about Aaron’s play very soon.

  7. I really hate being caught in traffic Ann, it turns me into a crazy person!
    Diana xo

  8. Fun post! I agree about all these WP changes, it is too much at once 🙂

    peace , both in and out of traffic!

  9. I like that song, Forty a Thousand Headmen.. I listen to Buddhist music, or flute, when I am pissed in traffic

  10. I’m finding meditation is helping a great deal with things like loving traffic (though that is not a big deal in my life these days). I feel for everybody who has to face it every day.

  11. Traffic or no traffic, you are going places.

  12. I liked the part about a pet on your lap will relieve stress, Ann. I am not good in standing still, let alone sitting in a car for a long period of time, not moving. But, as I have often found out, in Ohio, at least, it means someone was in a car accident. Then, as I go slowly by the accident, I thank God, out loud, that I was the one sitting in a car waiting and not the one in the crushed and totaled car… Perspective helps, Ann! Grounds us, too. Smiles, Robin

  13. Pingback: Day 719: Mean girls | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  14. Pingback: Day 743: Be nice to me | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  15. Pingback: Day 712: TIME | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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