This frustration is getting to be a thing with me.
I have written about it twice before. I have thought about it and put it through my WRAP plan checklist to see if I could figure out why I am feeling frustrated while driving. As I’ve said, I had gotten over this once before. And if I could get over New York and New Jersey drivers, surely, I could relax with backroad country drivers.
But recently I was in town.
A crew was doing some work on a curb and had traffic to one lane. At first, I took a deep breath and said to myself, “you are not late, this won’t take long.” I was very close to where I was going and had plenty of time to get there. So, I sat, resigned to waiting.
The person controlling access to the single lane spun his sign around. Now it says SLOW. And cars in front of me began to move. I watched and counted as he let six (6) cars go by from my side. Then he spun the sign around, so it showed STOP.
He let six cars pass from my side.
Then, as I sit waiting, I see cars coming from the other direction. I begin to count, expecting six to come past me from the other direction. I count, one, two, three, four, five six. I shift from park into drive, expecting the traffic controller to spin his sign around to SLOW. But it doesn’t happen. Now even more cars are coming past me from the other direction.
Seven, eight, nine, ten. They continue to drive past me while I just sit.
I can feel myself getting anxious. It should be my turn to go. If things were fair, we would be moving now. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Finally, the cars stop coming from the other direction. Finally, we’re moving again, Finally I may get past this blockade. And this time, I am car number 8 passing the traffic controller with his SLOW/STOP sign.
I resist the temptation to flip him off.
He is just doing his job. He has a partner at the other end that must spin her sign to change the flow of the traffic. And the other side is near a major intersection. So, it seems like (and yes, I am mind reading) the reason more cars came from the other side was to clear the intersection. But knowing that, or assuming that still didn’t ease my frustration.
Once past the barricade, I was able to quickly reach the parking garage that was near my meeting. I got out of the truck and walked the two blocks to my meeting. As I was walking, I concentrated on my breathing. I focused on the flowers growing in a garden next to the sidewalk. I noticed that the trees had been trimmed over the sidewalk making it easy to walk on that section of sidewalk without having to duck and dodge tree branches.
By the time I opened the door and went in, I had relaxed myself and gotten past my road rage.
But the fact that I keep experiencing this is a warning sign. It means I still have work to do. Whatever it is, it comes out in traffic, but I know it has nothing to do with traffic. So, I will focus more on this feeling and keep working on the “why.”
But now it’s time to drive to work. Wish me luck!