STFD: Ease Up, Already


I’m working on several posts currently, but they’re not fully formed. However, when I was driving home this morning, I had an experience that triggered a thought which led to an associated complete concept that I can post about right now.

I was exiting the highway at Union Street, which starts with a merging onto a rotary and for me ends with exiting off of the third exit. As I passed the second exit and headed toward the third, a merging car stepped on the gas to get out in front of me. Not what you’re supposed to do at a YIELD sign.

And then I got to thinking that even though the sign says YIELD, more often than not approaching cars move as if the driver has just read a sign reading FLOOR IT! And how that fact is really reflective of where we are headed directionally—not to mention speedingly—as a society. Sadly, societally, it’s not unlawful. But as I caught myself thinking “slow the eff down,” a thought I was directing to the driver of the offending car, it hit me that I could do much more emotional good for myself if I took that advice, if I slowed down for a second while she made her way along in front of me.

I have a lot to get done today so I’ll keep it brief:

When you’re tempted to speed up for no good reason, slow down. Take a breath. Take stock. Enjoy something about your surroundings. Express gratitude. Stop being in such a big hurry, particularly when you have no place to go. Think about all that you have and where you want to go. Reflect on where you’ve been and unload unnecessary weight.

Remember that life is a process, a journey, and you’re continually arriving. In the inimitable words of Ha Jin (a modern Chinese-American writer and poet), “Life is a journey and you can’t carry everything with you. Only the usable baggage.”

And decide for yourself whether it’s true what “they” say: the happiest people enjoy the scenery most on a detour.

But you decide. Remember, you have a choice. You can make it now.


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