6.23.2005

Trafficana

This morning I sat in traffic for about half an hour, and it was beautiful. So beautiful that I decided to continue my drive even once the traffic eased up and it was once again smooth groovin' on the freeway.

Truth be told, Boo fell asleep right after we dropped his papa off at work, and it was just as well that I just keep driving until he woke up. But I really didn't mind sitting there behin the semi, staring at the blue skies and watching my neighbors around me. Women putting on make up (so cliche), everyone on their cell phones, some of them gesturing and craning their heads around the cars in front of them as if they think they can figure out when traffic would ease up, a woman who sat so still that until her car moved forward I was really afraid that she was either a) made of wax but somehow turned human and busted out of the wax museum, or b) she was dead.

I sat there, filled with such peace and calm and I actually found myself smiling. I am sure one of my traffic neighbors watched me thinking I was the crazy lady in traffic. Sitting there, smiling away, looking up at the sun, staring back every once in a while at Boo. Traffic, I decided today, is a blessing. It forces us to slow down and in many instances, stop. Stop and bring all of our senses down to one slow pace. You can't move traffic with your mind. You can't yell and honk it away. You can't do anything but wait, and think, and hopefully, smile.

My new state of traffic zen is called Trafficana. And I love it. Sometimes, traffic really sucks. You have to catch a plane. You have to make a meeting. You have to get to the post office before it closes. You've had a shitty day and you just want to get home and pop a cold one. Maybe that's when traffic hits you - when the forces of nature want you to slow down, breathe, and just chill. Maybe that's why there's more traffic than ever, because we're all so busy and frantic and overcommitted and running late because we've overbooked ourselves that some random thing out there decides "ok, it's time to slow everyone down again" and bam! There's traffic.

I think traffic is a blessing to mommies everywhere. We're always running around double time, physically and mentally. Our minds are racing faster and more cluttered than most people's; there's a lot of traffic in our heads already. Sometimes I am running so fast that I can't think straight. Sometimes I'm trying to do a dozen things at the same time, and I know deep down that if I slowed down and just did one thing at a time, I might actually be more productive. But then the voice sets in: "how dare you do just one thing at a time! you'll never get anything done that way" and so the cycle begins.

And then Bam. Traffic. I can call people and write my to do lists and balance our bills and blah blah blah during the inch inch inch of the traffic slow dance. But today I decided not to, and I think it made all the difference in the rest of my day. I was very productive the rest of the day, and I was happier. Granted, I am on a vacation day, but still...early this morning I made a mental checklist and tried to figure out how I could do it all today. The only thing I didn't get to was making cookies, and the rest just happened in a nice, slow pace...and everything still got done.

I've come to appreciate the little moments of zen in my Trafficana world. I can slow down. It is okay. The world will not end. I can always make cookies tomorrow, and if I don't, the next day is just fine too.

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