Self-Care Challenge (Day 70): Thinking in Traffic

a road that runs between two small hills

On day 70 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I made the best of my commute by thinking in traffic.

Yesterday, it took me an hour and five minutes to drive home from the grocery store, which is a whopping 6.9 miles away. What is typically a pleasant, 10-minute drive turned into an “it’s a small world” ride, except without the Disney panache.

As I crept forward inch by inch, I could feel my patience dwindling. I was irritated. I was grumbling under my breath. (Nevermind, that it was my bright idea to begin with to run errands in the middle of rush hour.)

Several times I had to remind myself that the situation was not the end of the world. I mean, less than 24 hours ago I had been on a tropical island not caring at all how fast the traffic moved. (And it moved pretty slow.) I wondered why we allow such trivial things (like traffic) to have such an effect on us.

And I began to consider some other ways I could use the idle time. Maybe I could enjoy some relaxing music or listen to an audio book to pass the time. Or perhaps I could call a friend. But then my mind drifted to the many projects I have planned for the summer, and I thought about how, and in what order, I should tackle them. And by the time I reached my driveway, I had come up with several new business ideas, so being stuck in traffic wasn’t such a waste of time after all.

I know several people who practice speeches, create eCourses, and try out new blog post material while they drive. Safely, of course.

The truth is, how we experience life’s inconveniences is a choice. Instead of sitting in traffic (or “fuming” in traffic like so many of us do), what if we did more thinking in traffic? Imagine what we could accomplish…

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