The Traffic Monster

I am, for the most part, a reasonably calm individual. If something goes wrong, even if I’m upset, my normal reactions are either bottling it up until I can run home to a glass of wine on the couch, or attempting to talk it out.

Why then, do I turn into The Hulk when I get into my car? Now don’t me wrong, I am by no means an aggressive driver. For fear of getting tickets I can’t pay for, I take careful consideration when I’m behind the wheel, particularly in the speed and red light department.

But it’s the other drivers that drive me insane. Since moving back home to quite a bigger city, I have once again been forced to share the road with drivers that seem to make up their own rules. Cutting someone off? Totally acceptable. Blocking 3 lanes of oncoming traffic so you can turn onto the street? Not a problem! Feeling like that one-way street sign should really face the other direction? Well you go right on ahead.

I have wrote about trying to calm my anxiety, and perhaps sitting behind the steering wheel while someone does something that completely defies logic would be a great place to see if my practice has been working. While I normally honk, and, if truly warranted, wave with just one finger, today I instead used every ounce of patience I could muster to do the complete opposite. As I watched yet another driver cross a side street onto a busy highway and block traffic, I took three deep breaths, and waited.

The ensuing response my body gave me was a surprise. Instead of swelling up with frustration and feeling the warmth from which I’m sure is a pleasant rise in blood pressure, I just felt calm. I realized waiting an extra minute or two for someone that may not quite know what they’re doing isn’t the biggest problem in the world, and in the long run the negative impact of getting upset just isn’t worth it. It’s better to just simply let it go.

Plus, the guy beside me honked instead 😉



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