It seems like I blinked my eyes and summer is almost over! I don’t know about you, but Derek and I have been running around like crazy trying to keep up with a world that seems to be moving with a sort of pent-up momentum. We were in the airport about two months ago and the line to get through security went all the way through the center food court to the other side of the airport. What is happening!? Just in case you were wondering we didn’t make it to the gate in time and we missed our flight.
Derek is sort of funny when it comes to heat. He would rather be somewhere that isn’t constantly hot. That is the tradeoff of living in Central Florida. We stay in air conditioning all summer long just like someone up north would stay in a heated building all winter long. Derek starts a countdown to November in August. He literally opens the back door to the patio every morning and says “four weeks left until November” or whatever the time frame is until November.
We were driving recently to TooJays for dinner and I asked him why November was so important to him. He told me that he loves when it cools down in November and that one of his favorite days of the year is the first day that you open the patio door and are greeted by a non-humid cool breeze. He explained that even the hottest September morning is better when you project forward to the most perfect November morning and it reminds you why we all live in Central Florida.
While we were having this discussion, I pulled into the left-turning lane from Sand Lake Road to the Dr. Phillips Market Center. The car in front of me had the green light but wouldn’t turn even though there was ample space to get through the opposing oncoming traffic. I honked as politely as one can honk but they refused to turn left without the green arrow. I found this super frustrating because I couldn’t get around them and they wouldn’t budge.
It is amazing how fast your emotions can run to anger while driving, but Derek jumped in and reminded me that we didn’t have a deadline that we had to meet and that we weren’t even in a rush. Then he said something interesting. He said that when he is stuck behind something that won’t move, he assumes that it is supposed to be there. That whatever it is that seems out of my control was put there for a purpose. Then he asked me to stop thinking about the car in front of me and instead think of all of the things that are lining up in my favor while we are waiting for the car to move. He said to think about the walkway in front of Home Goods clearing out so cars can go through and to think of the perfect parking spot that a car was about to pull out of so that we can pull right into it.
I tried it. I stopped thinking of the car in front of me, which immediately caused me to become calm, and started thinking of everything that was happening for me to get the perfect parking space. The left turn arrow appeared, we turned left, pulled into the parking lot, and drove right through to the perfect parking spot. Oh, and of course dinner at TooJays was delicious.
I have tried this since with differing results when it comes to the parking spot, but I have found that I am almost never angry when driving anymore. Which is something! Sometimes the only thing we have control over, is how we respond to what seems to be stuck in front of us. I am going to continue to avoid frustration and instead look forward to the good that is lining up on the other side.