Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Life lesson - Minnesota driving

I figure that another thing I should collect beyond my songs is the little lessons of life that occasionally present themselves. Take this morning........

I knew it was snowing when I went to sleep, I also knew we were only getting an inch or two. No problem for Minnesotans, except lately I have become convinced Minnesotans really don't drive very well in the snow anymore, actually they don't drive that well when the conditions are good. Sorry I don't mean to whine, anyway, sure enough I listened to the morning traffic reports and the roads were backed up, rollovers, delays, great my normal 40 minute commute could be 1 or 2 hours.

So I got ready and headed out the door, I looked at our driveway and I decided to go ahead and shovel. I figured it would only take 10 minutes or so and it would be easier for my family. The snow was light so it went quickly, all I had left was the pile at the end of the driveway left by the plow. So I grabbed the grain shovel and was almost done when I heard something hit the shovel just as I launched it into the snow pile. I thought, oh xxxx, that was my Ipod. I always carry it in my shirt pocket. I felt into my pockets, nope not there, I looked at the pile and since it was still dark and my Ipod is silver I knew it was lost and since they aren't waterproof, probably gone forever. How could I survive without my Nano, I only listen to podcasts. I decided to search the snow pile, the top layer was loose snow, underneath you could feel the layer of hard packed snow and ice. I searched for another 5 minutes and declared it a loss, went inside, complained to my wife and daughter and left for work. I was not a happy camper, I muttered things like I hate winter, this was going to be a lousy day and few more things not suitable for my blog.

On the way to work I turned on KTLK, nope don't like the morning show, K102, nope too much talking, no country music, KQRS - talking, no classic rock, KKMS, christian, at least it was a song but no it was too mellow and I wasn't in a christian mood, I wanted my Ipod, checked out KNOW, NPR, sorry we call it MPR, Minnesota Public Radio, boring discussion, KTCZ, the Cities 97, talking, does anyone play music in the morning? I zipped through a few more stations and finally tuned in PraiseFM which was playing a song which I decided to listen to, I still was not very happy. I of course was also just a wee bit irritated with the traffic, my mind kept thinking bad thoughts, like drive you idiot, left lane fast, right lane slow, middle lane in-between, turn signals show intent, not results and all kinds of other not so nice things concerning my fellow drivers. As I got onto 494 at Pilot Knob and headed into Bloomington, the pathetically slow 494 strip, the idiot board said "Hwy 35W - over 20 minutes", "Hwy 100, over 25 minutes". Do I get off and take the side streets? I hate traffic, I hate winter............

I then had a couple of other thoughts pop into my head, they were things my mom used to say to me.

Stop and smell the roses. Smile, it's hard to be mad when you are smiling. Make the best out of a bad situation, you know lemonade from lemons when one last thing popped into my head.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

After thinking it through, I took a deep breath, said the prayer and almost immediately I relaxed and just let things flow by. I made it to work faster than I thought and my stress level kept getting lower. As I got out of my car I checked my pocket for my cell phone when what else did I find but my Ipod.

So if you are having a bad day, take a breath, say the prayer and then see if you, like me this morning don't find a little more peace in your life.

1 comment:

Londell said...

I have that on the wall at my house and on the office wall... Recite it often, makes a change in my mental state!


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