Ahhhh traffic… it’s the Southern Californian equivalent to complaining about the weather.
Though pretty much all cities deal with their version of traffic, Los Angeles makes traffic in the rest of the world seem like a pleasant Sunday country drive. Rush hour starts in January and ends on New Years Eve. I’ve, no lie, been stuck in an hours long traffic jam at 4am. It’s not cute.
If cars were Christmas lights, Los Angeles freeways are the equivalent of untangling a twisted and tangled ball of Christmas lights half the size of the state of Rhode Island… every single day! Where else can you have 18 lanes, 9 on each side, of completely immobile cars. Only in LA baby.
Every day is like the front door of Walmart on Black Friday with mobs of people all trying to push their way one car length closer to their destination by any means possible. It can take you an hour to drive 5 miles. So there’s no wonder that everyone who has to commute to work dreads their daily pilgrimage.
After years of screaming driving lessons and obscenities to everyone who can’t hear me nor could give a damn, I have taken the high road; pun intended. I saw the effect that traffic had on my stress and anxiety levels, not to mention my vocal chords, and decided to embraced traffic, and have since, come to love it. To hate it was like taking poison to kill someone else.
I started by arming myself with lots of entertainment in the form of audio books, podcasts, music and the occasional call to an old friend to catch-up. This way I could take my mind off the snail-paced trek and enjoy the time I had in the car.
But what about all the rude, obnoxious, and down right terrible drivers who cut people off, ride their brakes, blare their horns and flip you the middle one gun salute? I block it all out with kindness.
I just let the traffic do whatever it wants to do and let people in whenever they want. I imagine that every bad move, gesture, or dirty look has a positive spin to it. The guy who cuts me off; his mom is probably in the hospital and needs to get there fast. The guy who drives so slow he could be moving backwards; he must be tired from working a long night shift and doesn’t want to cause an accident. The dirty looks and obscene gestures; I just wave, smile and say have a blessed day.
I may not get to my destination in record time, but the time I spend driving is joyful, relaxing, and it takes a hell of a lot of stress out of my day. Try it out… it’ll change your life.
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