I need to ask you, the reader of this column each month, if you have noticed something that I have. I am not sure when it started, or what event triggered it, but it seems to me that people (in the most general use of the term) are getting less patient with a whole lot of things in their lives.
Have you been on Eagle Road going south at about 7:45 AM lately? It is like a bumper car race at the amusement park! I am totally convinced that the usage of turn signals is inversely proportionate to the cost of the vehicle. If you are pulling a trailer, like your friendly neighborhood remodeling contractor-columnist does, that alone is an invitation to see how many times you can get cut off and have to slam on the brakes. And yet, we all seem to get “there” at the same time.
The lines at the grocery store to me are a negative and opposite reaction to the amount of intuition I possess to choose the fastest line. Let me pick and I guarantee you we will get behind Mrs. and Mr. Molasses chatting up the Cashier and trying to figure out how to write a check at the same time.
And appointments! When did a 2 PM appointment change to “Between noon and 4”? Is it that hard to commit to a schedule?
After deep reflection, is it perhaps me? Am I the one with the problem? Oh yeah, I got the Senior Discount last Tuesday at D&B without asking for it and that really ticked me off. I’m 53 for gosh sakes. I should not have grown out my beard. Nothing but gray.
I think I am the problem. If everybody just played by the rules, my rules, we would all get through the day just fine. I also think that I have come to the conclusion that it is not worth getting all riled up about it. What’s the hurry anyway? Why am I in such a snit to make all the lights on Eagle Road? How can I spend an hour cruising the aisles of the grocery store and not spend 3 minutes in line? I need a chill pill.
Therefore, in the interest of preserving my sanity and the public welfare in general, I am going to relax. I am going to make more time in my life for the unexpected. I’ll keep a book in my truck for when people are late. Or I am early. I won’t over schedule myself trying to squeeze every minute out of the day. I’ll hit Eagle Road before or after the rush- or avoid it all together. (sometime the long way is the short way). I’ll listen more and talk less. Talking always gets me in trouble.
The best lessons learned in life are the ones you already know but finally wake up to and acknowledge that they truly do apply to you. We tell our kids this all the time. We tell them to learn from our mistakes. Do they listen? Heck no. They have to bump their heads a few times and then they realize that we did know what we were talking about.
A Senior Discount has to be earned by those of us not quite there yet. As I look around at those I admire in life, those I hope to be more like, they are not impatient people. They are not frustrated and flustered. They are the ones using their turn signals and talking to the cashiers. With a smile on their faces.