Life Isn’t Rush Hour

I watch you weave through rush hour traffic and I wonder where you are in such a hurry to be. I wonder if you are rushing toward a person or away from a place. Or, is rush simply your preferred speed? I wonder, Do you feel productive?

Do you ever look in your rearview mirror? I also wonder. Do you see the brake lights of the black SUV you just cut off, or the old beige Camry that swerved a little when you darted too far into its lane? Do you think of the jarring interruptions you cause in your rush to get ahead? You would see faces of surprise and fear in your rearview mirror, if you had time to look.

Or, perhaps you glance over your shoulder and smirk at all the ground you covered, and at the view of hapless cars trailing behind.

Do you weigh your triumph of seconds saved against the tragedy of lives that could be lost? As you estimate the closing distance between the semi and that Town & Country with the stick family of five (plus a dog) decals, do you think of the grief that might ripple through an entire community if you misgauge that space?

I watch you a little longer and feel a slow burning streak of resentment. The feeling I get when someone else reflects something I see in myself—and often times try to ignore.

You remind me of myself when mistakenly overcommit and say yes to everything, chasing all the “opportunities” like an insecure lover. When my rearview mirror reflects the disappointed face of my youngest sister as I distractedly cut off her excited dialogue with, “I’ve got to run…see ya soon!” over my shoulder as I dash off to the next thing that must to be done.

When I realize how long it’s been since my mother and I simple talked about the things going on in our lives.

You remind me of the distracted part of myself that is always most likely to leave me grieving irreversible imprints. Rash, hasty decisions made without intention or thought for the people I care about most.

I’m traveling at slower speeds these days. And, I’m not one bit sorry if anyone gets anywhere in their life a few minutes before me.

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