Rush Hour and Finding the Right Roads

cars in rush hour traffic

Monday evening during rush hour I was running late for an event across town. When I reached the first stoplight I had a choice. Do I turn left and take the side streets or go straight onto the highway? I didn’t see any backups on the highway, so straight it was. I was cruising along for about five minutes thinking what a smart decision I had made. Of course, you can guess what happened next. The traffic suddenly slowed to a crawl. Ugh!

I was as patient as I could be for the 15 minutes it took go four miles and that was it. I took the next exit and got onto a side street where traffic was actually moving. I was feeling pretty smug until a very large, very slow semi-truck turned onto the street right in front of me.

“Really?! Really?!” I shouted. But then I couldn’t help myself; I started laughing.

The Universe must be trying to tell me something.

On Friday morning I had to drive across town again and this time I would be dealing with the morning rush hour. Before I left home I had already decided, wisely, I thought, to take the side streets. It seems like a good idea until I made a wrong turn and then took a detour I didn’t need to take. Halfway to my destination I was waiting at a stop light and looked up at the highway overpass to see the traffic was flowing just fine.

“Really?! Really?!” This time I wasn’t laughing.

What was the Universe trying to tell me?

Maybe it was simply that no matter how carefully we chose the roads we take in our lives, there will always be obstacles and life should not be measured by how fast or how efficiently we move through it.

On my way home Friday, I chose an unexpected street and turned onto Mississippi River Boulevard. There were so many trees lining the road, you might never have known there was a river flowing far below. I followed the unseen river to Minnehaha Creek where I turned to follow the creek as it graciously curved through neighborhoods. The entire drive was lovely and calming and lifted my spirits.

Maybe the choices I make shouldn’t be about how quickly I get somewhere but about how the journey makes me feel. I want more roads like this in my life and I believe they are waiting for me and for each of us. All we have to do is decide how we want to travel.

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