If I don’t hurry, I am going to be late! Scurrying around when feeling like I might be causes a disheveled feeling as I project myself into the minutes ahead without thought to the moment. Such was a time yesterday.
I loaned my primary vehicle for the day to my visiting son and was thrown off a bit by driving an old car of mine that is rarely used. Heading backwards down my driveway, I put my seatbelt on and changed stations on the radio. Three blocks away a thought came to text the business visitor I was heading to pick up at his hotel to say my arrival would be in ten minutes.
Reaching to my pocket for my iPhone I realized it is not there. “Crap! Gotta go back and get it”. After making a u-turn while still in my subdivision within a minute I was setting the emergency brake in front of my house.
In in my bedroom my phone is still on the charger. I grab it and think “now I’m late”. Instead of starting to fret about a little lost time there is gratefulness I was not a lot further away from home turning around to get my phone.
The car hauling me yesterday is a sixteen year old Volvo that saved my life during a car accident seven years ago. More than anything I still have it out of respect for the “old girl” for saving my life. Yesterday morning ‘she’ was dusty with accumulated dirt from sitting unused for a month or so. Even losing a few minutes going back to get my phone, there was still ample time for a quick drive through car wash so my visitor would not have to ride in a dirty car.
Sitting at the traffic light where the two lanes from my housing development pour onto a six lane major street, a hundred yards away I see the fire station with a ladder truck with its light running out front. “What’s that about?” I thought. “Are they pulling out? Do I need to pull over?”
The light changes and as I complete a turn into the right lane of three going east, I drive right by the fire truck. It’s easy to see some sort of maintenance is being done. Glancing sideways at the fire truck I completely miss the flashing light marking a school zone. Since it is very rare for me to be on this street at this time of day, no memory pops up of the school even being there.
A little editorial before continuing my story. This school zone is marked on a six lane major highway about three hundred years from what statistics say is the busiest intersection in the city. People drive on this street like it is a freeway. There are no pedestrian crossings within a hundred yards and the school is a special “academy” for a small number of over-achieving high schoolers who drive. Rarely have I seen a student in front of the school, much less walking on the sidewalk by the road.
If the photo at the top did not tell you what happened by now you have likely guessed. A motorcycle cop was hidden away and gave me a ticket for going 34 in a 25 mph zone, a citation that requires me to go to court because it was a school zone.
Leaving home the first time I had my seatbelt on before turning around to get my iPhone. However, driving the quarter of a mile to be in front of the school I had not put it on again. Citation number 2!
Having moved last year the postcard sent by the state was not forwarded and my license plates were not current on a car I drive maybe one every two months. It just had not come to mind. You got it… ticket #3!
If you think I am headed into a tirade about how yesterday morning started off, you are going to be disappointed. Rather, what happened did very little to affect my day. Of course, I have something to deal with I’d rather not have on my to-do list and it will cost me some money. That’s just life unfolding normally though. We get good. We get not so good. The bad and sad are a normal part of human existence. Today I accept living just as it comes in all forms. To damn getting the tickets would be to damn my life. Whether my thinking is the tickets are petty or not, the well dressed and polished policeman was just doing his work. I accept that also.
My gratitude this morning is to realize how little being stopped by the motorcycle cop affected me. Some years back my day would have been filled with wafts of anger floating to the top of thoughts numerous times. Back then even a day later I would still have been negatively effected some by getting the tickets. My gratitude is very large to see how much I have grown and how much better my ability today is to live my life just as it comes!
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
Charles R. Swindoll