Monday, January 10, 2011

Back in the Day


There are some situations in which I'm able to exhibit a tremendous amount of patience, and then there is travel. When going somewhere, I just want to be there NOW.  I don't have a ton of patience for traffic, delays, general dilly-dallying.

But I got a double-dose of patience-practice this weekend.  My bus ride to Boston on Friday night should have taken around 4.5 hours, but we picked up an extra 3 hours sitting in snow-related traffic in central Connecticut.

And my bus ride home from Boston on Sunday morning should have begun at 9am, but due to some d-baggery (That's right. I said it.) on the part of MegaBus, we didn't get on the road until close to 11am.


It got me thinking about the days of yore, way back before busses even existed (let alone before they were mega), and how folks then must have been infinitely more patient than we are nowadays.  Because weather delays would have tacked on extra days - not just extra hours - to a trip. 

When your travel plans are impacted significantly not only by weather, but by horse health, by unpaved roads, by waning daylight, by highway bandits, by scurvy, by crop rotation (what I don't know about the days of yore, I make up), I think one must have lived with a more present sense of his lack of control in such matters. 

And in ceding control (or realizing you never were in control in the first place) of one's calendar and time tables, perhaps one is better able to swallow life's little delays with grace and patience.  Wait it out without tapping your foot.  Utilize the delay by reading a good book, instead of fuming that your afternoon gym time is being compromised.

Of course I can't quit my calendar entirely.  Nor can I ignore the value that modern society places on timeliness and efficiency.  Nor can I show up to work 45 minutes late, blame it on a sluggish horse, and expect no consequences.

But the next time the subway slows me down, I will practice letting go. I will read my book and will not tap my foot.  Days of yore-style.

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