I work about 3 miles from where I live, which is unheard of here in the western suburbs of Chicago. However, the route I take to work is the same route that many people take to catch the commuter train into the City to work. The road travels through a corporate park that is lined with large canopied trees. I am not typically in a hurry to rush to the office so I actually try to enjoy my drive.
It’s not uncommon for many of these commuters to pull up real close behind my car and try to hurry me along. That’s generally a mistake on their part since it usually pisses me off when they are trying to force me to rush through my day. It pisses me off for a couple of reasons, one is the fact I am trying to ease into my day and their impatience is ruining that for me. The second reason is that the only concern these people have right now if being late to work. Late to work. I could think of more stressful things in life to get worked up over, late to work is not one of those things for me. I watch them throwing their hands up in the air and yelling at me to hurry up, which makes me slow down to the point they go around me.
Today on my way to the office, I happened to look over to the car next to me and this guy was shaving while he was driving. His visor was down and electric shaver in hand. All I could think of was dude you didn’t have 3 minutes to spare this morning before you left the house. My guess is that this is part of his daily go go go routine. Hurry up and check another task off my list approach to life. I get it, I was once there. I never shaved in the car, but I know the feeling of rushing around closing deals like I use to.
My guess is that most of these people on this road rushing to work have never had the tragic responsibility of burying a child. Having buried two children, I learned the hard way that I needed to slow down. I really didn’t have much of a choice, I use to live in the rat race of rushing around all of the time, but really have no interest in that anymore. None. I try not to let mundane tasks get me worked up to the point that I am stressed out. I know it’s easier said than done, but sometimes I have to take a step back and say look, “give yourself a break, you have buried two children, the fact you are still a productive member of society is a huge accomplishment considering there was a period of time you never thought you would be again.” This little reminder quickly gets my attention.
Have you had a change in how you approach life since the death of your child? Has it changed you perspective?