Wheels on the Bus
This post is brought to you by the longest bus ride of my life.
What is it, I wonder, that makes being stuck in traffic so terrible? It seems so obviously a negative experience that I’ve never stopped to question why it’s so unappealing.
Is it being in close quarters with strangers for hours on end?
Is it having to sit for those same hours, trying not to jostle elbows, casually vying for outlet space to recharge my (many) devices?
Maybe it’s that the digital promised land of on-board WiFi cuts out. Every. Single. Time.
The pungent bouquet of the bathroom?
Or being late to arrive at your event or destination? (Though I confess this isn’t the case right now, as I have no set plans at all for this evening.)
Though all likely candidates, none of these strike me as the real reason that an extra-long road trip feels so soul-sucking. Early this morning, I looked at my itinerary, which tells me my expected arrival time. Knowing full well I live in one major city and am traveling to another, and that delays are common, I completely ignore the possibility and set in my mind a 5:40pm arrival- sharp.
Then we slow down. We slow down again. We narrow to one lane for construction, pass through a toll booth, and heaven knows what else- I’m not sure because I have been staring at my phone, continually refreshing the map of my route. I glare at the dotted red line with the white hot passion of a thousand burning suns. I send pissy, woe to me text messages, and I am grateful that those on the receiving end don’t have to suffer through the flat and irritated tone of voice with which I would deliver said missives.
“How’s it going now?”
“Traffic is terrible.”
“This is horrible.”
And so on.
Okay, so what’s the point? And what on earth might this have to do with yoga (aside from a longing to stand in the aisle and do some backbends)? In the end, the only thing that’s really wrong with this bus ride is that it doesn’t conform to my expectation of what it should be. I wanted it to be 4.5 hours, and it’s going to be more like 6. 6-ish. I think. Maybe. My basic needs are being met here- I have shelter, clothing, even food (thank goodness I brought two snacks) and water.
No, this is a mind game, and I am the clear loser. That is, for as long as I choose to play. Because I could, if I reeeeeeealllly wanted to, find a little peace on board this double-decker. I could take deeper breaths- that’s a thing I know how to do. I could let go of the need to control, and the need to know, what’s going to happen next. And I could read a book. Take a nap. Do a little more writing. I can’t say I’m jumping for joy at the prospect of the rest of this ride. (Low ceilings and all). But you never know. I have hours (and hours?) to get there.
In love and light, K