In north Idaho, there’s a terrible stretch of the highway that runs through town: The Highway 95. It’s pure evil. I’m convinced it was created as a psychology experiment to test how many red lights a person can endure before punching their steering wheel.
For Halloween, I’m thinking of dressing up as the 95.
Everybody has a highway, freeway, or stretch of the city that terrorizes them. I’m probably reminding you of your least favorite place on Earth right now. Sorry to tense up your back.
We get stuck and it sucks.
A few years ago I wrote a song called “Green Light District.” It was about enjoying the pause, in place of frustration, over highway red lights. Needless to say, I’m not really a fan of that song anymore. Green Light District. I wrote it before the 95 became apart of my daily driving rituals. There is no getting around it, the 95 is out to get you.
But there is one thing I discovered and it’s crucial: Highway 95 is and always will, run slow. It’s a law. The more I accept it, the better I understand it. The more I understand it, the less likely I am to shout at inanimate objects.
Sometimes we get mad at the universe for not cutting us a break, as if the universe owes us anything after allowing us to exist. (For theological discussions, maybe substitute “universe” with God).
So it’s inevitable, the 95 will run slow. I’ll probably hit 5-7 red lights on average. You probably have a stretch that’s similar to you. Stop sweating; seriously it’s grossing me out.
Here are three steps to get you through your least favorite place on earth.
- Leave five minutes earlier. I’m always running late. This is probably a big reason the 95 feels worse than it really is. The more we hurry, the heavier gravity feels.
- Find productive use of your time in the car. For me it’s podcasts. They changed my entire outlook on driving. For others it could be an audio book. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be attentive drivers, but if you can’t listen and drive, then maybe you just shouldn’t drive. I wouldn’t recommend Sudoku.
- Pretend to be James Bond. Ok, maybe I just made this up because I needed a third point. But seriously, how cool is James Bond? He’s never in a hurry.
I think this whole idea of terrible traffic and/or bad stretches of highway can be a metaphor for the things in life with which we feel stuck in. Sometimes, we just need to acknowledge the obstacles in front of us and accept their influence on our lives. By doing this, we can find an efficient way through the mess of inconvenience and simply move on through to the other side.