Although I’m well aware it’s not possible, yesterday I had the thought, “We should go get appetizers with some friends.”
I did order a pizza for pick up though. Since we are always together, we’ve been using Mike’s car, so when I left to get the pizza I had to reintroduce myself to my car. The seat settings didn’t feel right, so I fiddled with those and then had to fiddle with the mirror settings. I nearly hit my head on the roof when the radio kicked on. Why was I listening to it so loud last time I drove? I deeply regretted leaving a half eaten sandwich in the passenger seat. I waited for a family on a walk, a kid kicking a soccer ball, three kids walking a dog, and a mom with a stroller before backing out of my driveway. Between the stop signs in my neighborhood, when I would normally have adjusted the radio, I had to keep my eyes peeled on the kids playing in the street. Traffic moved as if nobody had anywhere particular to go, and my knuckles grew white on the steering wheel. I rolled my eyes at the cars ahead of me in the turning lane.
But, I wasn’t in a hurry.
I just automatically felt that I should be in a hurry. Everything about being in my car caused me to rush. The half eaten sandwich was from a lunch I didn’t have time for BQ (before quarantine). The loud music was to distract me from feeling stress. Even the position my of my seat was to better race through traffic. And all those sensations returned instantly – like muscle memory.
I hate being in a hurry. More disturbing still, I don’t like the version of me that shows up when I’m in a hurry. That version of myself is testy, tense, distracted, and, apparently, not cleaning up her uneaten lunch. I immensely enjoy the version of myself who is approachable and drives without needing a neck massage afterward.
I never knew any of this before. BQ I thought rushing was inevitable. Actually, that’s not totally accurate. I didn’t think rushing was inevitable because I never actually thought about it at all. I just assumed it. I assumed rushing about to be a way of life – unoptional and sometimes even admirable. Like when you run into someone you’ve been trying to get together with and ask how they are and they respond with, “Oh my gosh, we’ve been so busy!” The resulting impression is often something like, “Wow, they must be really important.”
But here’s the thing: all of this was happening on a frequency in my head that I could not hear. These assumptions and acceptances just occured. I didn’t even know it. I didn’t notice it until it all suddenly went away for a very long time and I experienced the Corona Calm. And then, when I experienced hurry again, it felt kind of awful.
I’m dialed in now. I want to know what other assumptions have controlled me like a dictator. Then I want to stage a coup d’etat.
I want to eat the whole sandwich from now on.
But I may still listen to the music loud.