The other day I had to go to court. Yup. Traffic court. Yours truly earned herself a speeding ticket. When I saw those lovely red and blue lights behind me I was instantly ticked off. With me, with the officer, but then just with me, realizing…well…it was my fault. I actually caught myself speeding and just as I realized it and slowed down, the lights appeared. *sigh*
I observed the irritation I had and was kind of intrigued by it, realizing how automatic a reaction I had to blame someone else for what was clearly my fault. I had a moment with myself, talked myself back into reality. This was my wake up call that my life is just too busy. The reason (not excuse) for me speeding in that very moment was distraction. Not by my phone, or radio or other people in the car, or any other typical distractions; by my own thoughts and high gear that I had been running in all day….all week….for several years, really.
I went to court and stood in front of the judge and all the other people with my tail between my legs. When he asked if I had anything I wanted to say, in my head I was going through all the things that led me to this spot, the fine I had to pay and how I totally get that I deserved that, and how this little moment in court represented a wake up call for me…instead I said, “No”. He smiled at me, not a smirk, a smile. It told me that he knew and maybe appreciated that I “got it”.
What happened next almost sent me over the edge. This man walked up before the judge as I stepped to the side and got my paperwork from the court clerk. If there was an excuse to have, this guy had it. Literally I heard, “I am not used to this new bureaucracy…”, “I couldn’t pay my registration because I have this mental health stuff going on…”, “I don’t see the big deal with using your cell phone in a car…”. It took a lot to not turn around and say a few things to this guy. Then we walked out into the hall to pay our fines and I was privileged enough to hear more as he complained to the people in line with us and continued to plea his “not guilty” case.
This man is quite obviously a victim. I don’t just mean that day; he is a victim of life. The thing is, this is his choice. This guy, like many of us, has chosen to walk through life without an ounce of responsibility for himself. He wants the easy road. He wants to be babied and to escape any consequences bad choices might have for him.
So, there it is. We all have circumstances that occur in our lives that we do not plan for, ask for, nor want. Some circumstances occur because of our own choices. Regardless, what you do with those circumstances is what matters. That is the fork in the road we all choose. I’m not suggesting it’s easy to put your big person pants on and be an adult about things. Sometimes you just want to curl up in a ball and cry. And that is necessary from time to time. But, you do it for a time, a short time, and then you get up, brush yourself off, lift your chin, and decide what path you will follow next.
My fork in the road is deciding if I want to continue on in this unbalanced, high speed, auto pilot life I have created for myself. Yes, I realize being a single mom and trying to work my way into a better and better life for my son and myself carries some of that “busyness” necessarily…but not all of it. This is where I step into a conscious moment and take the steering wheel. I’m inviting you to do the same.