On my way to the gym this morning over my usual route, I was taking my time and looking at the trees and flowers showing their spring attire. The speed bump in the main street was barely noticeable as I eased along, taking it all in. After a right turn I headed downhill, picking up a little speed, and forgot about the next one. I wasn’t really going very fast, but that rise in the pavement launched me up a bit and made me pay attention to where I was going and what I was doing before the stop sign at the bottom of the hill. I had to pay attention to the round about that was coming up. No traffic coming from either direction, so I accelerated around the turn and let momentum propel me on my way.
When I was several minutes into my jog on the treadmill at the gym a few minutes later, I thought back on my drive and how it is similar to how my life has been. Probably yours, too. Are you aware of the speed bumps and roundabouts in your life? Do you use them to your advantage, or are they merely nuisances and obstacles? It’s all in how you approach them, you know.
Like the first speed bump I encountered today, the things that slow you down in life can help remind you to take it easy and pay attention to the good things around you. Even if you’re looking around and enjoying the scenery, you still need to be aware of where you’re going and how you’re getting there. They can also be the changes in your road in life that you use to leap ahead or overcome the sameness that is making your path more a rut than your roadway to a better future.
Many people I know despise roundabouts. They view those circuitous routes as mere interruptions. Like speed bumps that make you slow down and pay attention to what you’re doing and where you’re going, roundabouts in particular make you look for other vehicles because you have to give the right-of-way to anyone in the circle ahead if you. Who’s there who will make you wait? Who’s there who will wave you ahead and speed you on your way or give you a helping hand? Do you use the centrifugal force of the curve to slingshot into the path you want? Are you needing a different direction, perhaps? There’s your chance! Don’t go the same way you’ve been going! Head off the other way. Do something new!
Whatever route you’re taking in your life, I hope you make the best of every circumstance with which you’re confronted. Detours are necessary sometimes. You may think they’ve just slowed you down or made you miss something important. Maybe. But just maybe each one is the opportunity you needed, the right excuse, to do something you truly needed to do…even if you didn’t know it at the time. Whatever comes your way, use it to your benefit. It’s your decision as to whether or not that speed bump is an impediment or the boost you needed. Go for it!
Great post, Dr. Cox. Nice insights and a new perspective that I have been needing lately.
Thanks, Allison. Great to hear from you and nice to know you’re reading this crazy stuff 🙂