The first of December: not just the first day of the last month of the year, but also the last day that anyone will get anywhere on time for the year.
The sudden onset of traffic and subsequent levels of stress and high blood pressure are alarming. Much like when it rains, in December Trinis forget how to drive, function normally or be civil on the roads in general (yes – even more than usual).
There are two possible responses when sitting in the jam: either the further-stress-inducing response of, “A$$holes, a$$holes, a$$holes!” raining from your lips, or this fail-safe solution: “Puppies!”
“Puppies, puppies, puppies!”
Here’s how it works: Instead of cursing that guy who just decided to stop…right there…in the middle of the road…suddenly…with no indicator…or even the slightest attempt to actually pull over…imagine that he is a puppy: aww, he just decided to roll over in the middle of the room for no apparent reason! So cute!
This technique also works for kittens, if that’s more your thing. Example: imagine a kitten creeping up slowly, slowly then lunging out from its ‘invisible’ hiding place with shocking speed and cuddly clumsiness, now see this adorable kitten in that mother f…(kitten) who just emerged at full speed from the side street cutting you off and does not seem to have seen you yet; aww that lil’ cutie is so excited today, movin’ around so fast like!
How can you ever get mad at a puppy? You shake your head at his inappropriate piddle and move on, because he does not know better and is just too lovable.
The way I see it, we can all gain something from giving one another the benefit of the doubt. In the same way that we devote unconditional love to our pets (granted they are much more entertaining than that maxi taxi driver who just overtook on the shoulder) we should try to devote even a small fraction of that compassion to our fellow struggling humans. They are under pressure too; forgive them for having lost their minds today. Practise not losing your mind and instead be mindful and love the puppies you find everywhere this Christmas!
While the adorable baby creatures play all around you, take a moment to use this time to calm your mind rather than get stressed.
Instead of thinking about how this juvenile being is keeping you from being where you need to be and how many more stops are on the list, realise that ‘this is where I am’ full stop. Realise that you don’t have to win the race.
Use the time to breathe deeply, take in your surroundings and just be. Notice the clouds, notice that woman struggling with her bags, notice your breath, notice your posture. Allow yourself to let go of the list, let go of the pressure.
Just for those few minutes, don’t think of yourself as trapped in traffic. Remember the blessing of being able to stop doing so much and just be where and what you are – surrounded by puppies!