Sunday, November 24, 2013

hitting my stride instead

Before the sanitation collectors toss the lids off my garbage pails in the early morning and ahead of the New York Times delivery person’s schedule for hurling all the news that’s fit to print midway beneath the rear axle of my car I am usually fast afoot and running a route towards the high school track a mile and a half away.  A few loops around and several on the weekends helps me to clear my head and provide prep for the day to come.
It’s therapeutic for me and is akin to being in a special place.  But lately I have encountered a high frequency of negative interference during these runs. 

For as dangerous as using handheld phones or texting while driving may be, the crack of dawn hours are full of the worst drivers known to man.  Perhaps they assume that no one else is on the road as they blow through STOP signs as I approach the intersections.  Evidently their spouses, friends and children run chronically late for the morning trains, in that I have nearly been run over on two occasions recently while driver and passenger alike focus only on the station 500 yards forward as they vie for the shortcut to the platform and seemingly pretend to miss me by feet instead of inches.

My grandmother used to have an apt expression.  Racing to their graves, she would say, racing to their graves.  And wise as that was, the flip side that focuses on me, is what instinctively and gladly took over causing me to comply with a simple hands held wide apart gesture and mouthing, “Are you kidding me”, instead of punching the rear window of the latest car to screech around a FULL STOP sign and ignore my existence. 
Confirmed to me instantaneously is why I am out there in the first place.  I’m out there for pleasure, for peace and a little bit of paradise each day.

Just like many of us I’m fighting the stress of a long day, traffic snarls, building back up my 401k, emotional scars, grief, finding the right babysitter, weaning off sugar and carbs, caretaking, and societal group depression as I marvel at the incompetence of government.  (PS…why couldn’t the NSA just take a few extra minutes and set up  We probably could have signed up for health insurance faster if we accessed it through Angela Merkel’s cell phone.
So yes…I understand the world is a stressful environment.

But as miles and minutes gave way to seconds my frosty nose met the warm air of freshly brewing coffee as I habitually entered the luncheonette at the end of my run so I could chug down a water and pick up my customary lottery ticket.
And so, as the scents flowed, I sneezed.  And four regulars harmoniously rang out…”God Bless”. 

Politeness and awareness aren’t totally withered away I thought. 
Maybe the Thanksgiving and holiday season will polish it up and dust it off a bit…well…perhaps. 

In either case I will keep on attending to my daily morning paradise, regardless of the obstacles.  And if my lottery ticket ever scores I will stick to the same route.  But I will be temporarily relocated to Nirvana.
© 2013 Christopher’s Views


  1. It is such a shame that so many are so stressed... but as you say, kindness and good manners still exist!

  2. The city routine is often a cold, distant existence. But when you remove the barrier (walls, cars, clouded thoughts), the people are just as warm as anywhere/anyone. Be safe out there on the road. And good luck with your ticket.

  3. Yes, it is a shame and every day as I sit at my desk and look out over the neighborhood that has changed so much -- there are so many homeless people pushing grocery carts that they've removed from stores in order to collect the recyclables and sell them -- not necessarily to buy food but cigarettes and booze??? And yet you still can find kindness and good manners -- you just may have to look a little harder. Always good to read your posts, Christopher. Have a great week!

  4. rushing to our graves indeed...ugh on the texting and driving...the distracted driving...the not noticing others around as you are out there...its a scary place these days...we need to slow down...breathe a bit and allow time for life...

  5. I am glad that I don't need a car to get around. Public transport can be stressful enough, that's true; last week alone, three times the connection between the two trains I take to the office did not work out and I had to wait on a cold, windswept platform for longer than I would have liked. But I arrive at the office not stressed out already before I even begin work, unlike those colleagues who had to sit through traffic jams and get mad at other drivers.
    I like the expression, racing to their graves.

  6. A few deep breaths, good manners, kindness...that's all it would why do we still feel stressed to breaking point? Too much to do in too little time, I guess.
    Road rage has become the norm today...and now we even have "pedestrian rage!"
    With all this "racing to their graves" going on out there...think I'll just stay home and write!! *smiles*