So a couple of weeks ago I was driving on the highway heading home. It was a Saturday morning and it seemed like everyone was out and about. Plenty of zooming cars and chugging semis. It was a chilly grey morning, and the heater in the van was on full blast, roasting our defrosting noses. I happened to have a pounding headache this particular day, which of course put me in a delighful mood.
Picture me as the impatient driver weaving through the lanes and whizzing by the dirty semis. I was trying to make it home in time to stop the increasing thugging in my brain. Of course this particular highway I was driving on is ALWAYS jam packed with vehicles. I should have felt grateful that we were going the speed limit....well at least some of us were. So when I saw my exit up ahead I swerved into the right lane, eagerly awaiting the usually sparse highway. And just as I did this, a slower driver in the next lane decided to cut me off and budge in front of me.
Needless to say I was a bit miffed by this, but what could I do? We were driving up the exit ramp now, getting ready to merge. Nevermind that after this driver decided to cut me off they insistenly drove ten miles under the speed limit. Oh I was impatient and angry.
"Why are ya going so slow?" I shouted at my glass window pane
"Who are you talking to Mommy?"
I stole a glance at my daughter Elly, who had been quietly sitting in her car seat. Right, the kids are in the car. Be nice Danielle.
"Oh just the car in front of me, they are going so slow, they aren't going the speed limit."
I felt validated in my anger as I was about to pass the slow poke. I flashed my turn signal and slowly began merging into the passing lane. But just as I did this GUESS WHAT?!?? Mr. fancy pants in front, AGAIN cut me off and quickly moved into the passing lane. Steam was coming out of my ears by now, I was sure of that.
"Jerk!" I yelled back at the car who was still, by the way going under the speed limit. My anger seemed to fester in the air around me.
"Mommy you need to take your time and be patient." Elly piped up.
That tiny little sentence from a tiny little girl punched me in the gut. I expressed these same words to my daughter countless times, yet here I was getting my panties in a ruffle over a few short minutes. Guilt and shame melted away that air of anger.
"Your right Elly. I'm sorry, your such a smart girl."
Her words got me pondering my motives. Would an extra two minutes on the road really have such an effect on my attitude? Even with a thumping head ache did I have to be so....ANGRY? This is something I have to work on everyday. I can be quite the hot head, so I have to be more aware of when my emotions get the best of me. Even as I am writing this I am attempting to keep a cool head as I watch my two girls throwing all the dirty laudry out of the basket and onto the floor. I am trying to use kind words as they raid Danny and I's night stands. Books, cds, and my discman is now decorating the floor. I guess the easy and hard part to life is enjoying the journey, being graceful with our words and realizing that we have control of our emptions. MUST LEARN TO MASTER THIS!! In the meantime I continue to learn from those humbling moments when my little girl calls me out.