oh, the irony.
on the very day that i posted about how my november goal was “no complaining,” God decided to give me a test.
i had a fabulous day in toronto on wednesday – it started with a quick ‘n’ easy drive into the city, and the positive vibe continued through the day. the weather was gorgeously warm for november, bright and sunny. little e and cutie c were absolute gems during my time with them. a highlight was our evening craft time together – we got into an in-depth discussion about vacuum cleaners (!?!) which was reflected in our masterful drawings and artistic projects. the creative juices were flowing fast and furious for all three of us!
i left the brother and sil ana‘s just after 7:30 p.m., and – would wonders never cease! – the gardiner was lightly trafficked, and i sailed out of toronto in near-record time for a weeknight.
now, normally, the first thing i do is check out the every-ten-minute traffic report on 680 news, as i drive out. i like to have a heads-up on any possible delay. well, because the gardiner departure was sooo easy, i bypassed this routine as i was confident i’d be home in very good time.
things were fine as i progressed on my journey – no slowdowns in mississauga, even! score! then, just west of mississauga – boom. red tail lights gleamed as far up the road as i could see.
oh, brother. well, no prob, i thought. it’ll be a short delay – it’s likely construction.
i got a little concerned when more minutes had passed and i had hardly moved.
i turned on the traffic report, and my heart sank: just west of milton (i had not even hit milton yet, and it has three exits off the 401, just to give you some idea of the distance) there was a diesel spill, and traffic – THREE lanes worth – was limited to getting by on the left shoulder of the road.
i slumped in my seat. this was going to be a long haul.
it would be so, sooooo easy to write a negative rant, here (thus far, i think i have stuck mainly to setting up my story, and to reporting just the facts, ma’am. i hope you agree).
so, in the 2.5 hours that remained of my trip home, i had ample time to reframe this frustrating experience into a focus on positives. here’s my list:
~ i considered all the cars and trucks, big and small, surrounding me. literally, there were thousands of us facing the same circumstances. i looked INTO the cars to see the drivers, the passengers, their faces. each one of us wishes we were somewhere else, i thought. i am no more or less important than any of these other people. we all are feeling the inconvenience, stress, and frustration.
~ i was so glad this delay happened on my ride HOME and not TO toronto as a loss of time of this magnitude would have severely impacted my transport duties with little e. missing my rendez-vous times with her would have really freaked me out.
~ there was no rain to deal with – the roads were clear and it was a mild evening.
~ i had my blackberry with me so i could communicate (and vent!) to share that i would be MUCH later than anticipated. and i also read blogs, gotta be honest! (seriously, it was totally inch forward, sit for several minutes, creep forward again).
~ i was delayed because of the gas spill, NOT because i was personally involved in an accident. the rav was fine, i was fine, once i got through the back-up, there would be no further issues to deal with, or repercussions.
~ i gave thanks that i had stayed on the 401 and had not ventured off on the detour suggested on 680 news (although by the time i heard the traffic report i had already passed the suggested exit). just after i passed the diesel spill, i could see the sideroad that many travelers had opted to take, and it was backed up just as badly as the highway.
~ i gave thanks for the workers and emergency crews out there, doing their best to clean things up. and at least traffic was moving. think of the delay if the road had been completely blocked!
~ i had a 3/4 tank full of gas and an empty bladder.
so there you have it. yes, it was not a pleasant experience. and yes, i thought about how this could qualify as a new experience (“take three hours to drive home from toronto”). but i don’t want to “waste” a new experience on this (in the grand scheme of things) minor inconvenience.
what’s the biggest traffic delay you’ve suffered through? (we’ll focus on ground transportation today and leave air travel to another time!) usually, my TO commute is 1h15, at the most. the next time it’s 1.5-2 hours is going to be a pittance after this week’s slog!
(for thursday november 3): yesterday i was thankful that the giraffes are complete!