Friday, March 21, 2014

Zen and the art of sanity maintenance

I was in the middle of a nice lunch prepared by someone other than myself (mmmmm, carnitas) when a familiar antsy feeling started to make itself known.

“Finish up, get the check and get going, mister.”

Then my new, retired, mellow self replied to my old anxious self, “Why?”

“Because it’s what one is supposed to do.”

“What’s so pressing?”

“Um... nothing, I guess.”

“Exactly. There’s no schedule, no agenda. So I’m going to flag down the server for a refill of Diet Coke, play some solitaire on my iPhone and let that roasted pork goodness digest in peace.”

It was a good thing I’d had this little discussion with myself, because when I got back to Niland a train was blocking the road to Slab City. The train wasn’t moving and the line of waiting vehicles was about a dozen long and growing.

No problem. Relax and go with the flow. Others became impatient and turned around. I just turned off the ignition and let the disappointment and stress float away.

A half hour later the train was gone and I was just fine.

Some people might say, “But, but, that’s a half hour of your life you’ll never get back!” 

The half hour was going to pass anyway. Better to spend it relaxed than upset.


  1. Besides, it is fun to watch trains. Well, maybe not that one; that one might have been all tank cars which can be pretty boring. But a mixed freight you can check out the graffiti on the cars or try to guess what's inside and where it's going or count the cars or...