Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
I just popped 400mg of Temodar. That’s up from 300mg last month. I’ll do this for the next five days and hopefully not have any bad effects from the dosage increase.
I had an experience today that I want to write about. It’s probably better suited for a personal diary but I don’t keep one. Probably not even worth writing down, but whatever.
I was riding my bicycle home from an appointment with my oncologist. It was sunny but in the mid 30’s. The appointment went well. I was feeling good — enjoying the day. I was coasting downhill, getting ready to turn left onto an uphill side street. To take advantage of momentum, I made a wide sweeping turn which put me a smidge into the oncoming lane of the side street.
I’ve been riding a motorcycle daily in Atlanta for ten years. This means that I have a lot of experience with the dangers of traffic. Being safe and looking everywhere is second nature for me.
I saw the car approaching on the side street and knew that I had plenty of time and room to make this turn.
But the driver still had to make “get out of my lane you stupid idiot” hand gestures at me.
Now, I’ve recently adopted a new outlook — a new way of thinking. I’m positive and upbeat. I try to be understanding and patient. I think good thoughts and put out good vibes.
But at that moment, I just about lost it. I felt the red heat of rage warm my body. I skidded to a stop, turned to face the guy and gave him my best “what’s your problem?” arm gesture. He saw that in his side view mirror and we had a short stare-down, just waiting for each other to make a move. I hoped he would stick his head out of the window and get into it with me. But, he finally pulled away and I continued home.
As I rode, I thought how I hate people in the city. There’s so many mean people. In fact, everyone that I don’t know, I dislike. I daydreamed about the argument we could have had. I relished the guilt he would have felt when he heard my overly dramatized story of being a terminal cancer patient riding a bike in freezing weather because I’m not allowed to drive myself to the doctor and that I needed that momentum to help me make it up the hill. Alternatively I envisioned punching him in the face for being a jerk.
Then I realized that all that negative thinking was ridiculous… and harmful. This is the kind of thing where you just let it go. I don’t hate strangers. I like living in the city. All those emotions I went through are counter to what I have spent months learning through meditation. So why did I care what that guy thought? Why did I get so mad about it? Maybe that’s human nature. Or maybe I need to keep working at how to focus on the important stuff. Maybe lots of us do.
As I crested the hill I began to ponder his side of the story. What could possibly have made him get upset. I was nowhere near causing a collision. Yes, technically I was in his lane for a second but he couldn’t be so obsessed about the Rules of the Road to get that worked up. Maybe it’s some deep-seated problem the poor guy has. Maybe his wife left him for a biker. Maybe he never learned to ride a bike as a kid. Who knows? The point is that he must have had some reason and I’ll never know. Could be he was just having a bad day. Who cares? Let it go.
It made me realize that we can’t all know everyone’s point of view all the time. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Actually, don’t spend any time worrying. Just focus on the things that will make me feel good. So I went back to enjoying the moment at hand, noticing the bright afternoon sun beams dancing with the chilly breeze on my cheeks.