I went for a little drive to complete an errand of no big importance. That is to say, it was not a pressing matter and I could have handled it on any day in the next 3 weeks. The point is I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to get out and go somewhere, anywhere. You would think that after seeing only Sparky for so long I’d welcome time without him but while he was at work the house seemed so empty. Thus I merrily jumped into the car and headed to my destination. Except I was too wrapped up in other thoughts and missed my turn. No problem. I live in a relatively small city and I’ve lived here for 40-ish years. What I didn’t count on was road construction.
I had missed my turn due to being on “auto-pilot” and taking a very familiar route that I drove daily to work. My destination was NOT the university but a place located before that institution would come into view. I ended up driving for about 20 minutes taking multiple turns and additional detours to end up right where I started. That is, right where I went wrong! Having become disgusted with myself and the summer construction season, I turned for home.
I was caught up in my own little dark cloud of perturbation when it dawned on me that I’d just passed my original destination! I was able to redeem my trip by pulling into the next business (albeit a bit abruptly) and simply parking and walking across the lot. It occurred to me that this trip where I was like a programmed robot is how many people go through life. Once I was back on the road I decided to really pay attention to the people and places I was passing. I saw lots of people walking, mostly alone, in a seeming trance. They didn’t respond to a smile and a wave. People in cars saw only my car and not me in my car smiling and waving. It was a little disheartening. You would think that we’d all be hungry for any positive social interaction. Which leads to this post. My question is, have you been robotic in your life? Are you still on autopilot? Have you been able to break out of the routine and experience the miraculous and the joyous?