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red light, green light

June 27, 2013

i sat at the red light.  impatient.  counting the seconds until the light turned green.  sighing for my daily morning commute to work that is exponentially more difficult and time consuming now that my office is on summer hours.  i get extra sleep but i spend extra time fighting traffic.  i made a mental list of all the things i need to check off my to-do list before i leave town for a friend’s beach house to celebrate the fourth.  i stressed about finding the time to get it all accomplished.  i contemplated canceling my date tonight or shirking my running date with karen.  i was cranky and stressed and selfish.

and then i watched a homeless man pick someone’s leftovers out of the trash can.

i sat at the red light.  and stared.  suddenly i wasn’t so impatient.  my mind wasn’t buzzing with negativity.  the to-do list faded and my crankiness did too.  he slumped over the metal barrel and pulled someone’s cardboard to-go container out of the trash.  he sniffed.  he picked up the fork.  and then he closed the lid and tossed the trash back in the can.  i said a little prayer {as if that will fix anything} and took off as the light turned green.

red means stop.  stop complaining.  stop self-sabotaging.  stop thinking only of yourself.  stop speeding through life, through the week, through d.c.

and green means go.  go forth and do something good.  go on with your life.  go help others.

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