Yesterday I found myself in traffic. An every day occurrence to be sure, especially on Crescent Heights during rush hour, but yesterday's traffic was a different kind of jam. It's totally trite to speak of epiphanies, especially on the very last day of the year, but these last few weeks of limbo, caught between a year gone and one soon to begin, were designed with them in mind. So. Let me start this again...
Yesterday I found myself in traffic, the kind where everyone is honking and no one is moving and intersections become blocked by cars trying to speed through yellow lights even though there is nothing but more traffic on the other side. A man was yelling at another man the lane next to me. Naturally, I opened my window except I couldn't hear anything over the wind storm, which Wizard-of-Oz style managed to pull me out the window of my car and into the sky where I sat watching palm fronds fold compromisingly and tear away. It was beautiful up there. The skies were clear of smog from two weeks of heavy rain, Hollywood Hills green with growth and mildewed mansions. I would have happily put my car in park and watched everything sway and stand for days if the car behind me wasn't honking for me to go.... three. entire. feet.
Our Internet has been down for an entire week. The line was severed during the storm and we were told it would be repaired sometime this weekend. Today is the first time I have been on my computer since Tuesday at my parent's house. In the meantime I'm here writing at the coffee shop, racing against their early New Years Eve closing time.
A down Internet isn't so bad, it turns out, and much like my moment of appreciation for being stopped in traffic during a wind storm of dancing tree tops, so have these last days been more blessing than curse, being able to spend our vacation unplugged against our wills. Last night instead of migrating to opposite ends of the house to stare into our computers until bedtime, Hal and I sprawled across the foot of our bed, sweatpants pulled over cold feet and talked - we looked back on the year's events with nostalgi-awe and held hands. I told him about the day's earlier traffic jam and how I had an "out-of-auto-experience" that led me to the mantra I had decided would be mine for 2011.
2010 was the year of the workhorse - of blogging almost daily and fourteen drafts of a (finally!) finished project I spent the entire year working on after hours. Twas the year of trading apartment for home, acclimating to a new life and lifestyle, of putting an obscene amount of pressure on myself that led to implosion as it so often does because more, more, honk, honk, go, go = crash.
These last two weeks have been a sea change. From Hal and I putting off plans to try for a third child this year (because "wanting more" was last year's mantra) to me deleting my "2011 Month by Month goals...." Select all, replace with: break and roll down the window, and that's what I intend to do.
Traffic is unavoidable. Such a waste of time cursing at parked cars and red lights and bad drivers. Break and roll down the window, yo.
We tend to focus our attention on how fast things accelerate because all drivers have a need for speed. Zero to thirty. Zero to fifty. Zero to one hundred miles per hour without slowing down. In the past, de-acceleration has felt to me like failure when really, it's the speed at which we slow down that showcases our ability to drive.
2011 = break and roll down the window.
So much to see beyond the glass.
Sixty to zero in ten, nine, eight...