Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Missing the Bus

Sunday I went to go and catch the cross town bus. A half block away I spotted the M66. It was at the stop, doors shut waiting at a red light. I started to pick up speed, considered darting in front of the uptown traffic to make a run for it, but within the seconds the light changed and the bus sped away. I was too late. And now I had the decision to make.

Did I wait for the next bus or did I go to Plan B?

Plan B included walking, of which there was really not enough time to meet my lunch date . The other option was taking a taxi, which I am not as cavalier about spending the money on as I once was. I looked at my watch. There was still enough time to make my appointment without being late even if I had to wait a full ten minutes.

In theory a NYC bus is supposed to show up every ten minutes. But if you live here, you know that is not how things generally work. Most of them travel in packs of two and three as though they are afraid to travel the city streets alone. That  "schedule" that is printed out is more a theory than a practice. Especially on a Sunday. The question was what did I do today?

I like to live as if everything has a reason. So I pondered my philosophy as the clouds loomed heavy in the sky, ready for another downpour. What if that just wasn't my bus? What if I was supposed to be waiting for the next one for a reason only the Universe had an answer to?

That might sound a little too hokey for a lot of you, but when faced with bumps in the road it is a much easier way to travel through life.

As I tried to relax into that idea, I had a vision of my former corporate self. She would have jumped right into the next taxi. She would have been angry at herself that she had answered that last email unnecessarily before leaving the house. Had she not, she would have made that bus. She would start to panic that she might be late as if being late were a federal crime. She would have been filled with so much anxiety that had she decided to wait for that bus, she would wonder if her bus was ever going to show up. And when it did, twenty five minutes later, she would not even be able to  experience one iota of joy that it was finally there.

But she, as it turns out, no longer exists. She decided she had just gotten an idea for a blog. She made some notes in her Voice Memo app and she smiled as the bus pulled up, less than six minutes later. Plus, she got a seat.

What do you do when you "miss your bus"?
Do you wait and regroup and rest it is on it's way?
Or do you immediately jump into Plan B?


Colette Martin said...

Joanne, I laughed at the story of missing the bus. Every time I turn around lately it seems I am a few seconds late for something. A few weeks ago, the train closed it's doors as I was running to make it. The conductor saw me less than ten feet away, and closed the doors anyway. The other day my son and I were Christmas shopping. Just as we were approaching the checkout counter to make a purchase, the attendant just turned and walked away. This happened twice -- on the same day -- two different stores. Something in the water maybe?

Kate said...

I love what you wrote about your former self...and the switch that you've made to a calmer, more pleasure-filled, more present you. Hilarious, charming, and delightful!