This is most definitely a venting post, so if you don’t appreciate that kind of writing, I’m going to recommend now that you go ahead and move on with your day. Writing with emotion is rarely productive, but as I don’t really have the ability to get it out where I am right now, and it has a vaguely appropriate application to the philosophy portion of my blog, I’m going to post it here rather than fuming about it all day. Part of my goal with this post is to impart the importance of something that frustrates me to no end, but the honest truth is I’m irritated and now I’m going to write about it.
I can’t stand wasted time. Of the many things in this world that we have of value to us, it’s the one thing you can’t get back. This doesn’t mean that I’m always looking to maximize my productiveness or get the most money out of my life or anything like that. I don’t have the drive or the mindset to constantly worry about that kind of thing. Truth be told, most of my time is spent doing what other people consider a complete waste, but it’s what I enjoy so it’s what’s important to me.
Where I get incredibly frustrated is when other people waste my time for me. Every second I spend not doing what I want to be doing is a second lost that I never get back. Like so many things in life, you never get to do what you want all the time, so the game is balancing all the things you have to do with the things that you want to do. Going to work is obviously not on my list of things I want to do, and it’s a huge chunk of my day. This makes the rest of that time even more valuable to me because a full third of my day is lost to work.
I’ve obviously learned to live with this fact, but where my reason and patience break down is on the drive to and from work. There is just no way for me to be accepting of the pure lack of consideration of other drivers on the road. I grew up in an era where basic common courtesy on the road was still important, and people understood certain concepts: things like the left lane is for passing, not cruising; lead, follow, or get out of the way; and paying attention at stop lights so people don’t get stuck because you spent twenty seconds staring at your phone while not realizing it had turned green.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing in driving is when you’re stuck behind someone who has absolutely no sense of urgency at all in their driving. They have nowhere to be at no particular time, so they mosey along at a snail’s pace because there isn’t any reason for them to move any faster. I find myself shouting in the car the following phrase more often than I care to admit: “you might not have anywhere to be, but some of us do!” Whether it’s a single lane road or a freeway where everyone has decided to clump together to block progress, the attitude is the same: “I don’t care about your time”.
What frustrates me is that for the most part I make a concerted effort, even in my haste, to be sure that I’m not being an inconvenience to anyone else. I may drive aggressively, but I’m always on the lookout for someone driving even faster than I am and I’m ready to get out of the way if it becomes obvious I’m an obstacle to their progress. If only everyone else had the same kind of attitude. People worry so much about money and not wasting it, but the more precious commodity is our time and so many people are willing to fritter it away on a lack of attention.
Obviously, there isn’t anything I can really do about this. Not enough people are ever going to read this blog to make an impactful difference, especially since I live in a city and it’s just not possible that this kind of message would even reach that many people, much less truly resonate with them. It’s the cost of living in the city, and I understand and force myself to live with it as best I can. It’s one of the reasons I want to get out of the office work life and get on the road, so I can intentionally stay away from highly populated areas and the extreme selfishness that comes along with it.
As I said, sometimes you just have to vent about these things in a way that makes you feel like someone is listening, and writing it out can help sometimes. I’m already feeling much more calm and I guess it’s time to get back to the rest of my day. Still, if anyone gets something of value from this concept of not wasting the time of others, even in something as simple as driving your car, this article will have at least some value. Just keep in mind that you not having anywhere to be doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t. Have a little respect and a constant sense of urgency.
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