Friday, August 22, 2014

Late Train of Thought

Today, I waited for a train for over an hour. It was not a train that would make me late to work or destroy my day. I was meeting the train, not taking it, so all I had to absorb was the hour lost standing in the station, unable to accomplish much of anything.

As I stood for the hour, I thought about how the people on the train (whose day probably was being upended) must be at least as frustrated as I was. Mostly, though, I thought about how there was absolutely nothing that I, or the people on the train, could do about the situation. Nothing.

I'm not used to that. I mean, isn't there always something you can do? Take medicine if you are in pain, get a tutor if your child needs one, bulk up your résumé or call in your contacts when applying for a job, go online for a recipe when you have no idea what to do with what's in your fridge?

Today, as five minutes passed, then fifteen, then thirty, then an hour, I felt an odd acceptance, even peace, about the fact that I was not in control. Don't get me wrong--it's nice to be in control--of your career and your income and your kids' successes and the state of your health and home. But it's not always possible. Much as we'd like to, we can't always be in control.

Sometimes it takes a late train to remind you that things being out of your control is not so bad. It's definitely survivable. And once in a while, it actually helps you get back on track.

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