Grateful Dad #4.23: Heavy Traffic

February 10, 2023

We all hate heavy traffic but a change in perspective made me realize that there's still a lot to be grateful for.

If you are a commuter like me, you would notice that the daily traffic is back to normal. I mean, it’s the same heavy traffic that we all complain about during the pre-pandemic days. I’m still complaining because we have to move double time each morning just to be able to catch the 5:30 AM P2P bus bound for Makati.

Grateful Dad #4.23: Heavy Traffic

Grateful Dad #4.23: Heavy Traffic

Otherwise, we’d be late for work even if the difference in our departure is just a few minutes. What makes it worse is that P2P buses are not allowed to use the EDSA Carousel bus lanes. Honestly, I still don’t know the exact reasons why that’s the case but I was thinking that it’s probably because P2P buses are privately owned. On the other hand, the buses that ply the EDSA Carousel bus route offer free rides because it’s subsidized by the government. That’s the only reason that I can think of.

Anyway, instead of complaining and wallowing in despair, I could only resort to changing my perspective to see the best in my situation. With that, I remember one story that I read on Facebook. I couldn’t particularly remember the name of the author but it was a woman praising a street vendor because of his hard work and dedication.

The author went on to say that there she was in her car, complaining that she had little sleep because she had to leave extra early to get to work on time. Then there’s this old man, selling bottled water and snacks in EDSA. He probably hasn’t had a decent sleep as well but there he was, standing in the middle of the EDSA chaos.

I guess what the author was just trying to point out was that we are all the same, trying to make a living, and tired because of the traffic situation in EDSA. However, some of us are in a better situation because we can afford to take a car or comfortable public transportation to get to our destinations. Again, just a matter of perspective.

At this point, I’d like to share a short story I wrote on this blog a decade ago. I deleted it a few years ago but I thought of sharing it in this post because it seems appropriate. Here it goes:

Morning Traffic

While looking out of the window of his car, he realized that being stuck in traffic wasn’t so bad after all. Instead of anguishing because of the thought of receiving a tardiness memo, he took advantage of the moment to observe the things around him.

He felt a certain kind of calm; he seized the moment to free his mind. Unexpectedly, he has found his quiet time for the day. Being at that moment, that unconventional peace, gave him a different perspective. That standstill allowed him to notice the things around him that he normally took for granted.

The quaint, old houses; that little coffee shop, the furniture shop, the small bakery, and the green, flowery garden were all but new experiences for him. There weren’t really unusual or new about the things he saw. What surprised him was the fact that he was seeing these things just now when he had been passing by this avenue for the last two years now.

He took stock of the things that he was supposed to do that weekend – the grocery, clean the garage and pull out weeds in the backyard. Most of these, he thought, were not really urgent and could wait another week. He thought about his wife. It had been three weeks since they last went out on a date. Perfect. This, he thought, was a place that his wife would also surely love.

He decided they would give this place a visit this coming Saturday. He thought of the lovely afternoon in the coffee shop or the scent of fresh leaves at the garden store. How nice it must be to have a slice of sans rival and a cup of hot, black coffee, with the cool afternoon breeze to set the mood. He smiled to himself. They would visit the plant garden shop after their coffee and buy some new pots for their own small garden.

He was in the middle of his daydream when he was suddenly jolted by the horn of the car blowing behind him. He didn’t notice that the green light was on. It was time to head off to the office. At least, for the coming weekend, he had something to look forward to.


In closing, I’d like to ask you about what you are grateful for today. Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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