Radio Pause

When I’m in the car, I like listening to my own mix of music. Sometimes I’ll switch to AM radio to try to catch a traffic report if there seems to be unusual slowing/stopping, but for the most part, I’m a non-radio person.

This morning’s drive down the 5 freeway was nearly as unbearable as yesterday’s. Monday’s diesel spill caused a pretty nasty gridlock situation a few miles long, but today’s was more of a mystery.

I tuned into KNX to see what I could I could find, but nothing relating to the 5 freeway was mentioned. I continued on at a snail’s pace for a few more miles.

Cars darted in and out between other cars as soon as they had a large enough gap to do so. They’d gun it for a few feet, then slam on the brakes; it was obvious that their swift maneuvering was the most speed they’d likely be seeing for a number of miles.

People were getting agitated.

The sun was blinding.

Planes were not-so-high in the sky on their approach into John Wayne Airport; as they lined up with the runway, each would make a slow, sweeping turn over us all. Their colors glistened and shimmered in the morning light like fireflies headed home after a long night out.

Today’s traffic issue ultimately was caused by two young drivers who seemed to have connected during a failed attempt to merge, or just to slow down; they were off to the side of the road exchanging information, and they appeared to be getting along famously. Nothing like a fender-bender to bring two people together.

As I passed them, I realized I was still stuck on the same annoying radio station full of useless (to me, anyway) traffic reports. I’d been “listening” to it for the better part of 20 minutes, and I had no idea why. The occasional static was only mildly annoying, the content mind-numbing but not grating. Good music was nowhere to be found. Not only was I parked on the freeway, but I’d been parked on the station — and I wasn’t really aware of it.

Have you ever gotten up one morning and thought, “Is this all there is?” or “Is this what I really want?” That’s a radio pause moment, just like one I had earlier today. While I wasn’t enjoying my time listening to KNX, nothing about it was so off-putting that I felt the need to turn it off, either. Life becomes that way, too. We’re in a groove, and we’re fine. Not good, not great, not amazing — just fine. But sometimes, if we were to really stop and think about it, I’m sure we could find at least 10 things we’d like to change about our existence. 

What are yours?

Tonight I am thankful for realizing I was having a radio pause moment, for taking to heart its importance and for vowing to ask myself as often as possible whether I’ve paused in the right place — or whether it’s time to move on.

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