After putting in my eight plus at the 0l’ nine-to-five I jump in my truck to head home. Before hopping in I note the large dent in the driver’s side rear door where my wife had inadvertently backed into me. Oops!
Wasn’t she the one that suggested I park up by the garage instead of down at the end of the driveway? Is it too much to ask that she looks in her rearview mirror before backing up? I always do … except when I don‘t.
Thirty presets of AM, FM and satellite radio–why can’t I find a darn thing worth listening to during the forty–five minutes I spend on the freeway? Are the DJ‘s and talk show hosts conspiring to spoil my ride home?
Exiting the last of four freeways navigated, I head south on the main drag populated on either side by chain eateries devoid of all originality and edibility. What a dreary landscape. Just get me home.
Merging into the two lanes designated for left turns I opt for the shorter backlog of cars in the far left lane. The three car lengths saved should put me home all the quicker.
The green arrow pops and within seconds the cars to my right are passing me by at a quick clip. I‘m losing the rodent race. What‘s the hold up? Then I see it, two cars ahead of me the driver is opting for a U-turn instead of a left turn. He’s moving cautiously, a few miles per hour slower than those cars to my right. That son-of-a-mother‘s-son. Can’t he see I have places to go?
The arrow goes red. I sit. I fume.
Three hours later I am sitting in a Big Book study. The topic is the Tenth Step: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
When I was wrong?
That doesn‘t take too long to spot. On the way to the meeting my wife and I stopped at a big box electronics store, the one with the squad of geeks in white orange and black VW Bugs. I had to replace a tuner to blast the contents of my iPod through the speakers out in our patio and cabana for a bar–b– queue and pool party coming up in a few days.
A home audio tech had visited our home early that day and recommended two models. One of those was selling for a hundred and fifty dollars and the other was on a shelf marked seventy-seven dollars. I grabbed the cheaper of the two. It rang up as one hundred and sixty two buck, the shelf lied.
I cancelled the purchased and opted for the other model. It had more watts or amps or volts or some such thing. My wife tracked down a clerk get an explanation of the difference between the price on the shelf and the cash register scan price. I cut her off. I wanted the one with more watts or amps or volts or some such thing. I knew best. There was never a seventy-seven dollar option. The box was on the wrong shelf I decreed. I unwittingly ridiculed her efforts to get the best possible deal.
At the meeting I realize I had been a donkey’s behind. It had been welling up since I got off work. I was wrong, so wrong, and I need to promptly admit it.
Then I reflect a little more on the reading associated with the step. It reminds me to be on the lookout for the four bedevilments of resentment, selfishness, dishonesty and fear. Wasn’t my day filled with more than a few resentments? Wasn’t there a heaping dose of selfishness masquerading as inconsideration?
I make my apologies to my wife and send a positive mental amends to the driver who dared pull a U- turn in front of me and pray for a little commuter patience. I resolve to do nothing for 2 minutes (http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/) reflect, regroup and breath.
Had I just spent the night staring dumbly at the TV like a blinking toad, where would the prompting have come to dig into my spiritual toolkit and clear the funk? Yet another reminder of why I hit meetings regularly instead of just numbing out in front of the TV.
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