This morning on the way to work, a very angry driver in a white construction material-loaded pickup truck nearly ran me out of my lane on the 91 freeway. I'm one to stay away from drivers with road rage, but this time there was no escaping Mr. Shiny White Truck as he erratically veered around me (missing me by inches), flew across two lanes to the left and then back in front of me before slamming on the brakes. I think he had malicious intentions.
It didn’t help that, at the time, I was listening to incredibly annoying commentary on NPR about "Non-Troversies of 2008" in which John Ridley named a number of big news stories from the year that he felt were completely irrelevant. I will spare you details, mostly because I’m not sure 2008 is a year that a lot of people want to re-live. Don’t get me wrong; 2008 certainly had its incredible moments. But, for the most part, I don’t think I’ll miss it. And, no, I don’t think Ridley’s “non-troversies” were irrelevant. There, I said it.
Suffice it to say that I did not consider that a happy start to the last day of 2008. I spent the rest of the drive to work fuming about nearly getting run off the road. Then, I started to realize that there was something wrong with the whole picture. Why should some stranger on the freeway have any control over how I feel? He probably didn't give our encounter a second thought as he drove on, so why should I let it bother me when, only seconds earlier, I was driving along minding my own business.
Anyway, I was soon sitting comfortably at my desk editing an article about happiness, which is a follow-up to this article that will run next week. I started thinking, again, about what really makes me happy, and I thought of you, my dear readers (however few you are) and this blog. I’m starting to think of this as a place where I share all of the things that make me happy, because I think that is something we, collectively as a nation or even a world, need right now. The party is over (for now, anyway) and it is time to look for the simple things that provide joy in life.
So, before I finish, I want to leave you with the picture that brought me out of my slump this morning:
This photograph was taken by my aunt, Linda Morrow, and is the January image in her 2009 calendar “Long Beach After Dark.” I hung the calendar right next to my computer at work on Monday. I don’t have a window near my desk, but I’ve already caught myself staring at this picture of the Second Street Bridge as if I were looking through a window. All of her photos are vivid and colorful with a painterly quality. I just love this one, which seems to capture dusk on the water beautifully.
I wish you a very cheerful and healthy New Year, but most of all, I wish you a very happy 2009.