Traffic Lights

My eyes scan the traffic ahead of me. My mind is busy. Wondering what lane to select. Planning the best route for my trip to where ever I’m headed.

Up ahead I notice the light is green, but will it be when I get there? Will I be able to stop if it turns red? I judge that I will have to stop. Now I consider how many cars are ahead of me. Is there a truck with a trailer? Is there a semi? Where will I be in the line? I like to be first in line. Two cars will be ahead of me, but a quick glance to the lane next to me is empty. If I move over, I will be first. I am now first in line.

As I wait for the light to turn green, I look to see who is in the car next to me. Will they be a quick starter? Will they be a dawdler? My eyes return to the traffic light. I want to be ready when the light turns green. The light changes, I pause to be sure the cross traffic has stopped before I move forward.

I like to be first because I’m not very patient with people who don’t go when the light turns green. It’s particularly annoying when I’m second or third in line. Four seconds pass and we are still standing still. I give an exasperated sigh that no one can hear, except me.

Now if I’m farther back, my attitude is completely different. I am less impatient, more resigned to my position in traffic. So, I wait patiently for the line to begin to move. Now I’m back assessing, will I make it through or will I have to stop?

The traffic cycle of assessing positions starts again and continues,  until I am back home and in my garage.

18 thoughts on “Traffic Lights

  1. HAHA! I don’t even think about it usually. I am where I am. But I do use the “walk” signs to help me know if I am getting close to a yellow light and need to stop. The light isn’t yellow for long here, so if it pops up, I typically must stop!

  2. Joyce says:

    That conversation surprised me. I figured you had the patience of Job…..such fun to lean these new things about you.

  3. Terje says:

    You are certainly a person who can find slices anywhere and make an ordinary situation engaging. Waiting behind traffic lights – it would have never crossed my mind.

  4. I think it is not good for me to be first in line. My mind sometimes wanders at traffic lights and it may be a second or two before I start when the light turns green. I also tend to wait to make sure no one coming the other way is running the yellow. And I really get annoyed at people who beep immediately. Are you really in that much of a hurry?

  5. I thought I was the only one who had these thoughts. Apologies if you are ever behind me. My dad taught me to count to three after a light turned green, just in case someone runs a red light. I still follow that rule almost 40 years after he taught me to drive.

  6. I never figured you for chomping at the bit at the green light! I, too, dislike people who don’t start right up, but I’ve learned to expect it these days. I enjoy giving them a loud honk with my PT Cruiser horn that sounds like a goose!

  7. carwilc says:

    Yep, right there with you. I want to be first! The worst is being in a turn lane, when you know the light is not very long, and the person who is first waits a while before they go.

  8. You have expressed so well what many of us think while playing the traffic light lotto. When I am not sure if the light will stay green or change I sometimes tell myself that I can’t safely stop so I have to go through the yellow light. Not the smartest I know.

  9. I enjoyed this post so much – you expressed my sentiments exactly! Love this conversation – I have had it so many times. “Oh, I see YOU made it through the light, but I am still sitting here. Thanks so much!” and many other versions of this same talk. All too true!

  10. vicki s says:

    Oh … this is great! You put into words what goes through my head daily! How funny it is the way we think about things that really only consume a minute or two of our time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  11. Nice step by step. You will inspired me to follow you today when I’m out. I tend to make the mistake and check my phone when I know I shouldn’t…. Can you believe that we are almost done with #SOL18?

  12. Great post and so true! I love the little dialogue you invited us into when sitting at a light! Makes me think about all the other little dialogues we engage in during the course of our day!

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