As I drive home from work singing at the top of my lungs to the radio, I often hit a barrier of instant anger and frustration.
It comes on so suddenly that it’s hard to anticipate and it feels uncontrollable.
But it has to stop. It’s only a matter of time before my daughter starts learning certain ‘driving words’.
The truth is, getting angry is often controllable and I’ll tell you how I control my road rage… (trust me, it’s very obvious and very easy to do once you know about it…)
The green beetle
As I hit autopilot on my way home, I start to notice sneaky cars from the right hand lane filtering into my left hand lane. It’s enough to make me wonder if there’s an accident ahead in their lane that I may need to be aware of.
But no. It happens far too often as my lane was just a tiny bit quicker than theirs.
It was enough to start making my eyes burn holes into the back of their cars for their lack of foresight.
Then a seemingly innocent lime green VW beetle with big flower stickers pulled in front of me. No real warning or indication. The usual traffic related antics that most queue enraged drivers will encounter.
As we get nearer to the roundabout I filter into the new left hand lane as… I was turning left. It’s a left only lane (you get the point right?).
Mr green beetle then filtered behind me – which is odd considering he was in the middle lane with enough room and time to have filtered left ahead of me.
Anyway, people are allowed to change their minds and I shrugged off Mr green beetle, having already burned a hole into his car for his misdemeanor earlier.
But then he then went OVER the roundabout, not turning left.
This really annoyed me. From being in the right hand lane, to the only lane where you can’t go straight ahead… he then went straight ahead, putting others in danger, zig zagging his way home in what can only be described as a Noddy car.
My mind nearly popped in fury over the green beetle and it put me in a bad mood in seconds.
Letting it go
Even just reliving it makes my blood begin to boil.
I shouldn’t let moments like this rule my days, but that’s all it takes. A rubbish driver doing his own thing, dumping his rubbish-ness on me.
But with a positive focus, I looked at the situation from a different angle. I didn’t actually get angry. I still watched him like a hawk as it’s drivers like that that can cause accidents, but I didn’t let him ruin my day.
I asked myself: “Can I do anything to change this?” I couldn’t. He was always going to be a rubbish driver in a rubbish car. He wasn’t hurting me or anyone else (yet), so he’s not worth the anger and frustration. It’s not going to add anything to my day and will in fact steal away those precious positive moments.
So I chose to let it go. It’s as simple as that. I had a choice.
The difference is knowing that you have a choice as to how you react.
I usually choose to get angry about it as that’s the easy, automatic route.
Once you’re aware that you have a choice as to whether something annoys you or not, it makes it a lot easier to let the small stuff go.
Sure, if your house is on fire, then feel free to get annoyed, feel angry and generally worry. But for those everyday small moments? Just smile it off.
Take a deep breathe and maybe call him a silly head. But then move on.
Let the green beetle go, you’ll feel calmer and happier for it.