She was pumping gas on a cold winter day. The wind was somehow making its way past my coat, and I’m sure she was feeling the same intrusive bite. Then I noticed her lean into the passenger side window, peering back towards two toddlers buckled in. She said, “Shut up and DO NOT talk.”
I was startled, but gave her the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know where she came from or what happened before she stopped to refuel. I hoped it wasn’t as dramatic as it appeared.
But who does that? Who tells a young child to “shut up”? I went away from that encounter thinking, somewhat humorously, “Maybe I’m not such a bad person after all.” Was I just deflecting the gravity of the situation by keeping it light, at least in my mind? I don’t know. I am not judging the woman. Like I said, I don’t know what her full situation was. Certainly there is/was more to the story.
I’ve certainly been upset enough to lash out, especially when I’m in my car dealing with other drivers. In fact, I’m reminded of a moment at a gas station when a woman was in her car talking on the phone, while all the stalls were taken and I was driving around unsuccessfully trying to get gas. When she got out, I let her know of my frustration, and I was wrong to do that.
I guess this instance recently can serve as a good reminder to take a breath. Relax. It’s all gonna be O.K. I hope you are having an extra abundance of patience this holiday season. Don’t let other people determine your mood… and I’ll try doing the same.
-Out of the Wilderness