Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 13

November 11th was the first day that I incorporated the Magic Bus in my daily routine.

The first meeting of the day was in the Canyon office and the short journey from Amarillo to Canyon was interesting. I hadn't realized that we (the Bus and I) had yet to get on a highway. As we began to merge I noticed that getting up to 60 MPH wasn't too hard but the 70 MPH zone ahead was going to be a challenge. I felt bad for the drivers that had to pass me. I was not embarrassed, however. I have driven many cars in my life that were just in such bad shape that they couldn't keep up with traffic. No, this vehicle was made during a different time. A slower time. I felt bad because I could see that some of them were frustrated, I could see it on their faces. I wondered how we ever got things done nearly 40 years ago. How did we conduct business? I thought about my cell phone and my laptop and the PT Cruiser I just gave up (assigned to my Amarillo office). Fast. Tools that allow me to do my job faster, quicker. As I drive South on I-27 and traffic continues to pass, I start to feel some stress and pressure leaving and it dawns on me. I CAN'T go fast! I will get to Canyon, TX when I get there and there is nothing I can do to change it. Instead of becoming more stressed and feeling more pressure I am happier. As a lady blows by me in a Lexus, I look over and it's as if she is now wearing my stress as a mask. I see it in her face and eyes. I almost hear her thoughts, "I don't have time for this." She is in a hurry. Something pressing and important is pulling her South. She must be accelerating beyond the speed limit now as if to make up for the lost time I have caused her. It hits me. I have done that exact thing a thousand times. I had to get to my next meeting and maybe it was an old farm truck or a large vehicle that was in my way. I would blow by and punch the gas, my heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels increasing as my speed did. "Get off the highway!" I might say. Driving the Magic Bus is freeing. It it takes me back to simpler times. Revelation! It's a time machine. This old 1970 VW Mini-Bus is a time machine. I'm looking out at the future and steering the past. When I got to Canyon (unaware of even what time it was) and after my meeting I took a picture of the Bus. As I sit there and look at the picture, I think that the Bus even makes a modern digital picture seem to go back in time. I look at the building it sits in front of and the water tower reflected in the background and it feels nostalgic even tough it's less than a few minutes old. I feel good. I feel alive. I know it's crazy, but I feel the pressures of email and cell phones and conference calls and webinars melt away. They didn't exist in 1970 and that's where I am now.

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Travis Erwin said...

I think it would be cool if everyone slowed down a bit.

Tom said...

It is very freeing isn't it?! And another point is that YOU made that decision-you could have accepted the stress and carried on, but you chose to change and THAT is monumental thinking! That is being in control of the moment-not just responding to the moment.

Steve Hamilton said...

Love it! I can identify. I lived in Dallas and commuted to Richarson for several years. Coming home to Amarillo was a "slowing down" process for me.