I hit my most dreaded red on the way to work the other day. 90 seconds. That’s a long time to wait when you’re sitting alone on your scooter and your ipod is resting silently on your counter top at home. The first thirty seconds were spent checking out what other scooter drivers were wearing on their feet. (I try to guess where people are going based on the shoes that they are wearing. I know. Weird.) After contemplating a pair of loafers, some high tops and a pair of blue foam sandals, my mind shifted gears.
I found myself in the middle of one of my ‘what if’ scenarios. Rachel hates these because they are usually quite dark and morbid. For example, we’re going to sleep and I’ll ask, “What if you wake up tomorrow and I am lying dead beside you? “ Or we’re sitting on an airplane getting ready to take off and I’ll innocently say, “What if there’s a bomber on the plane?” There’s no point to the questions. I’m just making conversation.
Anyway, I thought to myself,
“What if I suddenly got a nosebleed. And what if it was the third time this week.”
(Unlike Rachel, I often humor myself and play along with my morose little games.)
“I could turn right and make a quick stop at emergency and check it out or I could continue on to work.”
45 seconds left.
“I am early for work and could spare the time it would take to get checked out. But then again, I have some homework to mark and it’s probably nothing. The weather has been a little dry over the past couple weeks. But what if it is something serious?”
30 seconds left.
“Ahh… I haven’t been getting enough sleep. I’m sure my body is just tired. Nine times out of ten when I go to the hospital it’s a waste of time. I’ll just tell Rachel when I get home. Hmmm. Not a good idea unless I want to go to the hospital. But maybe I should. Three times is a lot.”
10 seconds left.
“What if it is something serious? An hour. That’s all it’ll take. But do I really want to know…”
Of course I ended up heading to work, but I kept wondering what I would have done. You see, I am the type of guy who often lets things slide. There are various reasons for this, two of which are the most common.
Many times I don’t see the need for any sort of confrontation. If you butt in line ahead of me at the 7-11, it’s not worth my time. I won’t argue with you. If you ignore me when I’m talking, I don’t usually take offence. I’m sure I’ve done the same to you. And if you try to insult me, I often let it slide. I’m confident enough in who I am.
Other times, I don’t want to face the truth. For example, when an in-grown toenail caused my big toe to swell up to four times its normal size, I didn’t say a word until my brother informed my folks. (I came damn close to losing that toe! Thanks Scotty!) When I knew I was being lied to by people I loved, I looked the other way because of the pain I was afraid the truth would cause. And when I knew relationships were over, I let things slide because I didn’t want to see them end.
Confrontation or avoidance? It all depends on the situation, I guess. There is always a time to disagree, a time to argue, a time to confront and a time to let things slide. I think I need to do a little less of the latter, but knowing me I probably just let it…
Slide, by the Goo Goo Dolls, was one of my most played songs at Nepal. Something about the melody just sets me free.
Live life free and for yourself. Confrontation is good, but you need to know when to just let things slide.
Slide youtube link