A Real Question: Should We Go with the Flow?

by | Mar 5, 2020 | Work, Life Balance

Today’s post is about the struggle of going with the flow – do any of you relate? Funny enough, there are some days that I am zen-like, able to move with the current of what’s happening. Other days I get pissed about it, feel insecure, or just don’t understand why I’m having to wait around on the Universe to give me a sign of something.

Last week things kept happening that I did not really want to accept, let’s be honest. I got unexpected bills, felt uneasy about the next steps in life, had to revisit relationships that just don’t fit any longer and are outright toxic, and more. By Sunday, I was just done and ironically hoping for Monday, to start the next week anew. Stereotypically, most of us don’t even like Monday. 😀

The key conundrum of last week was getting my very first speeding ticket, ever.

Now you fellow commuters may be rolling your eyes right now, but really, this thing got me. I was sitting there, yes, speeding, but I was going with the flow of everyone else. We were all a bunch of quick-paced drivers trying to get through the city to our destinations. I wasn’t passing anyone – unless they were probably going the speed limit or under ha – but when I saw those motorcycle lights, a few thoughts went through my now wigged-out brain:

  • WTH- the officer pegged a lot of us on the radar, and they’re behind me telling me to pull over….
  • Why can’t the Cadillac Escalade get pulled over too? They were in front, doing the same pace, and they can probably afford what’s about to come down more than I.
  • OMG- I only get fines for overdue library books and the rare parking fine. How much will this cost?
  • I’ve been a social worker – crap, this is conflicting.

As you can see, there’s a reason why there was a stunned look on my face when the officer walked up to the window. Don’t think poorly of me folks, but he literally had to confirm what paperwork was needed as I pulled it out and held it up. Not to sound entitled or anything, but I was stunned and not sure what to do.

To be fair, he was a pretty cool officer.

-You were speeding… Yep, can’t deny it.
-You slammed on your brakes… I wanted to say, don’t we all? I didn’t, but hell, I tap on the brakes even when I’m not speeding – it’s a knee-jerk reaction to seeing a radar.
-Here’s your ticket…and he explained who to call, what to do, because I was (still) staring off blankly.

Then he kindly told me how to get back on the freeway without getting nailed by other commuters and dying.

Moral of the story: Sometimes it’s in your best interest to not go with the flow, perhaps. It’s an instinctual judgment call.

While I didn’t feel unsafe in my driving, because really, I do try to drive safely – why did I feel like I had to pressure myself to drive like everyone else? Sure, I had a meeting to get to, and I am an early-bird type, but I don’t know that the $100+ ticket was worth the pressure.

Also, it’s easy for any of us to get into a crowd mentality, or peer pressure, of going with a flow that doesn’t work for us individually. This happens in work, life, traffic, financial choices, partnerships, whatever.

I don’t want to call it the comparison game outright, but maybe it’s worth asking ourselves: Is this really worth it? Or to start, why am I doing this? Why do I feel that this is important to do (when maybe it isn’t really that critical at all)? Is there another way to approach this that’s better for me?

Maybe consider how you can be less of a general, do everyone else’s pace commuter and more of a do your own thing individual. Just some food for thought this week. 🙂

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