I ran through three yellow lights today, deciding to heed the nefarious suggestion — to speed up — instead of listening to the practical one — to slow down. It was just one of those days. You know the kind, when everything you do seems just a step behind everyone else, like you’re slogging through mud trying desperately to make some kind of headway. And somehow the traffic light knew, preferring to turn yellow just as I was driving through those 3 intersections.
Most days are green light days for me, I have to admit, days when I’m moving quickly and things part to let me through. On days like those I almost never stop at red lights because they hardly ever have anything to do with me. I see them up ahead, and the guy in front of me stops, but by the time I reach him the light has changed and I can go right through. So, on those yellow light days, and, heaven forbid, also those red light days, I have a wealth of green light memories to get me through.
I have had at least four red light days in my life, when no matter what route I took or decisions I made, I couldn’t seem to escape having to put on the brakes. They’ve come at the oddest times, too, and they don’t really care what else is going on in my life. One of those days was when I was laid off from my teaching job of 7 years. From the start of the day things just weren’t going right. My alarm hadn’t gone off that morning, the students were more lackadaisical than usual, and then I got the notice that sent me to the principal’s office.
But green light days help me put days like that into perspective. In the grand scheme of things, yes, it matters, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Green light days like the days my daughters were born can lighten the mood of any red light or yellow light day. Green light days like my wedding day and the 8 days of my honeymoon can do wonders. I was actually going through correspondence between me and my wife from when we first met, and every single one of those days were green light days, when nothing else in the world seemed to faze us.
I am so grateful for green light days, but not just for them. I’m also thankful for yellow lights days that help me slow down and assess whatever is in my path. Even when I blow through those yellow lights, they still affect me inside. And I’m grateful even for those red light days, because without them I wouldn’t appreciate the green light days so much. They give me a chance to reflect, to remember, and to feel blessed by those green light days.
And on rare occasions, sometimes red light days and yellow light days can turn into green light days when I leave them alone.