Catching A Bus

At the moment, I’m living in the gardens of Isengard.

You what?

The Gardens of Isengard (See? Hair! Staffs! All magic like!)

Yes, these gardens.

Well, ok ok, I actually live in a cottage. The gardens are (quite literally) across the road.

This is where my parents live. Rivendell is just up the road, and yep, in general the area is every bit as picturesque as in the movies (Lord of the Rings, in case you’re not a complete nerd).

It’s also kinda neat to be able to spend serious time with my family. This hasn’t happened since I left home, twenty something years ago. It’s super educational, and a great growth opportunity (which, of course, I simply love).

It is, however, quite a way from the nearest decent sized town (they call it a city, but I’m not 100% sold. Maybe city-lite?)

So how far away is it?

Well, the other day, I went to catch a bus.

Catching a bus is something I haven’t done in… Well, I think the last time I caught a bus was in Seattle, in 2006.

That was the time some crack head woman started screaming at the top of her lungs then climbed out the window into traffic… and people wonder why public transport is so unpopular?

Anyway. I’m sitting on this bus. It’s not particularly exciting as buses go. It looked like this:

This is a bus (note: no crack heads)

Right, now stare at that for (spoiler!) an hour.

The bus is ricketing around so much I can barely send a text message. I definitely can’t read. Well, I could if I didn’t mind losing my eyeballs, but I prefer them inside my head. I’m a bit of a fusspot like that.

Why was I even on the bus in the first place? The short version: my local drivers license got eaten by the gaping maw of Australian bureaucracy. I just need to order a new one; I simply haven’t got around to it yet.

So, no driving = public transport time for moi. Thus, the bus.

If I was driving, it would take about 20 minutes to get into town. By bus? An hour.

The bus does not take the direct route. Colloquially this is known as “a tiki tour” – ie, a trip that appears to go everywhere & nowhere (much like life, I suppose).

Town's to the right, behind the tree..further..a little further..40km further..

After about twenty minutes, we were driving past horses. Seriously, horses live closer to the city than I do. Horses!!

So there I am, being jiggled around like popcorn in a pan, getting increasingly frustrated as the driver leads us deeper and deeper into suburbs unknown.

Then I suddenly had what my Sensei likes to call a mini-satori.

Why was I so annoyed by all this?

It was the thought of having to catch this bus on a regular basis. Wasting all that time, being unable to do anything about it. The thought of all the choices I’ve made that lead me to this situation.

But wait, this was the first time in my life I’d ever caught this bus. For all I know (who can predict the future?) it might well be the last time too.

I was getting all wound up about something that may or may not even happen, in the future.

I was being upset by stuff I couldn’t change anyway, in the past.

The actual situation itself was, well, fine.

How often do we get our knickers all twisted over something that isn’t even happening?

Often. VERY often.

As soon as I realised that, I was back in control.

I’m the boss of my brain.

I let go of my past decisions. For better or worse they’ve been made. For all my self-analysis, I know I made the best decisions I could with the information I had at that time.

It’s always easy to look backwards (or stand outside) & judge. Any fool with a newspaper can do that. So, there’s no value in criticising ourselves for the past (Learn from? Sure. Criticise? No)

And the future hasn’t even happened yet.

I was feeling crappy for something that might never even occur.

Wow. We sure give ourselves a hard time. Well, I do, you’re welcome to speak for yourself, of course.

The great news is – just realising it set it all free. I immediately relaxed. Prepped some peppy music. Laughed as the bus driver waved hello to all the families in their driveways (I swear, he knew the entire suburb). Sat back and enjoyed the gorgeous views rolling past.

Simple as that I was filled with an overwhelming love for the entire situation.

Maybe there really is something to this whole “present moment” mumbo jumbo. All those hairy old dudes, they can’t have been right all this time, surely?

Nah… That’d be too easy.