Happiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions. – Saul Bellow
Driving north on U.S. 69, the digital freeway sign displayed a simple message: No Distractions – Just Drive.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month sponsored by the National Safety Council (NSC). The NSC estimates that approximately 25 percent of automobile crashes involve cell phone use. So, this month the NSC is asking drivers to take a pledge to put down their cell phones when driving.
The pledge is a powerful one: Pledge like a life depends on it. Because it does.
Listening to the Message
U.S. 69 took me to I-35 and then on to the airport to pick up Mary Beth who was returning home from Atlanta where she enjoyed a week-long visit with our granddaughter, Blair.
The freeway message resonated with me. Even though its intent was to serve as a reminder to drive safely, I considered how the message was bigger than just a safety notice.
What if I take the message and changed it slightly to No Distractions – Just Live?
The 45-minute trip gave me the opportunity to consider my life and remember how much more peace, happiness and comfort I have when I put down the distractions and live – just live.
There are minor distractions like:
- Unexpected car repair costs
- A spat with your partner
- Forgetting an important birthday or anniversary
- Pouring soured milk over your breakfast cereal
- Paying too much for a gallon of gasoline
- Having to be in two places at the same time
And then there are more significant distractions like:
- Holding on to mistakes made in the past
- Feeling anxiety about the future
- Doubting yourself
- Not feeling good enough
- Refusing to forgive
- Feeling like you have to walk your path alone
More Miles to Go
But no matter the size of the distractions, if you learn how to put down them down and live, just live, then maybe peace, happiness and comfort can arrive safely in your heart, too.
Although I have more miles to go before my journey ends, I’m learning these things help me live, just live, with more passion and awareness. Things like:
- Letting go of the past
- Appreciating exactly what I have
- Savoring the present moment
- Giving love
- Receiving love
- Believing in myself
- Showing kindness
I arrived at the airport before my wife’s flight landed. After finding the gate, I watched as Mary Beth’s plane taxied to the jet ramp. Reconnection waited next.
After a quick hug, we walked arm-in-arm down the concourse heading for baggage claim. Mary Beth shared highlights of her visit and I got her up to speed with what she missed at home.
In that moment, there were no distractions, only the reminder of the pledge we made almost 29 years ago.
And in that moment, life felt so wonderfully peaceful, happy and comforting.