April 8, 2019

Maggie and the Nice Policeman

I had a fantastic day Saturday. There was a comic-con event at my favorite store, Heroes and Villains, in my favorite small-town city, Cortland NY, only 20 minutes away. I met John G Hertzman who played General Martok in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I met artists who had worked for Marvel and had met Stan Lee. I met a reader who I’d first met 26 years ago at my very first book signing, and not again until now (though we talk online.) And I met two cosplay contestants in full Klingon costume. Being a Trekkie, I was blissing out.

It was a long day, though, and by its end, I was pretty tired. I picked up dinner from Doug’s Fish Fry, and headed home with all due haste.

 

Actually, too much due haste

.

So as I get closer to where I live, there are twisty, narrow, barely paved roads with no lines painted on them. The only traffic I’m likely to encounter is the occasional tractor, or some cows who found a gap in their farmer’s fence line. We met a horse once on these roads, and led him back to the nearest place with horses, which turned out to be his home. When I reach this area, the stop signs seem like they’re more of a suggestion than an order. You can see for miles in either direction as you approach them, so really, coming to a complete stop in the middle of nowhere seems an exercise in futility.

Lance and I are sharing a car while the pickup and SUV are both being worked on, so my mirrors were adjusted incorrectly. Clearly his fault. So, I just kept driving along, thinking everything was fine. Behind me, the officer had turned on his flashing lights to get me to pull over, to no avail. I was listening to an Abraham-Hicks download and smelling my food, and hurrying to get home and thinking ahead to the next several items on my to-do list.

The police still behind me...

I reached the second stop sign, the last one before home, and there’s a nice wide view there, so I really didn’t even slow down very much. I might have come to an almost stop the first time, but not now. I could see forever, I was almost home, I was very sleepy, I had my fish dinner still warm beside me. On top of all that, I was only going to have about an hour at home before I’d have to leave again to watch my youngest, Betty Machete, get her brains scrambled in roller derby. But that’s another post.

So on I go, through stop sign number two, and since I’m almost home, I pick up speed on the other side of it.

Finally, as I round a curve, the angle allows me to glimpse flashing lights in my side mirror, and I pull right over, and think  I’m not even speeding, am I? And then I think, Oh wait, I probably ran that last stop sign, like I almost always do. 

I put my window down and got out my license. I wasn’t upset at all. I was wondering how this could happen when I was feeling so good, though. This very lovely young officer comes up to my car, and says, “Ma’am, did you not know I was following you?”

I look in the mirror.

There are 2 police cars now!

And I reply, “not until just now.” And I’m wondering, God, how long was he behind me? 

He tells me I have run two stop signs, didn’t use my signal light at the last one, and that while he didn’t turn on his radar, I was picking up some pretty good speed. He says he was pretty sure I didn’t see him. But he’d obviously in called backup just in case.

As my neighbors are driving by, waving pleasantly, this looks like a major drug bust or something. And I’m repeating in my head, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

I was very apologetic, of course, and he asked lots of questions about my day and I told him about the con and the Klingons, and the fish on the seat beside me getting cold, and how I only had an hour to eat and go right back out again, and that my grandson is going to be a police officer. It was a very friendly conversation. Nobody was upset, though he certainly could’ve chosen to be frustrated with me. 

So he goes back to his cruiser to run my license and I wait and listen to some more Abraham. I think how seldom I look behind me when I drive. This is not the first time a cop had to follow me for a while to get my attention. It might be the third time. And it’s not like they’re going to forget me. Ever. And not just because I’m so memorable. I have custom plates: BEWICH.

Anyway, he returns to me at length and says he was going to let me off with a warning, but it turns out my registration expired back in August 2018.

Seriously?

I think he knew I was genuinely shocked by that. I renewed it what seems like very recently. I remember because it was extremely difficult, since it had been expired for 18 months that last time, before I noticed. (I didn’t say that part out loud.) So he ticketed me for the registration. Not the stop signs, not the signal light, not for making him chase me for 3 or 4 miles before pulling over in the first place. What a great guy!

And then he followed me the rest of the way to my house. And I thought, dammit, I just told him I had to leave again in an hour. I wonder if he’s going to wait to ticket me again when I pull out my driveway. 

He seemed like he hadn’t wanted to ticket me in the first place, the sweetheart. So probably not, but just in case, I went online to see if I could find a way to be legal within the next 50 minutes. And I was! I renewed the registration, and was even able to print up a temporary sticker for the car before I had to go back out.

New York rocks in a lot of ways and that’s one of them. If you’re not more than a year late, you can do all that stuff online. I was only 6 months late-you know, this time.

So I’m thinking, clearly I’m aligned! Things are working out for me. So that means this ticket must’ve happened for a reason!

Hubby already knew

After the roller derby bout and a good night’s sleep, Lance and I talked the next day. He made the gentle and careful observation that I have fallen into my old habit of always rushing, whatever I do. And I realized upon reflection that he was right. I even rush through peeing!

I asked myself why I’m always in such a hurry, and I knew the answer immediately. I have reactivated my old habit of thought about running out of time. I have a timer ticking inside my head, and a feeling that I have to hurry to get everything done that I want to do before I up and croak, which could be any minute now.

And since I know that my beliefs create my reality, this habit of thought could be shortening my time in this particular body during this particular lifetime. The very things I want to extend!

No further mulling on this was needed, nor would it be productive. I got the message. Time to let it go and move forward in an improved way.

My Next Steps

I intend to gently and consistently replace that habit of thought, that old belief in a lack of time, (which is creating a lack of time in my perception) with an improved habit of thought. I’ve done it before. I back slid. I can do it again. This is never done.

From now on, every single time I come to a stop sign, I’m going to stop fully. No matter how unnecessary and futile it seems, the act of stopping when I don’t actually have to, is an affirmation that I have all the time in the world, because I am an eternal being. Instead of hurrying, I’ll take my time. If I ACT LIKE I have all the time in the world until I BELIEVE I have all the time in the world, then that becomes my new reality. I’ve done this enough times with enough things to know how it works.

When I catch myself rushing, and I’m sure I will, I’ll slow down, soften my focus and be present in the moment. I’ll remind myself that I am not here to get anything done. There’s actually no such thing as done. I nurture one project to the point where I can let it go and move immediately onto another. There’s never a done. And I didn’t come here to get things done, anyway. We just make that busy work up, to keep ourselves busy and interested.

But we quickly forget that. We start thinking it’s do or die. We start thinking our work and projects are some big important deals that must be done or else. And that’s so incredibly untrue. None of what we’re doing matters. It’s how we feel that’s important.

The reason we come isn’t what we do. It’s what we be. What we enjoy. What we love. What we experience. And what we feel. It all becomes a part of the Whole, expanding All That Is into more than ever before. That’s what we’re here for. Not to get the project finished, the business launched, the attic cleaned out. Not to race from appointment to job to task to chore. But to truly BE where we are.

If a task is giving me joy, then yes, it deserves my attention. If it’s giving me stress, it’s not worth it. Not by a long shot. Stress is the opposite of what we’re here for.

But here’s the pesky part…

I already knew all that!

I did, and I was doing really well. But old habits are so super easy to slide back into. And they’re so comfortable and familiar to us that we don’t always notice when we do. These are times when our partners, friends and family are so very important.

I’ve asked my hubby to tell me next time he notices I’m a bit off my zen. He looked at me with wide eyes and said, “It’s easier not to. It usually passes.”

I said I really needed him to do this for me, and I also promised not to be grouchy with him when he does.

We’ll see how that goes.

 

 

 

 

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