So I walked down the hill this morning toward the bus stop around 11:04. The bus comes around 11:16, gets me to the train station around 11:22, giving me about ten minutes to get through the BART turnstile and up the escalator before I wait for my train for seven minutes. That train takes half an hour, then my walk takes about eight minutes. If I catch the 11:16 bus, I get to work fifty minutes early, which is enough time to walk to the coffee shop for a leisurely sip and nibble for lunch if I'm so inclined. If I catch the 12:16 bus, I get to work ten minutes late.
I dunno about you, but I hate being late.
So, naturally, I missed the bus. My automated transit cards--both of them--are both gone haywire, and without them my only option for the bus is to pay cash. I don't carry cash. Which means I got halfway down the hill only to realize that, two minutes away from my destination, I wasn't going to have what it took to board that bus.
I had to turn around.
And I HATED it.
I got so mad I could have wrung someone's neck. My head filled instantly with all the things that had already gone wrong this morning, this week, this month, and this year. I cursed as I wheeled the stroller around and puffed back up the hill. It just wasn't fair to go through my whole morning rigamarole just to find out I was going to get a look from my boss when I got in.
(Even more than being late, I hate receiving the disapproval of others over anything I could have prevented.)
I opted to take a different bus, one that comes just late enough to put me at work fifteen minutes before I normally arrive (and forty-five minutes after I had planned to be there to hand off the baby to her sitter). I texted the baby's sitter from my dining room table, apologized profusely, and set out again a few minutes later to wait for bus number two.
Then something happened that really took the cake.
I couldn't stay mad.
I wanted to stay mad, to bask in my fury, but I couldn't. My fellow creatures--trees, wind, flowers, vista, sun, birds, even mud conspired to grab my attention and elicit a spark of joy. It worked.
On the BART train, a lovely older woman in an electric wheelchair smiled the rest of my chilliness away, sweet-talking the baby and me as we rode along. I exited the train laughing.
When I arrived at work, my sitter approached me cautiously. "Bad day, huh?"
I wondered what she was talking about. "Oh...yeah. But things got better on our way over."
That sums up Lent for me.
How about you? How would you sum up your experience of Lent, or any other time of year?