Attempted rodent suicide and the time that things take

groundhog

Last week, I was driving down a country lane by our house. Up ahead on my left, I saw a groundhog at the edge of the road. How cute. A little groundhog.

So I’m driving, and just as I’m almost to him, he runs into the road. The closer I get to him, the more committed he becomes to getting across the street before my car passes by.

Instead of waiting for me, like a reasonable rodent, he doubles down and really goes for it, running with everything he's got. I had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him.

With just a bit of patience, he could have waited until my car passed, since I was the only person on the road for miles. And then he wouldn’t have had to take his life into his own creepy little hands.

Because what if it had been someone else driving along?

Think Farmer Parker down the street gives a damn about the life of this furry pest? Nope. Farmer Parker is hitting the gas on his 1978 Ford F150, cackling with glee over the demise of one of his garden’s biggest nemeses.

All I’m saying is if it wouldn’t have been me behind the wheel of my mom-van, that woodchuck would never again be able to find out how much wood he could chuck.

[Now I know why there are so many dead animals all over the road in the summer. THEY HAVE TO GET ACROSS THE STREET ASAP AT ANY COST.]

You know who else acts like this sometimes? Us. When we’re trying to rush change.

We want to be in a place we’ve never been – a changed, new us!

But like our woodchucking pal, we lack the patience and the long term view to get there.

In more literal terms, if I want to get to Key West from Ohio, I can’t just snap my fingers and get there. I’m 1300 miles away. That’s 20 hours and some change on the road.

Even if I have a plane ticket I still have to pass over the Virginias, the Carolinas, Georgia, and the whole of Florida.

The good news is, as long as I know I’m doing what I need to be doing to get where I’m going, I can relax while I’m getting there.

I can focus on the *process* and the *actions I’m taking* instead of the destination.

It works like reading a good book on the plane ride or stopping for Yoohoo chocolate drink, pork rinds and King-sized Reese Cups on the road trip: it makes the time pass faster. Before you know it, you’re there.

When we slow down, add patience, and switch our focus from results to actions, we will more easily get to where we want to go, and we will not become roadkill in the process.

~~~

Subscribe to my email list to get an essay like this every week.