In common parlance I've recently had a 'nervous breakdown', a consequence of maintaining a life that was too bloody fast. So velocity isn't something that I really should be embracing for myself. 'Slow down!' is the mantra of the moment. In reality it's easier said than done with a kid, a job, friendships to maintain, all the responsibility that comes from having a home that's larger than my twelve square metre one of a year ago.......but heck, I'm trying. Honest!
The hospital car park is normally packed and it's hard to get a space. Staff are supposed to block each other in the two end bays. Given my propensity for calamity I'm loathe to do that. Even with parking sensors, I can see that playing sardines with other people's vroom-vrooms is an accident waiting to happen. Instead I create little spaces for my teeny Skoda in unmarked areas. It risks a bit of a telling off from Matron but I'm quite proud that harmless naughtiness is part of my persona.
After a visit the other day the prime staff spot right outside the building was miraculously free. Luvverly jubbly! The only problem was that I couldn't drive into it immediately. Both left hand side doors of the adjacent car were open and a woman was in the last throes of a struggle to transfer her husband from wheelchair to the front seat. There! She'd finished. Now all she had to do was close up and I could nip in and make a start on all that paperwork.
Except she didn't. I waited a good few minutes more whilst she manhandled a wheelchair into a boot that seemed way too small. Finally she managed it, shut those doors that had blocked my advance, got in and drove away without so much as a thank you in my direction for waiting. 'Honestly, some people!' may have been part of my thinking a while back. It isn't now.
I've featured a Michael McIntyre clip before where the comedian compares and contrasts the experience of getting out of the house for the childless and those with kids. Yep, it's a scene that I still re-enact every schoolday. It highlights how frustrating life becomes when turns of event conspire to make meals of things that we are used to doing instantaneously and automatically. That woman didn't ask for the minutiae of everyday life to become so laboured. Her real desire for her and the old man would be the ability to hop into a motor without giving it a second thought. By getting cross I would have made a life that looked pretty difficult anyway even more unpleasant.
Perhaps the parking angel wanted me to watch and learn here. A penny dropped. All that endless striving for speed isn't only bad for me. It can also have negative consequences for others, those that are close as well as strangers. It's a lesson that translates into a myriad of situations.