Barbara: This is a phenomenon I notice all year long, but I notice it particularly at holiday time
First, let me set my phenomenon-question up: I have this thing I do whereby I “ask” for a parking space if I need one and it never fails: a parking spot appears where and when I most need it (I remember discussing this phenomenon on one of your blogs recently, but dang it if I can remember which one). Anyway, I’ve become rather “famous” in my little circle for my Parking Fairy miracles. Don’t ask me who I think I’m asking. It’s not God. If I believed in a super-deity, I would NEVER waste his/her time on my parking dilemmas. But whoever/whatever it is, it/they are kind and benevolent enough to grant my parking wishes. (Okay, I totally remember comparing parking fairy stories with Hollye, am I right?—and her question, which is another of my own, is why don’t I feel entitled to ask the Publishing Fairy or the Casting Fairy or the Producing Fairy for their help. Anyway, I digress…)
So, this Parking Fairy goes around sprinkling her fairy dust and I believe with all my heart that she/he manifests some kind of universal control. Which brings me to my actual question:
When you’re out and about, rushing to and fro, trying to get chores done, trying to get home on time, knowing there are a million things at home that also need tending, have you ever noticed that sometimes the seas of cars or people around you either part to make your journey easier, or they merge in your path to make you stop, hesitate, and wait? I notice this happening all the time and it kinda freaks me out.
Let’s say I’m grocery shopping. I’m wheeling my cart down and around aisles like a possessed amasser-of-goods, and everywhere I turn, someone appears out of NOWHERE wheeling their own cart which they stop RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME so they can examine the plethora of cereal boxes with fixed and determined concentration while their cart blocks the ENTIRE AISLE and I have to “excuse me”, “uh-hmm”, and “do you mind” for a seeming shopping-hell eternity before they realize I am fumbling madly, which causes them in turn to (absolutely mortified and apologetic) finally scoot themselves and their cart out of the way. And this happens not just the one time that day, but literally every aisle I need to navigate.
Or conversely, I am in the same grocery-shopping-mode, but the opposite happens: every person around me elegantly and magically moves out of the way. Like we are part of some elaborate, synchronized shopping choreography. Every item that I want and need is in stock and, on my drive home, every light turns green as I approach.
Both scenarios require effort and work on my part, but some days are satisfying, effortless-effort and some are maddening, frustrating, slow-me-down challenges. And just as I noticed this phenomenon, I began to wonder if those “frustrating” days aren’t somehow a good reminder that I might need to slow things down a bit and welcome the hesitations and waiting. When you think about, there’s nothing essentially wrong with “slowing down”, is there? Especially in these crazy times.
So what do you think? Grand scheme or random luck?
(And what if this same question was applied to life in general? Sometimes every light turns green and things roll along smoothly, and sometimes, seemingly apropos of nothing, everything blocks your way and nothing happens the way you want or need it to. So when your way is blocked, are you being guided to slow down, take a breath, and reassess?)
Deb: When I was a “younger” girl, my Dad and I would be driving from, say, downtown and he would announce that we were going to make every single light. And I would marvel. How I would howl with laughter when my Dad would start to slow the car down to a snail’s pace from a mile away if he saw that the light ahead was red and even if we were going one millionth of a mile an hour he would not actually have to stop. I thought of how difficult that would be today and how people would be all over our asses honking and cursing. I have to honestly say that I have not thought of that in 35 years, Barb, and your story prompted the memory, so thanks.
Me, I think I have mentioned before that I have great shopping karma. It always works out for me. Parking lot karma has not been granted. I am out there with the rest of the slobs taking my chances. Sometimes I get the best spot and sometimes I drive in circles, desperate and searching.
And if I am frantic and hurried, do I slow down and take a breath and let fate have its way with me? You bet I don’t. I use every dirty word strung together in the most imaginable way. Get’s me through it, yes it does.