happiness vortex

Life is mostly full of little things with the occasional big thing here and there to give you some perspective. So the little things matter. Until the end of last week, each morning’s drive to work invariably included me sitting in my stalled lane of traffic on I-10 waiting to get on 45 South (you’ve heard this before). And just as regularly, I would watch car after car (driven by people way more important than the rest of us) cut over at the last minute to get in my lane. Even subtracting a suitable percentage of people who didn’t realize that was their exit until the last minute and others with actual emergencies, there were still plenty of dickheads who just didn’t want to wait.

So, instead of getting bothered each morning by the lack of civility shown by my fellow Houstonians, as of the end of last week I decided to take Memorial in to work instead of the freeway. Not just when I-10 is backed up. Every day. It may or may not be faster, but more important than that – it’s a much nicer drive. First, the fancy houses. Then pure forest with a road cutting through the middle. Then the commercial section, full of the fuels (coffee and gas) that drive America. Then a winding road above the bayou that takes you around a curve and suddenly you’re greeted by the skyscrapers of downtown, like rounding a corner and finding a mountain where you weren’t expecting one. Certainly a much more interesting drive and a nice journey through the micro-climes of Houston.

As I waited at the light this morning to take a right to go to Memorial and away from the freeway, I was thinking that this change in the journey (but not the destination) was a positive one for the sake of my mental health. Then something in my rear view mirror caught my eye. The guy driving the car behind me was singing a song, very animatedly, with his young daughter whom I could see in the back seat. They were both having a great time on their way to daycare/work, and it made me happy. It’s like there’s a little happiness vortex on that stretch of road. Maybe I’ll do something one morning that will make someone else laugh.

I hope it’s not me picking my nose.

4 Replies to “happiness vortex”

  1. Yay for alternative routes! Memorial does sound like it would be better on the nerves just because of the ambiance. Since I moved far SE I try to change it up every day – once in a while, though, I get on 45 just to remind myself why I avoid it..

  2. When I occasionally drive to work instead of taking the bus, I often wonder about the people who are waiting to get onto I-45 South as I pass them by on I-10. I know they can’t all be headed south of Downtown, like yourself. I imagine that some of them just don’t know any better route into the beehive, and that is where my more selfish side steps in and hopes that they never discover that the Smith St. exit is just a little further up the road.

    1. You’d be amazed at how much UH impacts traffic. When school is out of session, traffic is amazingly lighter in that area (and even better when HISD is also out). When I’m sitting in my lane, I can see UH parking tags hanging from the rearview mirrors of multiple cars. So I think that’s part of it.

      As for the Smith exit, when I worked at the Alley I was always surprised that more people weren’t getting off there with me. It is odd…don’t tell anyone…

  3. Now put Staying Alive on your iPod and strut into work.

Comments are closed.