What’s in Your Rear View Mirror?

trafficI’ve been at my new corporate job for three months.  I’m past using the excuse of “new girl syndrome” but not quite at a level of expertise that I’m happy with. However, I am grateful for my colleagues who are so gracious in sharing their knowledge with me. I’m grateful that my children and I have adjusted relatively well to this new lifestyle. But…

There’s only one part of my job that continues to test my patience. My commute. This is no secret to anyone. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll see a post here and there bemoaning my travels. While mornings are not horrible, evenings are a nightmare.

I struggle to figure out why a 25 minute, door-to-door commute takes an hour no matter what time I leave work. Yes, sometimes there are accidents, but most days, there’s, well, nothing. This frustrates me beyond words. I try to pass the time listening to the radio, but I can tell you that if I hear the Rihanna song “Stay” or Pink and FUN’s song “Give Me A Reason” one more time, I may lose completely lose what’s left of my mind.

I take the Merritt Parkway to work. This is a two lane highway. Translation – there are two speeds: slow and lightening fast. Typically I’m in the lightening fast lane simply to avoid those entering and exiting without a care for any of the other cars on the road.

The other day however, I noticed that while my eyes were looking at what was in front of me, I was distracted by the shadows of cars behind me that I saw in my rear-view mirror. I wasn’t looking for them, but I could somehow ‘see’ them. I was getting stressed and overwhelmed. Not a state you want to be in while you are driving.


Then brilliance struck and I heard a tiny voice. “Close your rear view mirror.” Once I did this, everything behind me disappeared and I could only see what was in front of me. I could only BE where I was in the moment. Pure bliss.

This got me to thinking about my life. A stretch, I know, but it was better than listening to the incessant repetition of overplayed Top 40 songs. I thought about the changes in my life since taking on a new job. I thought about all of the people I had met and the things I had done during my mompreneur days. I thought – that chapter of my life is over and I’m starting a new one. While I’m not completely shutting the door on those times, they are over. And that’s ok. There’s much to look forward to and while there were some pretty tough challenges as a solo-preneur, I have no regrets at all.

A few minutes later into my commute, a “mysterious” liquid splashed across my windshield from the sky. When I told my friend about this, she said this was a good sign and that it meant there had been a washing away of old ‘stuff’.  It made sense to me. I had closed the door to my former life and washed away any of the doubts or fears I’d had. I’m ready for the future.

Then something my dad once said to me came to mind.  He told me, “You want to live your life so that you have as few regrets as possible”. At the time, I had no idea what he meant. I was too young to think about regrets – my life hadn’t even started.

But now, as a seasoned middle-aged woman, I see clearly what he meant. Those words of wisdom came alive for me during that early morning commute. Closing the door of the past, being grateful for the experiences and lessons, while leaving behind any regrets. Thanks Dad.

What are you holding on to from your past? Is it time to close your rear-view mirror and start focusing on what you have right now and planning for your future? Is it time to resurrect those dreams you once had as a child or young adult? Is it time to forgive yourself and others and let go of the pain, anger, or ill-will?

Who knows what lies ahead if you are willing to do this simple act? Who knows what doors will open for you? I’m no psychic, but my sense is that you will be amazed.

Are you ready to be amazed? Go on. Close your rear-view mirror and see what comes next.

Jen’s Gem: Letting go of the past opens the door to the future.

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