I’ve been reminded of the opening of a particular song these last few days. No, not ‘Baby it’s cold outside’. That’s a whole other column.
The one in my head goes like this: “Slow down, you move too fast”.
It’s a tough one to take to heart this time of year when there are events over here, shopping to do over there, family obligations, baking, on and on. Not to mention that the workload at the paper grows over Christmas, too. So work tends to be done at a dead run.
But as hard as it can be to heed Simon and Garfunkel when ‘Carol of the Bells’ is playing on the radio, it’s important to do so. Christmas can easily start to feel less like festive fun and more like a marathon to be endured until you can collapse in a post-holiday lethargy on the sofa in your PJs. When you try to do everything, you end up enjoying nothing .
It’s also a matter of physical safety. Just in the last two days before writing this I’ve seen two very dangerous (and illegal) moves by two different drivers on my way home from work. One was at the corner of Ingram Street and Canada Avenue. As my light on Ingram changed (a solid green, with a green arrow below specifically for the left-turners), a car in the intersection made its left off of Canada Avenue just as the light turned red. OK, we’ve all be stuck in that situation before and you’ve got to clear out of the way of traffic. What was not OK was that the driver behind him, who was not in the intersection, hit the gas and made the turn too, completely on the red light while I had the green. Unreal. What could possess someone to do something that foolhardy? Traffic is not that bad there that time of night that he would have had to sit for more than one more light. Instead, the driver risked his life, and the lives of everyone else. Crazy.
The very next night I was crossing the Trans-Canada Highway on Beverly Street when the person in the lane beside me (the turning lane) decided he didn’t want to turn and had meant to go straight. Without signalling, or, I must conclude, even looking, he drifted over into my lane. Had I not hit the brakes he would have hit me.
Wednesday morning Beverly was closed for a time because of an accident. So drivers, I implore you to take a deep breath and think about the risks you’re taking to shave mere seconds, if that, off your trip. It’s not worth it. Having a crash will really, really slow you down.
Remember that along with all the trappings of the season, Christmas can be a time to reflect on what’s really important. The rest is just noise.
That’s what we should take to heart.