It’s been a challenging time…

or maybe it’s best to say that I am having a challenging time (less victim, more power that way). Lots of change and surprises for myself and my family… so I’m feeling a lot.

Last Friday, my husband and I had an incredibly busy, stressful day. We had been running around non-stop and by 6:00 pm we were drained, hungry and tired… but we saw a light at the end of the tunnel… Our final tasks? Deliver something to our son at his college campus and have dinner with our daughter at 7:00 pm.

Friday. Rush Hour. And so it begins…

6:10 pm – We have been in the car most of the day with my husband driving and so we switch off and I’m driving now. I know we are exhausted from the day and I think it’s best if we just charge forward and keep going. I think we have enough time to make it to his school, do the drop off and get to dinner with our daughter, Emilia.

6:15 It’s Friday. So that means rush “hour” is that hellish parking lot thing. My Subaru feels like a stress filled sardine can.

6:25 Having gone 10 feet on the highway, I realize that I have made a mistake. No way we will make it.

6:25:30 My husband realizes what I realized 30 seconds ago.

6:31 An argument begins as to why we thought we could make it.

6:35 Wonder why there are no escape hatches in cars.

6:39 Call our daughter and tell her we cannot eat at the restaurant and ask her to order it and bring it home.

6:40 Wonder why menus are never easy to find online. Wonder why humans still have to eat at all… wasn’t that supposed to be different in 2020?

Stressful.

6:42 My husband reminds me how much he hates cold food. Cold food tastes bad. Cold food defeats the purpose. Cold food is a little bit of hell.

6:42:28 Fantasize about cars that can fly or hover or something that moves – fast… wasn’t that supposed to happen in 2020?

6:43 – 6:50 Silence… but not the good kind.

6:51 Crawling closer to my son’s campus. Realize that the truck ahead of us has that incredibly weird hanging men’s “package” from the tailpipe. Wonder why someone thought THAT was good idea and not the all important escape hatch.

6:55 My daughter calls. She is running late.

6:56 Wonder if I should say that maybe the food won’t be THAT cold now… decide against it.

7:05 Very close to my son’s college

7:06 Get texted that my son is NOT at college. He is at In & Out. Understand why some animals eat their young.

7:07 After googling, my husband finds out just how many In & Out Burgers there are in Glendale.

7:08 Meekly suggest that we get In & Out… under my breath say “It won’t be cold”

7:08:34  Get the stare

7:10 Trying to Exit the 210 and get into the In & Out parking lot. We are now sitting still… stopped… in traffic. The day catches up with me. I’m tired, I’m worried about all the things going on in my life. I put my head on the steering wheel and declare, “I GIVE UP! THIS WAS A STUPID IDEA!” I really regret that we did it in this order, everything is pretty screwed up.

7:15 Get to In & Out, see my son, give him the stuff.

7:16 Back in the car.

7:17 The traffic opens up and we easily get out of the lot.

7:20 My husband puts on music.

7:22 My daughter calls – she just got to the restaurant. My husband looks at me – we’re pretty close. We tell her to order and we will meet her there.

7:25 No truck balls – a good sign.

7:28 My husband says something funny and we laugh. I’m glad that’s not different in 2020.

7:30 Get to the restaurant. My daughter is there. We sit down and the food comes – piping hot and tasty.

The universe is always telling you something.

7:35 I realize that the universe is communicating with us all the time. Sometimes I get so stuck in listening to myself or others that I forget there is a rhythm, an unspoken language to the world that I can hear and take comfort in. And tonight the universe said, “it’s all working out”. I want to remember that.

By ALISON MARTIN

Alison Martin -- wife, mom, Emmy-award winning actress, writer, chocoholic. Bronx Italian, daughter of Pultizer Prize winning reporters, who also identifies as L.A. Irish. Shout outs: Dan, Emilia, Brady, pooches - LuLu & Ted, friends, Mother Earth, serendipity, peace, VIPHS, Boldfaced Secret, living life like your socks feel real good.

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