In lieu of a New Year’s Resolution, I’ve been coming up with a new mindfulness practice for myself at the start of each calendar year. Last year I partook in what I called Bumper Sticker Practice, where I paid special attention to bumper stickers while driving around town and jotted down the ones I found particularly interesting/funny/odd/strange/beguiling. I so enjoyed having a mindfulness exercise to do while driving that I decided that my new practice for this year would also involve something I could do while on the road. Even though I wasn’t quite sure what it would entail, I landed on: Observations On the Road. It involves my jotting down either an outer observation, or an inner observation prompted by something I see directly around me, while either driving around town, stopped at a red light, or otherwise hanging out in my car for some reason (such as waiting to pick my stepson up from school or waiting in line at the drive-up teller at the bank).
Last year, with the Bumper Sticker Practice, I wrote a blog post in June, documenting the stickers I’d come across in the first half of the year. Now I’m back to do the same with this one!
Observations I’ve made while on the road, January-June 2017:
The snow gathering atop the globe lights banking the Orange Street bridge look like bad toupees.
Vans are less creepy-looking when they have windows on the sides.
The Verizon store on Broadway is the ugliest building in town.
“Stupid ought to hurt” (as it’s now impossible to stop tuning into bumper stickers, I jotted down this one that was especially amusing)
A raven on a BK sign makes me smile.
I’m pretty sure the flag outside of Perkins is the biggest one that’s ever been fashioned.
Trees are awesome.
The marks of progress can also usually be seen as marks of discomfort.
In its winter attire, Mount Sentinel resembles a giant sleeping beauty.
If it weren’t for winter, we’d never see the graceful skeleton bones of trees.
The mascot for Sinclair (gas station) looks friendly and nice. I think we could be friends.
What in the world is in Hot Pockets for them to be sold 2 for .33 cents at a gas station?! Candy bars are more expensive! Maybe a number fell off the sign?
We are strung together by a grid of wires, yet they fade into the backdrop and are barely noticeable.
How old are these kids?! I don’t remember my fellow high school mates looking this old. Is this what happens when you’re closer to 40 than 30?
Winter sun, muted by the chill and spreading like a golden stain on the valley.
Casinos, like porn shops, always keep the curtains drawn. The more veiled we keep ourselves, the more we suffer.
Winter mixes with spring, snow with sun, melting ice with songbirds, just as it’s meant to.
March 3rd: Car window gloriously down, spring is building.
Recipient of sun, cyclical breath, pine boughs aquiver in the warming pulse of winter’s slow retreat.
In the age of technology some thing are timeless and relatively unchanged, like: school buses, trees, and the texture of parking lots.
Snow seems slow to accumulate and quick to dissipate.
It’s good to be back home! Rough roads haggard from winter and all!
On an electronic bank sign read: Rain, rain go away. I wonder what it would say if we were experiencing a drought? (It’s always something.)
Music is my salvation.
The dude in front of me has 11 tail lights. In the same instance I both super appreciate big rigs and super dislike getting stuck behind them.
Sometimes the simple font of a business sign is enough for me to make a determination about them.
How has it evolved that we’ve become so unhappy with rain?
Dear sweet people abound, coming out like flowers in spring.
I don’t use this word often but motorcycles are hella sexy beasts.
It’s interesting how what constitutes as handsome follows me in age – now that I’m 37, men in their 20’s just don’t turn my head anymore.
It helps me to lighten up imagining that certain things could be an elaborate prank and I’m being filmed to see what my reaction would be.
It’s worth mentioning that Bumper Sticker Practice was a good place to start in terms of developing a mindfulness exercise to do while driving. It was pretty easy to spot and jot down bumper stickers I’d see around town. It’s been more challenging tuning into my road-inspired observations, and then determining which ones I feel are worth putting down in the small notebook I keep in the car. There’s also the added difficulty of needing said observations to be twitter-style short, so that I can pen them in the moment in short-order. It’s been a good challenge, as it gets me thinking more about my surroundings. It also gives me practice in being able to better summarize ideas on the spot – which is an art I don’t feel well-skilled at. So, it’s been a win-win new practice in my book :)