06/10/2013 12:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Double-parked School Buses, Acceptance and Me

"I'm not wise, but the beginning of wisdom is there; it's like relaxing into -- and an acceptance of -- things." -- Tina Turner

My son texted me yesterday afternoon to ask if I might be driving by his school.

"No, why?"

"Darn," he answered. He forgot something he needed for his track meet. I was in the middle of work and not happy about the interruption, but that's what mothers are for, right?

"Thank you sooooo much," he said.

I got in the car, drove through traffic and parked in a visitor's spot in front of the school. I ran in, dropped off the brown paper bag with his name on it and walked back outside.


The two or three buses which were parked in the driveway when I first arrived were now joined by at least 10 others -- double parked, huge, yellow, in-my-way buses. I was blocked in with no way out.

"What time is school out?" I texted him, knowing the answer but hoping inanely that I was wrong.
2013-06-07-bus. JPG


It was 2:00 p.m.

My first reaction was not pretty: "Best laid plans thwarted, once again! Why can't I control my schedule -- my life? Why does this keep happening??"

"Okay, don't overreact. Yes, it's frustrating and annoying, but it's not the end of the world. Maybe I can meditate and relax."

Or maybe not.

And that's the way it went for 35 minutes. Frustrated about not being able to leave and do what I needed to do, then calm and accepting, back to annoyed, back to accepting.

Since my cancer experience, I've started practicing mindfulness, awareness and acceptance. But, they don't call it a practice for nothing, and I still can't conjure up serenity at the drop of a hat. While sitting in my car wrestling with my frustrations I did notice I was observing my emotions. Being able to step back from my agitation left me secure in the fact that it would pass.

Awareness and acceptance cannot exist without patience, especially with yourself. Even the little, daily frustrations of life can have big effects on my psyche. But, I handled yesterday's obstacles as best I could and hope that practicing acceptance will continue to help me deal with double parked school buses and the even larger issues of life.

For more by Debbie Woodbury, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.