Yellow Light Pause
Thinking, waiting, deciding
Yellow lights are tricky. Especially in the rain. Do you go for it? Or risk the quick stop? Every yellow light is a call to pause. And a call to make a decision.
Pause is thoughtful consideration. They may be brief and hurried or long and luxurious, but thoughts make up a pause.
At the yellow light, the thoughts come rather quickly. Within a few seconds you must make a quick decision, commit to your decision, and hopefully learn from your decision.
Generally, you maintain speed if the light is turning yellow while you enter the intersection; you speed up if you see yellow but can't safely stop; or you slow down if you can. That’s it. But you have to make a decision.
And you must commit. If you waver, you end up increasing the danger. You may end up crossways in traffic or skidding on wet pavement if you hesitate. Each time you make this decision, you have a new data point to add to your collection - an opportunity to learn from this decision and assess its success in order to educate your future decisions.
If you pause and think, that is. The tough part about yellow lights, the call to pause is fleeting and urgent. There's little time to think.
I'm taking the day off on Monday. I haven't taken a day off in a while to pause. I'm planning on having coffee with two of my dear friends. Then I plan to go for a long run along the river. Alone, this time, for a pause to think. We need this from time to time, I think. Then I plan to have lunch with my wife and kids - something I never get to do on a Monday. Then I hope to have a cup of tea with my wife - which is a daily habit of pause we take together, traditionally at night after the kids are in bed. Then I'll be in a monthly meeting with several other business men - but not to do business - instead, we will pause from our business for two hours and talk about how we are doing and how to reorient ourselves. And then the day will be largely over. At least the pause part.
So, I'm looking forward to Monday. Life without pause and thought is a dangerous operation. I'm taking Monday off because I haven't paid close enough attention to the yellow lights in my daily routine, flagging me down, getting my attention, telling me that I need to pause and think.
Once I've paused on Monday, I'll have decisions to make. Am I doing the right daily things or do I have some adjustments to make? Am I loving my family well? Am I on a good path? Am I resting enough?
And then, committing to these decisions and acting upon them will be the challenge. Will I take steps required to change course in different areas of my life? Will I set new goals and habits? What will change? What will stay the same?
Finally, what will I learn from these decisions? After my Monday pause, what yellow lights in life will I look for in the months ahead so I make better decisions and learn and grow?
I'll let you know how it goes. And I'd love to hear about how you pause in your weekly and seasonal routines and rhythms.