Moment of Zen…at McDonald’s
Yep. McDonald’s. The drive-thru to be specific. Several times a week I stop at McDonald’s to get my favorite morning beverage. This particular location is usually busy early in the day, especially the drive-thru. However they’re an efficient team, so cars move quickly through the line and the wait is minimal.
One day last week, even though I was running slightly behind schedule, I decided to stop to get a head start on my caffeine intake. I was the fifth car in line who hadn’t yet placed an order and there were at least four cars in front of me who had. Things weren’t moving as quickly as they normally do. As a matter of fact, they weren’t moving at all.
I looked at the clock. One minute had passed already and no movement. Was I going to be late for work? My mind began to run. Two minutes with no progress. Damn! Should I pull out of the line and head to work?
Then the sun peeked out from behind a cloud and warmed my face through the window. It was nice to feel the sun. In this area we had a dark and frigid winter, and a cold, wet spring. We hadn’t had many chances to enjoy sunlight in the past five months.
I closed my eyes to take in the energy the sun was directing my way, and my mind began to relax. Did it really matter if I was late for work? No. I’m never late and my boss isn’t an ogre so there were no real worries there. Parking might be a problem. But, I was wearing sneakers, the weather was clearing, and it was warming. So what if I had to park further away?
I realized at that point that these anxieties were self-imposed and for no good reason. I made a conscious effort to relax and became aware of a bird singing in the landscaping. I could smell the freshly brewed coffee. Music, as ever, was playing in the background. I was lighter somehow.
It felt like I had been in that state for a long time, when it came to mind that I had a responsibility to those behind me to pay attention to the line ahead of me. I opened my eyes just as the line began to move and things started to run smoothly once again.
Even though it felt like forever, I glanced at the clock to find that my moment of zen had really only lasted a minute or so. I soon placed my order and minutes later I was pulling into my favorite parking spot at work, a little early even.
As I made my way to the front door, I thought about how that change in attitude had impact on the balance of my day. I turned to the sun and thanked Ra for his healing energy. I knew it was going to be a good day – no matter what. And so it was.