I complain a lot.
Sure, it gets cold and rainy and windy. Sure the bus arrives late or not at all. But really, complaining about it just makes it worse.
Sometimes paying for a monthly Metro pass is a pain in the posterior. Sometimes? It's a little too much to spend every month (in theory, in reality, etc.). I live somewhat close to an Orange Line station, and to be honest I should be grateful for Metro when it is punctual. So complaining about it, although at times completely justified, isn't really necessary.
Sometimes I don't feel like riding my bicycle to the grocery store because the street inclines ever so slightly and I feel every inch of road working my tired body (something often considered after a long day). Although the ride back is somewhat downhill, getting there is the worst part. But complaining about it? Really isn't necessary.
Sometimes people drive like idiots. Sometimes our inner road rage demon gets the better of us - yes, even when on a bicycle. Does it really do anything? (Does a driver revving his engine as he/she passes on the right, expressing his/her general dissatisfaction with a cyclist in the road do anything? ...The answer is no.) Reacting to someone's thoughtless decisions by encouraging your blood pressure to raise really doesn't help anything.
Also, there's that kind of headwind that you can feel, but not see. All of you who ride bicycles regularly know what I'm talking about. I know you technically can't 'see' wind, but you can see it moving street signs, leaves, or the wayward plastic bag. The most annoying headwind the universe can dish up is a wind that outwardly does nothing, but as far as you're concerned, it pushes back, pretty harshly, but in a way that only you can feel and could really use it to your advantage (two words: resistance training). So - you guessed it - complaining about it doesn't help anything.
Unless you've won the lottery recently or you really are making over $100K a year, times are pretty hard for most everyone. And even if they aren't things are annoying and obnoxious and rest on the nerves. The thing is that those things would be annoying and obnoxious and would rest on the nerves whether or not we have the chance to experience it, so if anything, a tweak in perception might, in fact, help where complaining won't. A few suggestions:
If it's cold, rainy and windy, getting on a half-hour earlier bus will allow for traffic and if it's toasty inside, all the better. (If it's an every-hour bus, I apologize. Take it up with Metro. I'm serious. Write a letter.)
Sometimes, I wonder whether or not I really need a monthly Metro pass. Sure, it can be considered a bit of insurance, since until April we're at least guaranteed some sort of precipitation that will bring May flowers. However, since I primarily ride my bicycle during the week and occasionally bus it on weekends, I have found that for the most part getting a monthly pass (at $75/mo. for cut lines and lessened local service) isn't fitting my life right now. $6 for an 'emergency' day pass? $3.00 for a pre-determined to-and-from errand? Rarely (aka never) adds up to the full amount of a monthly pass, at least not the way I've aimed to work it.
Is that the same for everyone? Not at all. The point is examining your personal situation and justifying the expenditure is all you can do. Check to see if you qualify for reduced fares. Carpool, or see if your place of work or school provides a subsidiary of some kind. But whatever you do, make sure to buy a pass of some kind. Per Metro.net, failure to do so (and when caught; I saw a guy in handcuffs for this the other night) "may result in a fine up to $250 and 48 hours community service".
And finally, whenever I don't feel like riding my bicycle at an incline or in a slight headwind that has the gumption to push back, I just count it as the aforementioned resistance training for the day. Birds, meet stone.
Our thoughts stay with us, our minds being the one place we can't and won't ever really escape, not even in sleep. If I could suggest one thing on account of this post (a reminder to myself if ever I've read one) it would be to try to fill one's head with as much positive reinforcement against as many realistic backdrops as possible. And when it comes to dealing with the relative and sometime blatant carelessness of others, it's good to at least try to get along with others in general, because everyone has their day, and for the most part, everyone wants a tomorrow...
That said - glass, half-full. Frown turned upside-down. It is, in fact, possible.
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