Eight minutes at a traffic light



I am sitting in the office of my new job – close to 100 miles away from where I was for the last two years. Outside my window is probably the busiest state highway in Texas. Everyday there are hundreds, probably 1000s , of vehicles that travel this highway.

Some speed. Some go the speed limit. Some go a little below the speed limit. Some don’t seem to know what the speed limit is. But they keep going. Very seldom do I see the same car or truck in one day pass. (But then I am not looking every hour.)

Each one has a different point of destination that they are headed to – job, home, visiting relatives, school, shopping, doctor appointments, etc.

Just a few feet from the plaza that my office is located in is a red light.

Everyone of these vehicles has to stop for at least eight minutes.

That is eight minutes of their travel time.

During those eight minutes, a lot of things could happen. You can eat a quick meal. You can make a quick phone call. You can make some great decisions about your life. You can have a conversation with whomever is in the car with you.  There is a lot you can do in those eight minutes.

For me, those eight minutes mean thinking time.

Minute One

I have lived in Texas for three years, and in those three years, I have lived in three different cities. In those three years, I have worked three different places.

Most people would look at that, and probably raise an eyebrow, and call me all sorts of names – flighty,  unbalanced, dizzy and honestly, it may not look real good on a resume.

If I was a potential employer looking at me, I would probably question a few things too. it is what it is.

As a potential employee, I would offer a lot of valid explanations. One job was OK, but there were some personalities in the community who were just making it hard, and I was tired of dealing with it. The second job was good, but I was a little frustrated with some of the protocols and myself too. The third job offered me sanctuary from the second job, including a raise in income, but toward the end, internal  issues guided me to realize I just wasn’t made for “that” world.

Minute Two.

From December until April of this year, I really questioned myself as a person, as an employee and wondered if I really had all the skills that I had excelled with for 20 plus years as an adult in the career world. I was miserable. Was it really the fault of the negative outside sources that seemed to beat down on my daily? Or was it me?

It was me. Granted the outside sources weren’t right in what they facilitated or implemented, but I am thankful that they did. It was because of that , that I saw myself for the first time in the “mirror” that God likes to hold up in front of us to get our attention.

Minute Three.

I am a people pleaser. What is a people pleaser?  It is a term that psychologists use to describe a person who has let high expectations, resentment and saying yes when they mean no run their lives. People pleasers strive for being perfect and nice. They tend to overdo the serving others principle.

Oh my, I have been living my life for what I thought other people expected for years. Which is weird knowing what type of family I come from and if you look at what I have done with my life.

Minute Four.

How in the world did it happen? People pleasers really couldn’t tell you how they became what they are. Some might claim that they are born that way. Some could say that environment made them that way. Some might say it was being picked on at school. Others might just tell the truth and say they just chose to live that way. It is easier to go with the flow then be your own person, especially when you want to be liked.

Minute Five.

(This is when you are grasping the steering wheel even tighter)…. How do I stop being a people pleaser? First of all, you have to realize that no one can make you feel any sort of way and those people who bully you – they can’t bully you unless you allow that to happen. Secondly, realize that God made you to be you – every part of you was His creation. (Unwise choices in your life were your fault though).  His love for you is unconditional – He loves you nappy hair, mismatched socks, wrinkled pants and the like.  Thirdly, throw away the guilt you feel when you say no. Remember, you can’t help someone else if it takes something out of you. Be accountable for you and no one else.

Minute Six-Seven. You pray asking God to deliver you daily from people pleasing and put you into the God pleasing mode, and ask Him to help you not to worry about what others think.  You realize that all of the changes in your life, the problems at jobs that you thought were others you could have handled had you done one thing – PUT GOD FIRST and let HIM handle the idiots.

Minute Eight.   The light is green, you feel a little less weighted down, and you know that you will have many more ‘red lights’ in life, and lots of eight minutes until you reach your final destination. Take each moment as it comes, and remember God has your back.

Live second. Put God first. Everything else will fall into place.

Now that is a rambling. Have a good day!

Becky Holland, TCM Ink, thecrazymuttink@gmail.com.





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