Fri | Jun 25, 2021

Kelly's World | Learning to appreciate the ‘present’

Published:Monday | May 27, 2019 | 12:00 AM

“You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the ‘present’.” – Master Oogway from the movie Kung Fu Panda


First off, yes, I am using a quote from a cartoon. It’s a great message regardless.

But how does this apply to two quick stories for you? One night on the way home, I misjudged the width, and more important, the depth, of a pothole. You know what happened next. Blaff!

Just like that, one rim (I have regular rims, nothing fancy) mash up, and so the tyre goes flat.

This was pretty much midnight. Fortunately, I was on a well-lit stretch of road and I do know how to change a tyre.

It was still a pain in the butt (and knees, back, and hands) to replace the darn thing, but I succeeded and moved on.

Except that I haven’t really moved on because I always remember said event, and what could have gone wrong.

Hellshire trek

Second story. There was an event scheduled for one of those Hellshire beaches.

I knew there was some roadwork going on so I was back and forth about attending because I had not travelled that side in a while.

I envisioned three things happening. One, I was going to make a wrong turn and get into an accident.

Two, I would get a traffic ticket (cause some a dem squaddie yah nuh have nutten name discretion).

Three, I would get into a confrontation with a driver who did know the road well (mind you, some Jamaicans might go somewhere once and dem tun ‘expert’).

Long story short, I ended up going. But only after sweating buckets for much of the trip.

And those two stories underline why I need to take the advice to the sage tortoise from the movie, and from a friend of mine.

I once got all philosophical on WhatsApp and pointed out that any misstep (an actual mistake), or even a near misstep (like I NEARLY hit someone else’s car), remains in my memory.

In fact, they become seared into my brain. Even at the ripe old age of 38, I still don’t know how to let things go.

A friend of mine told me that if I kept this up, I was going to suffer from a heart attack and/or a stroke. In the most extreme case, it might even be a combination of both (which can happen). Now, THAT would be a bad day.

As for the things that will be. Yikes!

I haven’t driven to the rural areas in years because I envision everything that can go wrong.

Trailer can dash wey, di car can shut off while heading up ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ section of the North South Highway, all manner of tings.

What can I say? I’ve turned pessimism into an art form.

But my friend’s right. Gotta learn to chill. Otherwise, wear cheerful colours please. No floral tributes.

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