Use traffic light of life to make better decisions from green to red

Columnist and Columnist

Our lives have a traffic light.

Green means go. Get your schoolwork done and be present in the moment.

Yellow means slow down. This might mean lessening your pace to smell the roses. The world doesn’t end if you’re late to a meeting.

Red means stop and this color option has the majority of available options. Stop surrounding yourself with people who bring you down. Stop participating in habits that harm you or others.

And above all, stop wishing time would go by faster. One day it really will be all over.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a rude awakening in the friendship department.

I’m unsure how I didn’t see it before, but I discovered that this friend only had negativity to spew. Whether it was talking about me behind my back or blatantly criticizing me just for the sake of hurting my feelings, I could always count on him to bring my mood down to his dark level.

So, I remembered the traffic light and decided to stop.

I didn’t talk to him anymore. I found that was happier not having to worry about what backhanded compliments he would throw my way anymore.

We all have habits we know are bad. Mine extend to staying up late and complaining about tiredness the next morning and having a health-shattering need for chocolate.

Other people might struggle with smoking or alcoholism. We might even be aware of our habits and lack the tools or support to pull a red light.

In my experience, it’s never too late to drop a bad habit. I’m going to bed earlier and limiting myself to one chocolate bar a day … unless an emergency craving should occur.

Although some habits might be tougher to break, an effort should at least be put forth to stop. If the habit is broken, great. If not, at least you tried.

Finally, the traffic light helped me figure out that if I keep wishing for life to go by faster, it just might.

Last week I sat in my room and counted the days until the weekend so I could go see my boyfriend.

However, I know I probably missed out on the fun activities my friends were doing. Although I missed him, I needed to realize that stewing over it would not make Friday arrive any sooner.

In actuality, not wishing the moments we spent apart would speed up made our reunion that much sweeter.

My younger sister Megan is constantly telling me she wishes high school would just be over so she could get to college and be truly happy.

Knowing how she felt, I told her she’d regret not savoring her senior year. In most cases, it only happens once. Prom, senior pictures and graduation.

These are the things you never get back once they’re done.

I sometimes forget that I come equipped with a traffic light on the highway of life.

I may not use the green, yellow or red lights equally, but the fact they’re there helps me avoid collisions and help get me where I need to go.

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