shifting to the side

I am not sure about you, but sometimes when I begin something new, I am so excited that I can miss the obvious if I allow myself to be distracted. Let me give you a small but slightly embarrassing example.

I have always like taking public transit. I am a people and situation watcher, so I enjoy observing others in transit. Along the way, i have met some very caring people…

The bus driver who called me when I lost my wallet on the Go bus, even though policy was to send it from Newmarket downtown, because he knew I would need it the next morning to get to work.

The man who pulled me forward into the subway car so the man behind me had to release his grip, so he couldn’t pull me back onto the empty platform at Sheppard one night when I had to work late.

The bus driver who let me on for free as the bus came early and I didn’t have time to swipe my Presto pass.

The bus driver who refused to let an obvious drunk, keen on me despite my loud no’s, off at my stop, to give me enough time to get home before he got off at the next one.

The many, many lovely people of all nations who have smiled back at me over the thirty years of public transit!

But i digress.

The newest buses, the York Region Viva buses, have side seats as well as the regular face the front, and in some cases, rear facing seats as well.

I end up extremely nauseous if I don’t sit facing forwards. Didn’t know this until the past year when I started taking the Viva instead of the Go & YRT.

I found out the hard way.

As someone who has only hurled the contents of her stomach about three times prior to this discovery, I was not amused.

Then I started getting lifts to work from coworkers & my hubby, and forgot this crucial fact.

This morning, I was literally slugging fast through snow to get to the waiting bus, and asked the driver if she could wait for me to swipe my card. She graciously told me to get on, and swipe it at the halfway terminal. A great start to my day!

There were only a few seats near the front, as it was prime time rush hour head to work and school packed with people. Grateful to be on the bus, I sank into the side facing seat and started to read. As I had a cold, my head was already pounding a little with congestion, so I proceeded to enjoy my thriller book, as I was in the final third where they catch whodunit.

I forgot I get queasy when I sit any other way but forwards. Normally I get a bit of a headache as my early warning sign, but as I was already congested, I didn’t notice.

About 30 min later, i began to feel queasy. I looked up and grabbed a front facing seat as quickly as i could, but the damage was already done, I feared.

For the next half hour, I tried to concentrate on the story and tell myself I could make it to the terminal, at which point the fresh air would certainly help. My body began to heat up as I tried to contain myself.

Just as I got off the bus, my body decided to warn me I had only about 30 seconds before my breakfast came out for all to see. I just made it into the ladies washroom handicapped stall without a nanosecond to spare.

Ten minutes later, i took my emergency gravol and caught my next bus with no problem, then grabbed a second breakfast before making it in to work.

By not recalling important data when I needed it, I ended up facing something that was avoidable.

When was the last time you got a warning sign turn around and head in another direction? And you ignored it?

Shifting sideways instead of heading forwards on the path you are to take always comes with a cost.

An avoidable cost.

Just like I ended up losing my breakfast, which seems like a small thing and no big deal at the time.

But I need to take the bus regularly for work, and sometimes leisure, and I don’t want to be embarrassing myself by vomiting my way on public transit.

I have now prepared myself with a small travel gravel kit, that I will take as I need should I feel the slightest of queasiness, even if faced forwards.

I will sit facing forwards if I want to read, or stand versus facing sideways or backwards, or wait for the next bus if I am not in a rush.

I have learned my lesson the hard way this morning, and do not plan to repeat it.

Will you take the time to look around, and plan to keep focused on what’s ahead of you, or allow yourself to be distracted by the sidelines?

The choice is yours.
Choose wisely.


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