- January 8, 2018
On the way to work this morning I heard that this year marks the 150th birthday of the traffic light. Apparently it arrived outside the Houses Of Parliament in response to a number of pedestrian accidents involving horses and carts. That’ll date it for you. The coloured lights were gas-fuelled and ran in the evenings operated by a policeman. Operated, that is, until a gas leak blew up said policeman (he survived, don’t worry) and the bright idea of changing colours to direct the traffic was put in hold for a bit.
I’d just like that to sink in – traffic lights were put on hold. An international road aid, a contraption that stops accidents on a global scale and is a part of the modern landscape started with a bang and a massive fail. Just bear that in mind, as we find ourselves in the middle of January and the first wave of good intentions and resolutions may have lost their new shininess. Just because something might not start so well, it doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.
It’s all a matter of perspective. Last year I pretty much stopped drinking alcohol – I just didn’t feel like it most of the time. Which is fine and dandy on my bank balance and liver, but towards the end of the year I realised I’d got out of the habit of simply ‘hanging out’ in a large group with my pub visits in decline. My social life had morphed into one-on-one outings to see shows or films together, having a friend of two round for dinner, and deeply connecting conversations on the beach with a walk. I’ve forgotten how to ‘hang out’!
Well, maybe not forgotten, but definitely gotten a bit rusty. And so my resolution is to reconnect to the chilled and frivolous ‘hang out’. This is my traffic light idea, a return that’s new and improved.