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2013, Parking, and ‘Life’s Little Resolutions Book’

Astrid Ambroziak

This is the time of the year to catch our breath. To say goodbye to purchasing, spending, eating, drinking, celebrating … and to fighting for parking spaces at crowded malls and shopping centers.

It’s the time to reflect, and as around every January 1, to make some new year’s resolutions. Most of us make losing weight or getting in shape our primary resolution. For me, this particular commitment was fulfilled years ago. I’m in the best shape of my life and enjoy working on it daily.

So what’s left to for this new year’s resolution? In my case, it’s becoming a kinder, gentler, more engaged, empathetic and compassionate woman. I consider myself to be a rather nice person and a fairly aware one. I rarely loose my temper or get angry. I never have ill will toward another human being.

Yet, I must face the truth: This past holiday season caused me to lose my marbles a few times, and it was all because of parking. Subsequently, because parking brought out my dark side, I’m turning back to parking to make me an overall better and more peaceful person.

To begin my self-improvement lessons and, through practice, to attain some sort of modus vivendi in my life, instead or reading yet another book by Dr. Wayne Dyer or Eckhart Tolle, I decided to seek my “a-ha” moments via more practical modus operandi literature. -- in this case, through LADOT’s Parking Regulations. There are 10 of them, and I have decided to make these 10 rules my 2013 new year’s resolutions, aka commandments in my daily life.



“No vehicle may be parked continuously at one location on any public roadway for more than 72 hours.”



This is the first resolution that surely will make me a more Zen-like person. The rule makes sense in parking as well in real life. Especially in my life, because I am such a creature of habit and comfort. Being a runner, I see many people breaking this rule constantly by parking their cars on local streets for six days in between street cleaning. Thankfully, I do have a garage and can do the same in its safe, no-72-hours-rule confines. Yet, I have a penchant to be antisocial. I simply prefer books to people. Subsequently, this parking rule is a huge breakthrough in my behavior. From now on, I will seek social contact with another human being, or perhaps even a potential date, every 72 hours. It doesn’t matter how much they bore me.



“Parking is prohibited in alleys, except for the purpose of actively unloading goods or passengers.”



I have no problem with this parking rule. I love walking everywhere and pretty much obey every parking and traffic rule. Nevertheless, from a life perspective, I tend to have a very short attention span when it comes to my fellow people. I can spend hours absorbed in reading the latest Thomas Wolfe book or anything by Tolstoy. As far as people go, my mind drifts. Basically, when around people, I am “parked in the alley” for a very short time. Long conversations are not my cup of tea. This parking rule will teach me to focus and listen to anyone who needs to “unload” anything they want to.



“Parking of heavy-duty commercial vehicles is prohibited in residential areas, unless the vehicle is loading or unloading goods or has a service call in the immediate vicinity.”



This is a self-explanatory rule/resolution. It says, stay fit and slim unless you have a medical condition or take some sort of medication. It doesn’t apply to me, but only affirms my determination to be a healthy athlete.



“Parking of unattached semi-trailers is prohibited on

any street.”



This rule applied to life might be a tad frightening and makes me reevaluate my No. 1 resolution here. Basically, the wording “unattached semi-trailers” conjures not so pleasant images in my mind. It’s all in perspective. I know that myriad people, including my parents and some friends, love being married. Nevertheless, so many married people are disconnected and, hence, “unattached” or turn themselves into semi-trailers.

I love being unattached and free. The word “semi” implies heavy and “trailer” rings with some sort of subservient position. Hence, my best understanding of this parking rule as applied to daily life will be to stay fit, be independent but engaged, and be always ready to go.



“Parking is prohibited in an intersection or a crosswalk, within 15 feet of a fire station, driveway or fire hydrant, in front of a public or private driveway, on sidewalk or parkway, on the roadway side of a parked vehicle (double parking), in a bus stop, in a tunnel, upon bridge (unless otherwise posted) or in such a manner that obstructs the free use of the street.”



From all the parking, aka Zen rules, this is my favorite, and I am determined to make this my primary resolution. In 2013, I intend to keep my mouth parked in silence and never give any unsolicited opinions or advice. Everyone has his or her own path, programming and inner dialog. Everyone sees the color red differently. Therefore, the new nicer person that I am becoming, can only listen and respect another. I won’t “park” my 2 cents in anybody’s driveway, near their hydrant or tunnel. Unless I am asked to share my views.



“Parking is prohibited in a center median strip, unless signs are posted permitting parking on the median.”



I noticed that in the past, I have had a penchant for being indecisive or noncommittal. From now on, I will never just park my position in a center median strip. I intend to make my decisions and stick to them without any needless rumination.



“Parking is prohibited in front of a public or private driveway (even your own driveway).”



This parking rule, as with most of the rules, is superfluous, because it was mentioned under rule No. 5. However, because these parking rules are my new Zen teacher, I might add being open to the flow of things as another new year’s resolution. Let’s face it, we don’t want some car to block the sidewalk when we are out on an evening walk. In the same manner, I don’t want to have some preconceived notions or limited beliefs to block my growth.



“Parking an unattached semi-trailer on any street is prohibited, except for semi-trailers used for carrying personal property or for recreational purposes.”



Here is another redundant rule (see parking rule No. 4). Nevertheless, it contains the words “recreational purposes.” My new year’s resolution is to be, and have, more fun. Fun and happiness are our birthright.



“Be aware of signage when you park. Read all the signs; they may include time frame restrictions and other parking guidelines.”



Parking rule No. 9 motivates me to make a resolution to be a better communicator. Communication includes listening – listening as feeling the other person. If I don’t read the small print – meaning hear the person in an emergent way instead of through my filters or my perspectives – I am going to get a warning or a ticket. In 2013, I intend to be fully present and to read “all the signs, time frame restrictions and guidelines.” I intend to be aware and listen.



“Street sweeping signs are posted in areas of the city where there is a routine street-sweeping schedule. Parking is prohibited on the designated days for the entire time posted on the sign.”



Parking rules seem to be a brilliant and clever life-operation instructions manifesto. Every January, I and many people make new year’s resolutions to which we barely adhere for a month or two. Parking rule No. 10 is my reminder to renew my resolutions every month. To do some monthly “street sweeping” of my behaviors and perceptions. To focus and to renew myself via contemplation and reflection. We sweep our city streets weekly. It’s time to do the same to our souls and our hearts.

The LADOT states that “the primary purpose for parking regulations is to proactively manage the city’s scarce supply of on-street parking, to promote the economic vitality of the city, to ease traffic congestion and to enhance the quality of life of city residents.”

This year, I am adapting these regulations as “Life’s Little Resolutions Book” to guide me to be a better parker and a kinder person. Peace on Earth and Happy New Year to All.



Astrid Ambroziak is an author, spiritualist, trainer, and dabbler in Zen. She can be reached at astrid@parkingtoday.com.



 

Article Abstract from January, 2013




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