Calm and Mindful Driving

Hi.  My name is Denise and I have to be honest, I have road rage.  My road rage isn’t as bad as it used to be but occasionally it rises to the top and I have a very hard time getting back to calm and mindful driving.  Being calm and in control is important at all times but never more important than it is when driving.  Think about it.  On the small size, you are still operating a 1000+ pound vehicle that if not controlled can cause serious damage or even kill.

Our family moved to Miami in 1995 when my husband’s company transferred him for work.  Wasn’t so bad at that time but it was horrendous by the time we moved in 2006 to North Florida.  So many people, so close together.  Trapped in all the things you believe you need while raising a young family, we had a big conversion van (we eventually traded that huge gas guzzler in for a much more efficient Focus that Aly took to college).  One day I was driving that big old van with my daughter and her friend in the back seat when a guy proceeded to cut me off.  If you have ever driven a large van, you know it is not also so easy to stop on a dime.  I really feel for semi trucks when I see a car cut them off – how do they stop that truck?

You guessed it – my temper went through the roof.  Do you know I chased that guy down the street that he turned down after he cut me off of and when he pulled over I jumped right out of the van and went after him.  What was I thinking?  You guessed it – I wasn’t.  Not only did I lose it over his stupidity, I had 2 kids in the car.

I would love to tell you that I have never had a road rage incident again but that would not be the truth.  Even living where I do now in quiet, rural North Florida.  There are times that while driving 60 miles per hour down the two lane highway, a car will slowly meander and pull in front of me, causing me to hit the brakes.  Think they will get up to speed quickly? Nope.  They will proceed to go 20 miles per hour for what seems like 10 miles and enough to set me off that you can literally pull me off the ceiling.  I am, however, able to rein it in, refocus and get back to mindful driving – not as fast as I would like to but it’s a work in progress and I now respond quicker than I used to.

Part of this minimalist journey we are all on is to be calm.  By clearing the clutter out of our lives, we are able to have a calm, clear home and lifestyle.  We must, however, include this calmness in all areas of our lives.  In my case, my road rage.  If you find yourself losing it, try to stop.  I now know that when I start to lose it with my road rage, if I take a deep calming breath, it will all be okay.  That guy may still tick me off but if I wait a few minutes, I’ll get to the part of the road where I can pass him and continue on my merry way.

 

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