I Am (kind of) a Bad Driver

I’m in a bit of a silly/funny mood today.  The other morning, I was stressed out as usual.  Trying to get the three minions to school has become a tremendous ordeal thanks to me constantly being anxious, overwhelmed, and a bit of a push-over mom.  I have not been happy with my mothering lately.  I’ve realized that I create so much energy and I project it on to those closest to me especially.  If I am stressed, overwhelmed, and chaotic, my children are stressed, overwhelmed, and chaotic.  It’s one of the perks of having kids with ADHD!  I had attempted to calm them by getting them outside quickly to look at some clouds, and find their center, since that is what works best for me.  My daughter immediately started coloring in chalk what she saw in the clouds.  My sons copied, but instead of coloring the patio, they painted their faces war paint style.  It was hilarious, except for the fact that we had to get to school.

Anyway, I allowed my anxiety to mount and compound, and ultimately I grumpily dropped the kids off at school.  This leads me to feeling like crap, because everyone was grumpy.  I realized I forgot to get their juice boxes, so I drove to the store lamenting my utter inability to do simple things.  In my grumpy lamentation, I failed to notice the red light I drove through.  I immediately felt paranoid about getting a ticket, but then realized how fortunate I was that I did not hurt myself or others.

Blowing through the red light, I remembered my mother blowing through red lights and constantly making fun of her for it.  We’d laugh hysterically in the car at her lead foot and penchant for red lights.  It reminded me of a time we went to Hershey Park, and my mom blew past the parking attendant.  The guy stood there with his arms in the air looking at our car in confusion.  I started cracking up as I went to the grocery store to get the kids juice boxes.

Reflecting on it today, I realized this is a massive lesson that I have been overlooking. Syncronicity makes me look at the world and smile.  There are so many syncronicities in my life, and if I focus on the positive ones, I can help myself smile more often.  Anxiety and depression have been hurting me a lot lately, and I have been allowing it to pull me away from my center, my path of discovery, and my joy.

Driving is my current favorite thing in the world.  I’ve put almost 20k miles on my car in 1.5 years, because driving aimlessly is my favorite way to clear my head, or at least let myself think.  It used to be my biggest fear.  I remember my dad attempting to teach me how to drive.  As he puffed on his stogie and I turned a 3 point turn into a 10 point turn, my dad looked at me and said “Dude, you suck”.  Dude you suck was my mantra with driving, as I terrified my poor mother swinging into oncoming traffic because I took a curve too quickly.  My dad would always drive around saying “I’m an excellent driver” and I would watch him navigate with ease in wonder.

I didn’t get my license until I was 18.  I failed my first time, because I was so anxious that, when the instructor said to turn left, I turned right and went over a curb.  The instructor was holding back laughter as he told my perplexed mother how I failed in less than 5 minutes.  When I actually obtained my license, a woman backed into me the second I was going to pull out of my spot.  I had accepted that driving and I were not meant to be, and I became the passenger in everything.  When Evan and I separated, I realized that my 15 minute comfort radius of driving was unsustainable.  I pushed myself to drive further and further outside of my radius to visit friends and build a life for myself as a single mom.

Nowadays, I drive for hours with no destination just listening to music.  Yesterday, I was in the car for at least 2 or 3 hours, staring at the scenery and working on relaxing myself.  My fear of driving was the first I had overcome, and it has gone from biggest fear to biggest coping mechanism.  Reflecting on it, I’m so proud that I stopped always being the passenger.  My reasoning for the long drive yesterday was because I was due to see some girlfriends I haven’t seen in forever – grade school friends since 1st grade.  Anxious, depressed, and overthinking were not mentalities I wanted seeing my friends.

Hanging out with them, laughing, and being myself were the best medicine I have gotten in the past few weeks.  It reminded me of what truly makes me happy – laughing and talking about poop because I am a rather simple person when I stop overthinking about it.  Today, I’m grateful to have the energy to go for a walk and look at nature again, I’m grateful for my daughter cuddling next to me, and I’m grateful for the fact that I am kind of a bad driver.

I’m also grateful to be reminded that perspective can change everything.  Not suprisingly, I read Maynard’s words in his book today “I can be the butt of a lot of jokes, and I do not care.” Those words got me moving again today, got me back towards finding myself again, and back towards smiling again.

My daughter had written a joke to me, “Why did the sheep get a ticket? Because he’s a baaaaaad driver” so I will thank her for the inspiration today, as I watched her writing a book to give to a friend.  She’s sharing smiles, so I figured I’d share some giggles.


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