Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting someplace

My zen equalibrium is most disturbed driving, particularly when I'm trying to get to work. I try in most cases to calm down, and go with the flow; but when pressed for time, I admit if I'm behind you and you aren't going the speedlimit, I'm calling you all sorts of things I wouldn't say to your face. I'm probably flipping you off although when I do that, I don't put up my finger in fullview. My innate politeness won't allow that. You probably noticed I'm mumbling to myself, unless you'd mistake that for singing.... yeah, I'm singing, something like grr$#$@!@!!! But seriously, the speedlimit isn't a suggestion. If it says 50, it really isn't ok to go 35. Why am I in such a rush? Well, I've timed leaving my place to the last second I have until I have to drag my butt into the car and give my time to someone else. I get especially annoyed when my time is wasted by some bozo who's driving 35 in the 45 zone, slowing me down so I can't get to a place I don't really want to go in the first place. You'd think I'd be grateful to that person, delaying my time.... But I'm not. Because it's my time and I'd rather waste my time at the job on the internet... but I digress.

My bitchy driving habits, particularly when pmsing, don't make me proud. I really had to calm down when I moved back to the Bay Area after living in amped up L.A. When I can, and I have the time, I love to drive to Napa on the Old Sonoma Road. I don't know the actual speedlimit on this road. The only trace of the speedlimit is around the bends. It takes a lot for me to go fast in the area because the bucolic scenery is full of vineyards, rolling hills, cows, resevoirs. I try to drive a decent speed though because as I stated above, I don't want to be the person I can't stand, the one who drives below the speedlimit screwing others up. Yet equally annoying is the person riding your butt, even though you're going the limit, if not more. That happened to me the other day - an annoying monster truck bore down on me. I looked at the speedometer. It read 55. How wasn't that fast enough? Yet the guy crossed the double lines and passed me. "Ass!" I mumbled. Granted, I was pmsing, but his action totally pissed me off. Why? Why did I care? If the dude wanted to race, who was I to stop him? Yet I was offended. This where I had to ask myself why his action offended me so much. Was he judging me for not going fast enough for him? Was he calling me an ass as I passed? Possibly.... Why, because I call "slowpokes" asses? I often have to stop myself and ask, why is this such a big deal? Was his action really that rude - and even more importantly, why is the 5 seconds of this interaction that important? Or is it the 5 seconds actually important?

Inevitably, this interaction will play out again with someone else. It has in the past. A guy with a van tailed me and I decided to pull over. The van told me that he was a family man and I created a scenario that he was late picking up his kids. Why did I give that guy a break but not monster truck guy? Car judgment. I'll admit it. I'm much nicer if a Prius cuts me off than say, an SUV - it's true. I have a lot of work to do in order to reach a better place with my car bias. And to be ok when someone wants to pass me. What do I care what they're doing and where they are going and how? It's a mystery I've yet to solve.... Fortunately, I found a great resource on Twitter today. They're called Zen Driver giving all sorts of helpful tips to offset road rage - and to give everyone "a brake". After all, it's how you enjoy the drive, not how fast you get there? Wonder if the Buddha would have just let someone else drive while he meditated... hmmmm.... something to think about on my drive home....

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