Thursday, June 05, 2008

55 miles per hour

This morning I traveled for a meeting in a city south of us and, having left with more than enough time, I settled in for a gas-conserving, 55 miles per hour drive. I had to set the cruise--if not for this automatic control, I would have continually given in to the pressure of the crowd piling up behind me. Surprisingly, I didn't hear a single horn blare in my direction and I was oblivious to any rude gestures that might have come my way. It was a practice of restraint, of course, but it was an occasion for great learning, too. I discovered along the way that...

...driving slowly lacks the exhiliration of the 80 miles per hour, weaving in and out of traffic traveling I've been known for on occasion, but the sense of safety beats the exhiliration any day!

...I never have to slam on the brakes when approaching a police officer if already driving 10 miles per hour under the speed limit.

...I sometimes worry too much about others' opinions and actions, but if I stay in my lane, keep my eyes in front of me, and worry only about my own driving, I'm a far more focused and happy driver--and person!

...when we do things that are counter-cultural, we give permission to others to do the same. There were a number of occasions when cars would get behind me and follow suit for 5, 10, 15 miles. It was as though the drivers were simply waiting for someone else to claim a controlled pace with them.

...conserving energy (in this case, gas) requires being planful. You must leave on time. You can't answer "just one more email" or "just one more call." You have to leave when you say you will--be true to your word--and honor yourself and whomever you are going to meet. It's actually a very respectful way to live.

I could go on and on. Sometimes living "on the cheap" is the path to enlightenment!

1 comment:

Minister and Friend said...

I smiled when I read your blog. as I have lost all desire to drive. I smile seeing cars lined up behind me, as I drive the speed limit on cruise control...I honestly don't know how people who need to use their cars daily...are able to afford it all...I'm old enough to remember a Gas war one summer in NH when gas was 15 cents a you can't even smell the gas for that price..and I'm sitting here smiling.