I’m contentedly sipping my coffee this morning and anticipating the long weekend in the country. I’m even looking forward to the drive, which would seem strange if it weren’t for the weird new little practice I started practicing days or weeks ago (I don’t remember now, long enough to have already become a thing I do); I make a point of reminding myself why I’m using the car, before I start it up, before I pull out of the driveway or parking space, before I start driving anywhere at all.

My commute has been much improved, and seems to get continuously better, and I am, each time, less reactive, less annoyed, less angry, and less likely to arrive home feeling that I’ve basically just wasted those minutes of my life – or even aged myself further by way of added stress. πŸ™‚ Pretty good outcome for what amounts to 3-5 minutes just talking things over with myself. lol

It’s a simple practice. I sit for a moment, and take a few deep cleansing breaths, and ask myself a question. “What’s the point of this trip in the car?” The first time or two, I stuck to old habits, and framed my answer as “getting from ___ to ___ by hh:mm”. This, unfortunately, wasn’t helpful for me; I have hang-ups about time and time management, and the focus on time resulted in a focus on the outcome itself, and resulted in an increase in both anxiety and aggression. I felt as if everyone was in my damned way, an impediment to my forward momentum and timely arrival. Nope. Not helpful at all. I switched things up a bit, and focused on other important qualities about driving places: enjoying the time, arriving safely, creating an overall safe and comfortable shared experience alongside my fellow travelers. No kidding. The first time I focused on the safe arrival aspect, I found myself amusing myself with “safety games” – could I make this particular drive safely, without aggravating myself or other drivers, and also fully 100% participate in our social contract by also following all the traffic control rules and laws? Making “enjoy the time” a goal in my commuting experience ended up taking a lot of pressure off me to get somewhere else to enjoy that time, and I stopped driving around with the implicit understanding that driving around is a shitty experience to be kept short, avoided, and endured, and started… enjoying the drive. It’s nice. Much improved.

I still get frustrated by all manner of ass-hattery and douche-baggery. No doubt. I’m incensed when entitled fuck-nuts decide the right-turn-only lane at a particular intersection is an ideal way to simply get around all of the rest of us, also going that direction on that road, also waiting at that light. Yep. Totally human. I even feel a certain smugness about not doing that douche-bag bullshit, I totally do. lol Because… fuck that guy. I’m better than that. Well… at least about stealing the right away at that intersection right there. (Still totally human, probably should avoid being smug, in general.) …But, I feel less aggravated than I did, and less likely to hit some breaking point that could result in real rage, which is a huge win.

It’s a simple enough practice. Doesn’t work at all if I don’t practice it (confirmed). Works pretty well when I do. πŸ™‚ Your results, no doubt, may vary. It’s the way of things, isn’t it? What works for me, however profoundly, may not work for you. Try it out, find out for yourself, and either adopt it as a practice that works, or discontinue it as a practice that does not work for you. πŸ˜€ Of course, if it “isn’t working” the first time, it is a practice, so you’ll likely want to try it a few times… you know… practice it. Be sure it isn’t working, or find out that it does. πŸ˜€

It’s a new day. A good one for beginning again. A good day to practice what works. πŸ™‚