Archives for posts with tag: I’m in love with my car

The weekend is here. Generally, on a “go-come-back” sort of weekend, I’ve been facing the drive, itself, sort of grimly. Once upon a time, I loved driving. A collision many years ago took some of the shine off of driving, but eventually, many years later, I regained much of my enthusiasm for it, but… trauma re-wires the brain. Well, shit. Damn… that’s… complicated. Now, although I do enjoy driving, I am also (perhaps excessively) wary of my fellow humans behind the wheel. Frustration, resentment, rage – these are all human emotions that can commonly be “weaponized” with the addition of a bit of entitlement, or some assumptions, or a certain sense of righteousness. It’s scary out there on the freeway. Humans are driving cars. :-\

Today feels different. Although the car I’ve been driving is quite a nice one, in great condition, with lots of power and and maneuverability, I often felt it was utterly necessary to have all that at my disposal simply to survive the highway in the first place. I admit that most of the time I drive, I feel it; my life is at risk just performing the task of driving, on the American roadway. That’s pretty shitty. The car, as nice as it is, tended to contribute to the feeling, rather than easing it, although I don’t know why. It’s possibly “just all in my head”, because, again with the frankness, much of our experience of our lives is. (Get over that. It’s a true thing. Learn to work with it, rather than fighting it.)

Today feels different, in part, I suspect, because this new car in my driveway is a better fit for me as a driver, for a number of totally practical reasons (starting with the smaller size of the vehicle generally). It’s also… mine. It feels like a different experience – because it is a different experience. 🙂

There’s a lot to enjoy about newness, difference, and novelty. It’s exciting. It’s energizing. It’s cognitively refreshing. It’s distracting (from things like pain and anxiety). I’m smiling and eagerly gulping down my coffee so I can get on the road… it’s just now 4:30 am. LOL No dilly-dallying!! I’ve got miles to cover! 😀

I’ve no idea what the weekend holds, but it is ahead of me, and it’s time to begin again. Let’s see where this road leads. Zoom-zoom!

Change takes time. I mean, obviously when change is forced on us, some parts of change and changing, and certainly the requirement to do so, can hit us with real force in a very immediate way, no doubt about that. What I am pointing out is more that the skillful adaptation to change takes time. I roll with my changes as skillfully as I am able to, in the moment, but it does definitely take me some time to “get used to the new normal”. The experience of “change taking longer to get used to” is something I recognize as part of my TBI and the day-to-day realities of dealing with it, but it is also an experience most people likely have to one degree or another.

When I moved from the smaller apartment (#27) to the larger one right on the edge of the park (#59), the very specifically mirror-imaged kitchen messed with my head for months; I just kept clawing at the wrong side of the doorway for that damned light switch. It was the better part of a year before my brain finished making that change. Even with practice, some things change really slowly.

There’s a different car in my driveway this morning than there was 10 days ago. I was only getting started on getting used to commuting on transit, again. This morning, it’s back to commuting by car, but the car is different. This is no small thing, but it’s also no big deal. It’s both noteworthy and inconsequential. It likely will be somewhat different; the car handles quite differently. Sounds different. Feels different. Surrounds me differently. There are different features to learn. Different placement of some things, compared to the car I’ve been driving. Some things feel more natural than in the sedan. Other things feel quite strangely placed, as though the manufacturer “doesn’t know me at all”. (It’s mostly more comfortable and familiar-seeming than less, though, which is nice.) The new car is a first for me with this manufacturer, actually. A Mazda. Funny how much difference small changes make. They add up, too. It means driving very mindfully is a thing I need to make a point of for some time to come. I can’t really rely too heavily on implicit memory right now; I have none that applies to this vehicle. lol

One very telling thing? I regularly catch myself humming an old Queen song, “I’m In Love With My Car“,  when I am thinking about this car. lol It’s been awhile since I had a car that I felt that way about, myself. 🙂 I’m almost excited to drive to work today. For me, with the injury I have, that also means being very mindful and present is a huge thing, especially the first few weeks driving this car; it’s my one way to keep excitement from resulting in inattention or poor judgement, which can be a common enough result of being overly eager or excited about something, for me.  I’m definitely excited to be driving it. So… a good choice of vehicle? 🙂 I mean… it’s not a powerful luxury sedan (they tend to be a bit outside my comfort zone, and always feel sort of… huge), nor is it a fantastical beautiful sports car sort of machine (which, I’ll admit, I adore on this whole other level, but the driving of which bring out personality traits I don’t find are my best)…but, it’s every bit of the machine I find myself wanting most, day-to-day: nimble, quick, and capable of going where I want to go. I smile when I see it there in the driveway.

Some of the fun in life is about change. Every change is a new beginning. A “do over”. An opportunity to become more the person I most want to be. 🙂 I’m so glad I’m getting over this head cold, too; it’s already time to begin again. 🙂

I was too sick most of yesterday to maintain any excitement about the car in my driveway. Actually, when I first woke up during day light hours and noticed it there from my vantage point at the kitchen sink, I initially wondered who was here, before realizing my error and remembering the car. lol

There was a point, during the later portion of something I am inclined to call “mid-morning” (although for me it is actually, most days, well into the day because I am such an early riser), when I did feel well enough and restlessly housebound enough to want very much to go… to the store? Somewhere. I wanted to go somewhere. To feel forward momentum. To be out of the house for a few minutes. To have a purpose and direction that had to do with any else than blowing my nose again, or making yet another cup of tea, or broth. So… to the store?

I made a short list. Put clothes on. Got into the car and then I got honest with myself. I was restless, ill, and bored, and I just wanted to drive the car. lol I didn’t need anything at the store. Certainly, I didn’t need to spend the money. I pulled out of the driveway with care, and pointed the car in the direction of rural roads. I drove around, through forests and meadows and farmland, contentedly counting on GPS to get me home once I’d satisfied my desire to drive the car and be out of the house a bit. I didn’t bother with the pretext of going to the store. About an hour into that, my sinuses started itching again, my nose started running, and I started really feeling ill again. I eyed the small pack of Kleenex in the console, half gone already. Time to head home. I got home grinning from ear to ear, feeling content, and also feeling tired, ill, and ready to go back to bed.

A point in time between day and night.

I pretty much slept the rest of the day and night, waking now and then only long enough to have some soup, or tea, or re-up on symptom relieving over-the-counter nostrums and use the bathroom. So it went for the rest of the day, all of the night, and until some short time before full daylight this morning. Aside from some volunteer time on Friday, and buying the car, this entire weekend has been blown by being sick. I am, on the other hand, also exceedingly well-rested. lol

I’m sipping my coffee this morning, still feeling a bit fussy, head still pretty stuffy, but pleased that it hasn’t seemed to move into my chest (yet), which is a good thing. My coffee tastes delicious. It’s iced and also seems very refreshing. This seems, to me, to be a clear sign of recovery. I enjoy the moment, and the flavor, and also notice the colossal pile of used tissues, on the floor next to my desk, where I’ve either missed the waste basket or more likely, from the shape of the pile, and its vastness, I simple filled the basket and continued tossing tissue that direction. lol I am mildly embarrassed at the awareness that there are likely piles just like this one next to every over-filled waste basket in each room I’ve occupied this weekend, that the ennui of illness caused me to overlook and ignore. Maybe I have it in me today to tidy up a bit? (I think I might; and clearly I am well enough to notice the untidiness at this point!)

I begin to form a plan, an approach, something gently constructive to do with what is left of the weekend. I remind myself I am still sick, and won’t finish a long list – so I make a short one. The things that will bug me most to come home to, tomorrow: do the dishes, take out the trash, water the garden… I think about adding more, and decide to just stop there. Do those three things, gently. If I’ve got more in me after that, well, it’ll be obvious enough what else needs to be done. 🙂 No need to force myself through a busy day needlessly, it’s still the weekend.

I finish my coffee. Roll out my yoga mat. I begin again.