Monday, February 28, 2011

The Forever Clause Week 4

Before it slips my mind. I must tell you that today is important! It's the deadline to get your Safe Driving Fine Art Contest submission sent in. I've seen a few of the entries and am looking forward to seeing the rest before they appear on Facebook for peer voting.

Now, back to the Forever Clause...I thought I was doing well this past week. But if I break it down, I see that it wasn't that great. We live on a huge hill. Super steep. It snowed this past week and my husband took the vehicle that I normally drive to work and school since it has 4 wheel drive and I was home with the kids for snow days. So I was actually only driving on 4 days. I found myself excited with yellow lights and downing trail mix while waiting for the red to change. Oh the justification! It's terrible. I was admitting to myself that I didn't even like this goal. I reasoned that I'd throw up if I didn't eat something soon. For the first time EVER, I was disappointed when intersections had green lights. And there were a lot of them. Usually, I seem to always get the red ones.

Yesterday, I embarked on a 15 minute drive home with some trail mix next to me. I drove to the highway, got on, got off and was on another road 7 minutes into my trip before I realized that I was even snacking on that mix. This goal, which has been on the forefront of my mind lately, was totally forgotten. Wow.

There is a big part of me that is grateful that today is the end of this clause. Then I will eat again guilt-free. It won't be like before, though. I like eating meals at home. I like arriving places early because I planned on NOT eating in my car. I just want my snacks back. To keep me alert for long drives...and short ones.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Off Road Adventure

Don't be like one of my neighbors. Snow and ice can be super slick and it can be hard to make a turn sometimes. Thankfully they didn't go over the side of the hill and hopefully their car has minimal damage.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Slush Sounds

Gently falling snow
Bathes the world in white
With the sunlight shining through
Everything is bright.

Cars on the road
Make dingy melting snow
Temporary streams
Flow everywhere I go.

Crunch crunch split splat
Driving on slush
Sounds cool like that.

Now it's your turn:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's Doodle Time!

Dear Friends,

Our Fine Arts Contest is ending. In one week. I've seen several of your doodles and drawings and cartoons over the years. They're pretty good. You made them while listening to your teacher. They started out simple and then got complex. The ones on your workbook cover turned ornate. Submit them today! Your chance of winning a prize is good really good. I believe in you. In your creativity. In the quality of your work. All you need to do is submit your stuff. Seriously. Do it. Today.

Artsy Smartsy Regards,

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Forever Clause Week Three

Justifications have set in this week. If I'm waiting for a train, it's okay to have a snack...right? I mean the car isn't moving. In fact it's in park. The problem is that the same thoughts were entertained at stop lights. I can see the downward spiral now.

The biggest benefit from not eating while driving this week has definitely been that I am on time (or even early-gasp!) for my appointments. Usually, I try to put too many things in my schedule with the notion that I can eat on the road. Well since that is no longer an option for me, I'm a little less busy and have cut down on rushing around. I haven't cut out any necessary activities, though. I like that. My time has become a little more valuable to me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Forever Clause Week Two

This week was really hard for me. And by really, I mean completely. Every time I got in the car I needed to put something in my mouth. I've been doing well getting ready to leave the house and getting meals prepared an hour before it's time to leave. But I still want to snack in the car. Like a lot. For the most part I was true to my goal and didn't eat anything. I did drink water. And that was helpful. The one time I did eat I was coming from a doctor's appointment to pick up my kids from school. The appointment was supposed to be one hour. It ended up being three and a half. I had to get my kids and I couldn't drive without eating because I was nauseas from waiting a couple of extra hours already.

What I am noticing is that I look at driving as dead or wasted time. I don't need to concentrate to drive. It's not a stressful activity like it is for many new drivers. I gather more information in a shorter amount of time than a new driver. As a consequence, good or bad, I need to fill the void in my mental alertness while driving with something to keep me engaged. Many times I do that through listening to the news and radio talk shows. Sometimes, I listen to books on tape. Often I turn everything off and have silent time and meditate. When my kids are in the car and ask me to go when stopped at a red lights, we talk about rules of the road and why I shouldn't rear-end the car in front of me just so we can "go" or why I can't pass the school bus we happen to be following and stopping for every 6 houses. I also teach my children where my eyes are looking and what kind of potential hazards they are searching for. Teaching my children is the most valuable way I can use my time while driving. However, their attention span is short and I often only get in one mini-lesson before the moment is gone.

Bar none, my favorite ways to engage my mind and make use of driving time are making phone calls I didn't have time to do at home/work and eating. I think that's why this challenge is so hard for me. It cuts to the core and has me wondering whether or not it's worth turning off all distractions in order to drive. Has the driving task become so automatic that my mind would just check out?

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Forever Clause Week One

This past week I have been 100% successful about not eating while driving. I should also tell you that I did not drive more than about 50 miles all week. My toddler is learning to use the toilet and it was better for us to be home. The few times I was driving, it was hard to not munch on something. I found myself getting bored with the driving process. Luckily, my trips were 10 to 15 minutes long and so they weren't long enough for me to get sleepy and mentally check out. It is something that concerns me however and something that I will need to watch. Especially with my 45 minute commute to work this morning. Hopefully, NPR will keep me mentally engaged...but that means I've got to get out of the house quickly since there is only a half hour left of their morning edition show.
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