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?

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