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Tynt

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I Only Hated It Until I Loved It… What a Trip Taught Me…


“Now, on this road trip, my mind seemed to uncrinkle, to breathe, to present to itself a cure for a disease it had not, until now, known it had.”
― Elizabeth Berg


Anybody that knows me knows that I hate driving (now flash to a random thought in my head: I just used the verb hate, which I don’t like using. As a matter a fact, it is forbidden from my kids mouths… I’ve always felt that when you use that word, it is because (like a child) you don’t know how to express your feelings… but truly, that is how I feel about itJ). I meant; I strongly dislike driving. I am a purpose/destination driver by all accounts. The physical action of driving for me is by absolute necessity only. Along with my disdain for all things behind the wheel, I can’t stand traffic (no surprise there). I can’t stomach people who drive as if they have all the time in the world and nowhere to go. I can’t stand drivers whose driving skills - or lack thereof - reflect the fact that they most likely got their driver’s licenses from a gumball machine for 25 cents… Now let’s not even talk about how foul my mouth gets when my aggravation level spikes while behind the wheel… I’d probably put a sailor to shame as I can swear in French and English simultaneously!

Let’s state the glaring, conspicuous fact; I love to be driven…
I immediately think of the movie, “Driving Ms. Daisy.” I love being the passenger in a car, and nothing is as soothing as the vibration from a car in motion. Parents worldwide know this to be an instant remedy for a crying child. It’s amazing how all the pain goes away once you strap them in that car-seat. Many of us adults know this to be a sure-fire way to fall asleep; as long as you’re not the one behind the wheel. Do that, and you’ll likely be asleep for much longer than planned!

When my kids were much younger, the hubby and I used to take frequent road trips to Michigan to visit family. Not only was it practical, when you compared the price of gas/tolls for the trip to plane tickets for 4 people, but it was very enjoyable. Because no matter what time of day or night we left, our rugrats would automatically fall asleep, allowing us ample time to have adult conversation, hold hands, soak in the scenery and listen quietly to music. With the years passing, things have changed… The kids started spending most of their time arguing over who took an extra breath of clear air when it wasn’t their turn. The hubby would become more and more grumpy after even a short ride (now imagine his mood after driving 12 hours to Detroit). This would cause him to rely more and more on me to do my share of the driving. As tensions mounted and what was once enjoyable became not so enjoyable, the clear solution for us was to simply limit the road trips to a minimum and plan ahead of time - if possible - flights.

Then last week happened… I had planned a long weekend off (just because) and we received the very sad news of someone passing in the family. The viewing and funeral were scheduled for Friday. I looked at hubby and said “Well, since I already have the time off on the schedule, why don’t we pack up the kids and all go?” I knew mom and dad would be happy to see their grandkids (it sure isn’t about us any longer L), along with the rest of the family. While the suggestion came naturally, logistics needed to be on point to avoid two cranky parents upon arrival at our destination. As long as everything was well managed and went according to plan, it would be okay. I didn’t want to speak about the unexpected things like delays and traffic jams as I didn’t want any negativity to cloud my positive outlook on the trip itself…
I spent Wednesday night packing, travelled to New York for the day on Thursday for a previous engagement, then got back to Boston at 11pm. Woke the hubby up from his nap, packed us up in the truck and off we were. There we were, at 12:30am, embarking upon our first family roadtrip in 2 years…
I was very tired but offered to start the first leg of the trip, to give the hubby a chance to rest a little more. But wait….. How could I have done this? What was I saying, me drive? I hate driving, remember? This can’t possibly be happening, what was I thinking?

As expected, 30 minutes into the drive, everyone in the car was asleep…
I turned off the car radio, switched on my play list on my iPad, set my earphones to maximum volume and let my mind go on its own trip…
As I drove, I observed the passing scenery all around me. The black sky covering me was very warm, the silence (regardless of the slow ballads coming through my earphones) was calming… I zoned out, or was it that I was in the zone? My mind thought more than it had in a very long time… I figured out issues I had difficulty solving. I came up with new goals I should try to attain. I assessed where I stood in the things I had started. I looked in the rearview mirror to the backseat and marveled at the little people the hubby and I had created (when they are not arguing), and the blessings that they bring to my life. I held on to the hubby’s hand and told him to go back to sleep when he began to worry about how long I had been driving. As unbelievable as it sounds, and as uncharacteristic of me, I enjoyed the act of driving! My mind truly roamed free…

I realized after driving for 9 hours, seeing the sun rise and the sky turn into a beautiful blue picture; that I love to drive… I love to drive when I have no distractions, can listen to my music selfishly and escape.
I loved it so much, that I decided that we should take a road trip to see our family every 3 months or so, at least until the kids still need 9 hours of sleep to function. I know I set myself up for the okie-doke but it was alright. I had successfully turned an absolute negative into something beautiful. If I used to think of driving as crappy, I took that crap, made it fertilizer and placed it in a garden so flowers could grow. I turned my lemons into lemonade… More than anything else, I grew a little on the inside. I think what we fail to do sometimes is look at the positive things that can come out of a situation we initially feel uncomfortable with. There can be beauty in the ugliest moments, as long as we are able to push past our fears and inhibitions, and look at it from a different perspective. Yes, I hated driving with a passion, but when it meant that I could be the one to transport my family safe and sound to where we needed to be in a time of trouble, I found out that I loved it. I got closer to that superwoman I have my sight on because I found the way to do and love this one thing among things I despise. This road trip made me a better person than I was yesterday...

And you? How do feel about road trips?

RosieSandz
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