I really do not enjoy driving. I like the ability of getting from one place to the other relatively quickly, but I do not enjoy the act of driving itself. I cringe and gasp every time a near-accident happens. I always am concerned if I’m going to fast or too slow. My eyes constantly dart to my speedometer and gas gauge. I wonder if my car needs a tune up. Having a car is a nesscary evil in my opinion. My two years without one in Boston were incredibly enjoyable.
And my stress bubbled again today when I drove to church this morning. I had an early meeting, and there usually isn’t a whole lot of traffic at 8:15 on Saturday mornings. I got on to I-394, a major freeway. The split for I-94 happens pretty quickly after my entrance. There’s usually a long line of cars backed up to get onto I-94, but I didn’t really expect it that early in the morning today. The exit for my church is just before that split. As I was approaching, I signaled and checked my blind spot before I moved. As soon as I turned my head back I noticed red lights in front of me. I swerved to the right and got into the exit lane. (I wonder if the car behind me in the exit lane slammed on their brakes as well.) There was a screeching noise, but I didn’t hit anything. Thank God.
My adrenaline was pumping as I pulled into the parking lot. I took a few deep breaths before I walked into the meeting. I didn’t really pay attention for most of the time I was there. My heart rate stayed well above average. I texted a few friends to tell them what had happened. Everybody was glad I was OK.
Whenever something like this happens, I get cranky. I don’t want to talk to people, and I don’t want to get back in my car. I just want to sit in a place where I’m not being hurled along at 70 miles per hour in a metal box. I just want to be still and not worry about my safety.
This near-accident reminded me that you need to be vigilant when you are driving. It’s so easy to just coast and think you’re going to get where you need to go easily. That doesn’t always happen. You forget how dangerous driving really is. There are so many moving parts in your car, so many choices you have to make, and so many things you need to pay attention to while you are driving. You need to make all those decisions, but a ton of other people on the road need to make decisions as well. That’s such a crazy concept when you think about it.
I’m going to relax a little bit for the rest of the day. I’m going to walk to Uptown later to enjoy a movie and a few beers with a friend. I’ll be happy to just enjoy the sun and the breeze without traveling 70mph.