I’m normally pretty easy going when it comes to long drives or stuffy traffic jams. However, as I’ve gotten older and my area has boomed with a higher, ruder population… I’ll tell ya, that easygoing me, has died. But! I’m discovering that there’s nothing I can do to make people stop moving here, or stop driving to work or stop being stupid either, so I’ve had to adjust. If I want to stay sane and not have a meltdown every time I leave my house, I had to fix my way of thinking. It’s working, my patience is returning from the grave. Now I’ll share my secrets with you, because you know you’re patient traffic nature is almost dead too.
MUSIC… I cannot stress this enough. Music is how our mood is set and we don’t even realize it. I could quote all the scientific research that’s out there to back this up, but I’ll spare you the dry writing; just play some frickin music. Play something that will set the mood, something that makes you feel at peace, but not sleepy and I promise it will help.
PUT THE PHONE DOWN! I know we all have heard the ad’s from the local police departments and heard about the distracted driving laws and their high fines, but I see people on their phones in every car while creeping along in traffic. Just stop it. It’s dangerous and believe it or not, you get cranky when you can’t finish something on your phone because suddenly the light has turned green or you can move ten feet forward now. It’s like driving is suddenly the distraction and not the phone. Again, there are many studies about phone addiction and yes it’s a real thing and we all have it now. Just trust me and put the thing down and listen to your music.
CONVERSATION. If you’re in the car with a friend, partner, spouse, kids, or even the dog. Talk to them. Make them put the phone down too… well maybe not the dog… and talk to them. Have the music on really low in the background, your phones stuffed into a center console or bag and speak to each other. Or better yet, sing along to the radio together. You will look like total idiots, but that’s what makes it so fun! We’re all a bunch of silly idiots dying to find fellow idiots to share in the off-key glory of belting out a Journey song with the windows down. Do it. Sing, and talk and enjoy the ride, safely of course.
ARE YOU REALLY IN A HURRY? This one sounds strange, but it’s a thing that I use when I’m getting pissed off in the car. Why am I rushing to get there? Now if there’s an emergency, I understand the need to rush or the sense of urgency, but the rest of the time… why the hurry? I asked myself one day on my way to work; why am I in such a hurry to get to a place I kinda don’t want to be? So the next day, I left earlier so I would be on time and hung out in the slow lane, listening to music with the windows down and a cool breeze on my cheeks… I decided I am not in a hurry to get anywhere. I am a grown-ass adult I make the call on my time and how it’s spent. I can leave earlier, take my time getting wherever I’m going and arrive on time in a good mood. Drive like you’re on Hawaiian time and yes it’s a real thing and I’ll tell you, they have the way to a good life figured out (Mahalo Hawaiian friends).
BE POLITE! You were probably taught basic manners somewhere in your life… how to share, how to say please and thank you… why is this dead the second we’re in traffic? I decided to bring it back and it makes me feel better because I am killing everyone who is an asshole with kindness. It’s the only form of killing that anyone should do really. I let people in front of me, try to keep an excellent following distance and wave to thank people who are courteous to me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not a perfect driver and have messed up a time or two and been an asshole and I’m not ashamed of it, it happens. However, I try to be kind and it helps make traffic a bit easier to deal with when we admit; it sucks but we’re in it together so let’s try to be nice to each other.
So when you’re stuck in the crawl of traffic, whether it’s on the way to work, or on your way to seek out a new adventure, try to remember some of these little tips.
Until next time, keep them boots on and keep seeking out your adventures!