It dawned on me this morning—as I was driving on the turnpike to a client meeting much the way my grandmother would, were she still alive—that along with brittle nails, too many laugh lines around my eyes, and Metabolish Yuck Syndrome, I now have vehicular issues.
Yep, I’m a nervous driver. And that’s new. Middle age: The gift that keeps on giving.
Case in point: There I was, 7 a.m., in the rain, on the highway, in rush hour traffic and a tight pair of Spanx, hunched over in my seat, squinting into the windshield, clutching the steering wheel as if it were the last pair of black spandex anything on earth, groping occasionally at my decaffeinated skim latte, little drops of sweat dribbling like a slow leak in the toilet down the sides of my cheeks.
Pathetic, just pathetic. That’s all I could think to myself, while trying to juggle the road, my disdain for the truckers splashing my windshield, the GPS, AND the MapQuest directions I printed out last night (a little OCD about finding a new destination as well). Pathetic, I know.
The sad thing is I never used to be this way. When I think back to my earlier years, I used to be a ball of fire in the driver’s seat. Give me an imaginary megaphone, an accelerator, and whatever the elements had to offer, and I was all good. In my 20s and even 30s, an easy drive was like a long massage. Whether it was on a quiet side street or in deep rush-hour traffic, cruising around wherever was consistently meditative and empowering.
After all, I could always control the dash, the radio dials, and my speed with relative calm and ease. It was a metaphorically perfect experience. In return, all I had to do was stay in the lines (not necessarily my most favorite activity in theory, but doable in this context) and follow the Darwinian rules of the road. Simple.
I used to love to drive so much, that I was always the one volunteering to shuttle friends and family around town. My joy of driving so palpable, that my mother once swore to a gathering over a dinner of dry broiled flounder and steamed broccoli: “We spent all that money on grad school, when she should’ve been a cabbie.”
Well mom, you’ll be delighted to know I’ve got an intellectually robust job these days but lately, I’m as granny ass as they come in the car. Whenever I have to drive anywhere, I’m a tad bit off balance. Add rain, snow, ice, wet leaves, heavy traffic, thick fog, daylight savings time, tight pants, or an especially savory news day (I’m easily distracted), and forget about it. I’m Jessica Tandy manning a spacecraft. Not good.
How about you? If you’re over 45 and still like to drive, I’d love to hear about it. Write to me!
Fans & Followers
Watch Jill’s TEDxWilmington Talk: The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go
Learn more about Jill Sherer Murray: www.letgoforit.com
Jill Sherer Murray is an award-winning writer and speaker who studies creativity, relationships and self-growth. She is also the founder of Let Go For It®, a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping individuals let go for a better life. Jill’s TEDx talk as well as her advice column, Big Wild Love: Let Go For It® were created in service to her loyal and growing fan base, who seek support in the act and the art of letting go for the love they desire and deserve. Follow Jill @letgoforit on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.