For Presidents’ Day weekend, my family travelled from Maryland to Georgia to visit my little sister and her new baby. The car trip is about ten hours with two adults—closer to fourteen with a toddler. Driving it without my unlicensed husband’s help is no small feat.
You can understand why I felt like I was in a hurry. And why I got pulled over for speeding. Twice.
Two very sympathetic officers softened the consequences of my actions. But I’m so grateful for the lessons I learned about rushing on the road—and through my life.
- I need to slow down. There are days when I can feel my adrenaline pumping. I seem to be going a mile a minute. I can be highly efficient, but it really wears me down and makes me irritable when things don’t go exactly as planned. I can’t live a happy life at that pace.
- When I think I’ve slowed down, I need to slow down some more. After my first ticket, I set the cruise control at the speed limit and cruised most of the way through the state of Virginia. Imagine my surprise when I saw blinking lights in my rearview mirror several hours later. Turns out, that on the road and in life, sometimes what I think of as slow isn’t really slow at all.
- Rushing doesn’t really get me to my destination any faster. My mother likes to quotes Lewis Carrol—“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” In this case, the consequences of rushing through the task at hand destroyed whatever gains I might have made with speed.
- I don’t have to push myself at everything all the time. I am a good driver and I feel confident that no one is in extra danger when I speed. But I can only drive at otherwise unsafe speeds when I devote my full attention to the road ahead and the cars behind me. When I’m going at an impressive pace, I don’t have time for the people or things nearby. There is a time and a place to push myself to my limits, but there is also a time and a place to simply enjoy what I am doing and the company I have to share it with.
- Peace only comes to those who wait for it. You know the best part of going the speed limit? Driving is fun! At a reasonable speed, I kept a cool head. I had great conversations with my husband. I enjoyed the view. If I want to live a peaceful life—and I truly do—I’ll have to learn to slow down and enjoy the things I do every day.
Have you learned any lessons the hard way lately? Let us know in the comments.