VOW: Promise, oath, pledge. RESOLUTION: Resolve, decision, solution.
This year, I’m making vows rather than resolutions. I’m already making a
pointed effort to live right, and do the right things. I’m human, so naturally, I’m not perfect, but anymore I don’t live wildly, tossing my fellow man under the bus, or live by the mantra “I’m not hurting anyone so why not?”
I’m no longer “out there” or “living it up." I’m focused on my family, my community, my neighbors and doing the right things that might positively affect the rest of my brothers and sisters.
I decided that resolving to lose weight, get a promotion, work harder, exercise more often are great ideas and things to strive for, but to me not as pressing as another area of weakness I have.
My area of weakness is behind the wheel, doggoneit!
I pledge to be more patient, to have courtesy and respect for other drivers, and to drive defensively, imagining what might be going on behind the wheel of that other
The guy that passed me at 60 in a 35 on a solid yellow line might have a loved one in the hospital and in a hurry to get there. That person that’s doing 30 on the interstate might be freaked out by the 70+ speeders, or their car might be about to break down.
That car that waited until I was almost up on it before it decided to pull out in front of me and do 10 mph might have vision problems or be elderly or even a new driver.
Or those famous drivers who go 25 on the entrance ramp to the interstate, then stop at the end of the ramp instead of speeding up to merge. Or the guy in the far left (fast) lane going slower than everyone because he’s on his phone, and can’t walk and chew chewing gum at the same time.
I’ve learned to pass on the right when I can and just keep on keeping on. He’s not
upset, so why upset myself? Yeah, you have to admit, these are infuriating things on the road.
Yes, I’ve learned to slow down and be more patient, but my nerve-endings practically singe when I’m about to have an accident. My first instinct is
to say out loud to myself in the car “You bozo! You almost caused a wreck!”
But I never gesture, tailgate, pass and stare or things like that. We have a very international city now. Many who come from other countries are successful in obtaining their license, but aren’t accustomed to our driving habits. Give ‘em a few years, but don’t give ‘em the finger.
Many come from other, smaller cities, and the traffic just freaks them out. I know when I moved here 26 years ago, my first trip driving downtown ended in pulling to a curb and crying. I was so overwhelmed. Then I didn’t drive downtown again for many years. I took the train instead.
I’ve seen and been subjected to road-rage. It’s frightening. It can be life-threatening. So, after all these years of driving in our huge metropolis, I’ve learned to calm down behind the wheel, give way to the folks riding my exhaust pipe, and smile and wave to other angry drivers who pass and stare (no, I’m NOT one of those slowbies, others are just in more of a hurry than me).
So my 2012 New Year’s vow is to be more considerate and tolerant to other drivers so that we can all maintain a little more sanity. It’s my vow, but I’m not perfect so I’m curious to see just how well I do.
What will your vow be this year?