By Candace Fitzpatrick
Come on, admit it. You remember the first time, early in your driving days, rolling down the window, cranking up the radio volume, and pressing the gas pedal just a little harder. It’s what freedom felt like. Nowadays, speeding means rushing to pick your kids up from daycare, going to the grocery store, going back to the grocery store because you got home and your kid just told you they need 28 theme-decorated cookies for class tomorrow. From you.
How did it all get so complicated? And, what are you going to do about it?
I’m not suggesting you put your kids in the car, freeze them to death by rolling down the windows, deafen them with dated rock’n’roll, or drive irresponsibly (with or without your children). What I’m suggesting is this: ponder that feeling you had at age 17-ish, of freedom.
What gives you that feeling now, at this stage in your life? If you can’t think of a thing, you’re on the road to trouble.
From seventeen on we speed through life’s milestones — high school graduation, college (for some), jobs 1, 2, and 3. We find a mate (or 2 or 3…). Some of us get married and have children. Then we speed through the milestones of their lives — racing, racing, racing.
This is not the same kind of joyful speed we experienced with the wind blowing our hair, singing at the top of our lungs, driving just a little too fast.
So, my friends, if once upon a time you liked to speed, slow down. Experience the joys of your daily life — having a car, kids, a bathtub, a house, and yes, even a classroom full of kids who are all going to learn to drive in what seems like an impossibly long time.
Slow down and really listen to those belly laughs of your children and listen, too, to their subsiding sobs when you’ve calmed them after a night terror. Enjoy the goofy family language only your family uses because it makes no sense but you’ve made it up and it’s yours.
Know that you are the most important person in the world to the other human beings in your family. Actively let those same humans know you feel the same about them. Try it and you’ll experience a different type of exhilaration. It’s as easy as rolling down a window and letting yourself feel the wonder in everything around you in the moment you are in.
For me this week it’s my beloved husband of 30 years, sunsets, and hummingbirds. Thanks for helping me remember to be in the moment.
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