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One of my life’s goals is to be able to drive anywhere without thinking some snarky thought about one or several other drivers. I’ve written about this before, how we all should swallow a huge chill pill before we get behind the wheel, or do just about anything these days it seems. It’s not a competition. Or, it shouldn’t be. We should consider that the other drivers are actually just like us, on our way to somewhere and trying to get there. They make mistakes and bad judgements on the road, like you and I do. We’re just easier on ourselves when we do the exact same thing we criticize in others. There’s something about driving that really puts the blinders on for me, though. I have to work for it. I’ve had some successes where I’m able to catch my judgment before it hits my lips. Baby steps, right?

But it’s more than this. It goes beyond actual bad driving habits. I find myself “anticipating” what other drivers are about to do. I know, it’s pathetic. Like I know that they are going to cut in front or do some other maneuver that’s going to put me at a deficit. Sometimes I’m correct. But almost always I’m wrong. I’m terrible at predicting the behaviors of other drivers. I even pay attention to whether I’d be further ahead if I had shifted lanes “back there” or whether the turning lane for the alternate route would have been quicker through the light. It’s a whole lot of energy given to thoughts that don’t amount to anything of value. In the end, we’re talking about seconds (maybe minutes in some cases) of time “gained” at the cost of peace for anyone that views driving as a competition.

Someday I’ll be able to drive with my thoughts centered solely on safety and enjoyment of what the route has to offer. I’ll prepare to arrive as the person that whomever is expecting me is hoping that I am. If it takes a few extra minutes, so be it.

A little more about Erik Eustice...