My New Speed

I have a new speed in this van: SLOW.

This for the one who’s been told she has thorns up her ass and can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes. For the one who has equated speed with accomplishing lots of things.

I’m adjusting.

Every car on the road passes me. Sometimes even the semi-trucks pass me. The Van does 65 – 70 tops on a downhill. Rolling up the incline, we’re talking more like 40 mph.

I know my place on the road. It’s over to the right. When there’s no passing lane and people are stuck behind me, I fear the drivers behind me are starting to simmer with irritation, like I have in the past. Those are the times I practice breathing, remembering that there is nothing I can do.

I usually feel the energy of the person behind me. There are those who keep their distance, trundling along with me until a passing lane opens up. They send off content vibes. Then there are those who jam me up the backside, like it’s going to help me go faster.

When the passing lane comes, they kick in the throttle, gun the gas and zoom off with fumes wafting behind them. And I’m not taking diesel fumes either.

I’ve been one of those irritated drivers, though I rarely tailed people. Instead I would talk to them in my car, scolding them to move along with phrases like, “Come on Grandma, find the gas pedal.” As though these kind instructions would help.

Now I have no choice but to let go into slowness. When I relax into this new pace, I am discovering I have a slight smile on my face. I’m not racing anywhere. It’s actually a bit of a relief.

When I see a Rest Stop sign now, I pull in, get out and stretch. Before, rest stops were just a waste of time, only to be used for a pee break, and to be done as quickly as possible. Yesterday I got to a Rest Stop, and lay down in the grass and took a 20-minute nap. Believe me, that is something I’d never done.

Years ago, when my ex-husband told me I was such a multi-tasker, I said, “I know. It’s awesome! I can do 2 or 3 things at once and I get so much done.”

I thought it was a complement!

So, the Van, she’s already my teacher in the few days I’ve been getting to know her. She’s helping me slow down and relax. She’s helping me enjoy the journey instead of rushing to the next place without taking in the scenery.