eFor those new to my blog or whatever, I drive a dedicated route from Middle Tennessee to Laredo, TX. Fortunately I've found a very nifty shortcut on back roads that eliminates the need to drive through Dallas, it's 15 miles shorter, takes the exact same amount of time as the interstate and is a helluva lot less stressful. However, despite my countless hours on various mapping sites I can't find a good way to bypass Austin without taking the new toll roads. And Austin is shall we say, a little on the difficult side to get through without your blood pressure going off the charts, LOL.
I was finding myself getting very, very, very angry on the round trip through there. So angry that it was starting to affect my mood the rest of the work week and I was constantly snapping at James. As a result approx. a year and a half ago I decided to start applying some of the strategies that I use while running. Deep, even breaths, a conscious dropping and relaxing of my shoulders, and keeping at least half a tractor trailer length (usually a full truck length though) away from the vehicle in front of me no matter how slow or fast the traffic was, or more likely, not going. Well the last part I don't use when running but you get the point, LOL! Little bit of an edit here--I usually keep a much greater following distance when driving, this is referring to traffic jams/stop and go city driving.
And it worked! It's so automatic now that between Georgetown and Buda that I'm almost in a meditative state. I'm fully aware of all the traffic around me but I'm no longer flying off the handle at the slightest hint of a car or truck cutting me off and I'm just a nicer person to be around for a bit. Now, once I get north or south of the aforementioned points, all bets are off.........
It's worked so well that late last month I started applying these tactics to anytime I'm driving. I've even found a couple of curse words that can be used in polite company and they're so ridiculous that I can't help but smile after I've used them and instead of flipping someone the bird (or wanting to) I give them a thumbs down--makes me grin and gets the point across just as effectively. The latter by the way was an idea floating around on Twitter.
Now don't go thinking I'm going Pollyanna, I still have a ferocious potty-mouth (although I'm TRYING to work on it) and I'm having to think about relaxing more than what I thought I would when I started this. But, instead of NEEDING a vacation, right now, it'd just be nice to be able to take a week off. I told James about this experiment yesterday and he replied that he'd noticed a change, just wasn't sure what had changed.