Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I got a new car so I stopped speeding

We probably need to address three things about today's headline:

(1) I didn't get a "new" car. I got a "new to me" car. A "pre-owned" car, as they call it nowadays. A "used" car, as they called it when I was growing up. It's a 2015 Honda Civic. It's a great car and about the newest car I've had in my life. So it's new but it's not. Are we clear on that?

(2) To say I've stopped speeding is to imply I don't speed at all, which isn't true. I go about 5 MPH over the speed limit in most instances. It's just that I used to go 10-15 MPH over with regularity. So while technically I still speed, I don't speed like I used to.

(3) The headline also implies that the reason I stopped speeding is because I got the car. And while that's true, it's not the only reason. Sure, I don't want to jeopardize my nice new-ish car, but I've also felt for a long time that I should slow down.

To that last point, speeding always felt good in that it got me places faster. But it also felt selfish in that it (statistically anyway) put others around me in danger. And as a supposed follower of Christian teachings, I'm supposed to submit myself to the law, and the law clearly states how fast I should be driving on a given road in a given situation.

And really, I should clarify that I've only been slowing my roll for a couple of weeks now, so it's not like this is a permanently established habit quite yet. But I intend it to be.

I find, for example, that my morning commute is far more peaceful when I just kind of go with the flow and don't immediately slide over into the left lane and jam on the gas pedal. This morning I was listening to Wagner ("Die Meistersinger," for those who care) and having a good old time in the second lane from the right, averaging about 65 MPH. I got to work maybe two minutes later than normal and it was fine.

Seriously, it was fine. I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not joining my old friends in the speed demon lane  a lane that, by the way, averages about 75 MPH on Interstate 90 westbound heading into Downtown Cleveland most weekday mornings.

I felt a lot more relaxed as I drove and a lot more relaxed when I got to work. Relaxed is good. I could use more relaxed.

A lot of this has been brought on by the fact that I'm teaching my daughter Melanie to drive. She's the fourth of my kids with whom we've gone through this process, and with every one there have been awkward conversations like this:

CHILD: Aren't you supposed to turn into the left lane when you make a left turn?

ME (sheepishly): Well...yeah.

CHILD: Then why did you go all the way out into the right lane?

ME: You'll do the same once you get your license.

Translation: I know what I did is wrong, but everyone does it and therefore it's OK.

Not my finest parenting moments.

So I figure setting the example for my children and for others is a better-late-than-never situation.

Anyway, if you're a chronic speeder like me, I suggest you give, you know, NOT speeding a try for a while. At first you'll be antsy. Just itching to swerve around that slow poke in front of you who has the nerve to do the actual speed limit. MOVE OVER, IDIOT!

But then after a while you'll be that idiot. Except you won't be an idiot. As long as you drive in the correct lane (leave the passing lane for those still addicted to velocity), you'll be the responsible driver.

And that's what we're all aiming for, right? Safe, smart, responsible, relaxed.

Especially relaxed. I'm telling you, relaxed is good.

1 comment:

  1. going to give it a try immediately and how do you turn left from the right lane, huh????