• Colleen M. Doumeng

I AM Surrounded by Good Drivers

I tend to make my husband, Rene, nuts when we drive together because of how I react to his driving. I AM bossy, controlling, critical, fussy and have a host of rules. I do a lot of moving around in my seat, holding on to the door, bracing myself, breaking on some imaginary break pedal on my side or breathing way too loud in exasperation. I even put my hands over my eyes sometimes! Some rides it feels like a full time job just practicing to keep my controlling mouth shut and not offering him unsolicited advice. He's a great driver, just doesn't drive my way. So that's a little about me as a passenger. And, oh, I tend to go have these same experiences in your car! Ask my adult kids how many times they have said,"mom, stop, you are scaring me, I see the car!"

I have a daughter, a son in law, and three granddaughters that live in New Jersey. They have lived there for over ten years. That means I drive one way for three + hours from Long Island to visit and I need to see them often so I go. However, I do not consider this drive easy and relaxing. I AM on expressways, crossing over bridges (Verrazano and Goethals), merging through toll booths, crossing onto unfamiliar roads like the New Jersey Turnpike and other smaller New Jersey roads. Once I arrive safely near their home I "get to" navigate Jersey's turnabouts.

Trust me I AM not complaining. I feel blessed that I can get in a car and drive and be with them in a few short hours. The issue is that sometimes I get myself worked up the night before and right before departures. With the COVID lockdown and less traveling I feel sort of weird driving long did i forget how to drive or something? It's a weird sensation. Once I start out I do settle in and that is because I have a few strategies to help me quiet my critical mind. I plan ahead on the longer road trips and decide on what class I AM going to take through "Automobile University." Maybe a course, a book on Audible or maybe some podcasts - use this precious time to learn.

Years ago when I first drove alone to New Jersey I was very scared. My palms would sweat so bad crossing that old and very narrow Goethals Bridge that I would put my winter leather gloves on even in the summer! I named my car "Vic" (after my sister in law who is now my angel) and would speak out loud to her (and the car) saying "ok Vic get me over this bridge safely - pleasesssssssss"! (Note: the Goethals has been completely redone and is so wide and spacious ~ we "fly" over it together. It is beautiful)!

I write about this topic because I was prompted to share some affirmations about driving that helped me and continue to help me (and there may be a significant road trip in my future):

I AM surrounded by good drivers.

I feel comfortable in the car.

I bless my car with love.

How many times do you say them? As often as you need to!

I also find it helpful to write them down on an index card and put them on the door right next to you to read before you drive.

Here are some additional affirmations you may consider using when driving:

My ride is easy and effortless.

My drive goes smoothly, and more quickly than I expect.

I know this will be a beautiful drive to my daughter's house, (the store, to work).

PS. If someone gives me the finger, cuts me off, rides up my bumper and is driving like they want to be in my backseat, instead of returning some form of a hand gesture, I try to remember to resist that knee jerk reaction, take a deep breath in and out and I silently say this affirmation:

~ I send you love ~

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