A Persian Princess, Her Ferguson, and Never Having to Drive!
I am a terrible driver. A terrible and careless driver. Sometimes, even a clumsy one. Mind you, I am not a reckless or crazy one by any means, just a terrible and careless one.
I am good at a lot of things but driving an automobile on a regular basis, in traffic, around town or on the highway is not my cuppa tea and I am finally ready to admit it and do something about it.
In my past life, I was a princess, a Persian princess to be exact, and I had a dedicated Chauffeur by the name of Ferguson at my every beck and call. Ferguson’s whole mission in life was to be my driver. He would drive me anywhere anytime. Without so much as a fuss, Ferguson would gladly take me to any destination in any state, any country on any of the seven continents. That includes stand-alone islands too. Yes, it be true: I don’t even drive on lush tropical islands!
“Good day Ma’am. Where does Her Highness fancy going today?”, “Oh Ferguson, please drive me instantly to my Ashtanga yoga class. It starts promptly at 6am and I’d like to meditate on the drive over so no bumpy roads and no sudden turns please. Oh and no chatter until we arrive.”, “Why, most certainly Ma’am! Nothing gives me more pleasure in life than creating the most pleasant driving experience for you!”, “God bless you a thousand times, Ferguson! Never leave me please as I would never want to be behind the wheels again.”
Sigh, where art thou Ferguson when I need thou so badly?
One day, I will find that old faithful chauffeur, but for now, on those occasions when my superstar driver of a husband is not available, I have to take my annoying self to places, and boy do I dread it.
I used to think that things just happen to me, like accidents and potholes, running traffic lights or speeding (which to my credit is not hard to do with the stupid speeding limits on American roads but I digress!), running my car’s side-mirror into the garage wall or my hubby’s car into a ditch.
Then I noticed something equally if not more disturbing: None of these things and much, much more, ever – and I do mean EVER – happens to my husband, and come to think of it, rarely to others. It’s no coincidence that my poor driving skills combined with my impatient personality and clumsy side have something to do with it.
If you are an impatient and careless driver like me, you know how it goes: You are in a hurry and can’t wait to get to your destination. In your haste, you run over a ditch a little too fast and mess up your new tires. It takes you three phone calls to find the same exact tire, three days of being without your car while you wait for the darn thing to ship in, two trips to the auto shop to get an estimate first and then to replace it, hundreds of dollars and a good chunk of a day to fix it.
Was it worth it especially when you realize the irony: If you slow down just a little in life, you will get ahead a lot. If you slow down the haste, the rush, the impatience every time you are behind the wheels, you will keep yourself – most importantly – and your car – second important – safe and out of harm’s way.
But here’s the challenge. When bad driving patterns have become such a habitual part of your behavior, it is no overnight task to get rid of them. So for those of you who know that driving safely is a great idea in theory but can’t quite enforce those safe driving guidelines in practice, embrace and memorize these 10 safe driving affirmations my dear for those occasions when you simply must drive:
10 Safe Driving Affirmations for the Impatient and Careless Driver in You
Yes, you can change so stop saying you are stuck with the pattern. Say these affirmations at least once and ideally, several times before, during and after your drive. Say them even when you are not driving to create the new patterns of thought in your mind and slowly translate those into smart and safe driving habits and behaviors.
Affirmation #1. I do not drive anywhere that I can take a walk or a bike or a cab or a subway or best of all, a plane.
Before you drive anywhere, ask yourself if you really need to drive there as opposed to walk, take a cab, get on the subway or get a ride or hop on a plane, yes an airplane is the best way to get to places. If you have better options, consider them.
Affirmation #2. I feel rested and energized and in full focus on my entire drive.
Make sure have plenty of energy to be alert during the whole drive (there and back). If not, postpone the drive, instead of dozing up o caffeine.
Affirmation #3. I refrain from driving if I feel mentally distracted or preoccupied.
Whenever you feel too distracted to focus on your work or the task at hand, you are probably too distracted to drive too. It’s OK to be preoccupied about something that consumes you, as long as you don’t do it behind the wheels.
Affirmation #4. I do not get behind the wheels if my emotions are not in check.
Check in with how you are feeling. Do not ever get in the car when you are emotional – angry, unhappy, upset, frustrated – until after you’ve calmed down. I remember my parents had a deal that if they fought, neither was allowed to leave the house with the car keys. Good rule!
Affirmation #5. I pay attention to where I am going and how I get there.
Be specific about your goal – where are you driving, what route are you taking, are you following GSP or do you know where you are going? How many stops if any? What about the return route? Map it out in your mind and pay attention.
Affirmation #6. I forgive the stupid, impatient, and careless drivers on the road because I used to be one of them.
Indeed, there is no shortage of mini you and mini me out there. You are not the only one that’s a danger to you and others; they can be too. Forgive them so don’t get angry but beware of them. Drive defensively.
Affirmation #7. I use my time wisely on the road by starting an audio program at the start and letting it run uninterrupted until I reach my destination.
Ideally, use your time to learn from audio books or podcasts (I got one of those for ya)! because how many times can you listen to the same songs over and over? Driving time can be useful if you plan it in advance, and remember, don’t fiddle with your device from departure to arrival.
Affirmation #8. I know everything – emails, phone calls, text messages – can wait until I am parked and out of the car.
Don’t play with that iPhone or Blackberry during the drive, under any circumstances. If an emergency happens, it can wait until you get to your destination. If it’s a real emergency, people will likely call and not just text you.
Affirmation #9. I do not put myself or others in harm’s way by minding the big and small stuff.
You need to pay attention to the small stuff as much as the big stuff when driving. It’s not always speeding that gets you in trouble. It’s turning your head in the wrong moment or getting caught up in your thoughts to forget something small that can get you into big trouble. Pay extra attention.
Affirmation #10. I am a good, safe, alert, and careful driver every single time I get behind the wheels.
First you have to believe it before you can become it. You Can Change, you know! So change what you believe to one that says you are a wonderful driver and then manifest that exact vision into reality.
Remember, when you are in distress from speeding or carelessness and have to spend time and money you don’t have to fix a stupid mistake you could have avoided, safety can be the sexiest thing you wish for. So make a vow to get sexy from the start and to live a hassle-free driving existence from now to the end, or until you get your own faithful Ferguson.
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