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Out of Our Minds
Friday, August 26, 2005 9:52 AM
Beep Beep
Kevin Salwen on Culture

I was driving with my friend Bob on a two-lane road the other day and I was jolted by a truly unexpected moment. In a 55 mph zone, we quickly came upon a car going no more than 40, and with the solid yellow line providing no opportunity to pass had no choice but to slow to this driver's seemingly glacial pace. So, Bob took his foot off the pedal and we glided down to 40.

Instantly, I felt my blood pressure rise. This was a Road Rage Opportunity in capital letters. We've all been behind these people, oblivious to the world around them, clueless to the fact that other drivers might actually want to get somewhere fast, now! But before I got to offer any damning bon mots, Bob spoke first: 'You know, I envy people like this.' My whole body jolted with a sense of the unexpected. He continued: 'Imagine being so relaxed about time that you don't have to think about hustling to the next call or the next meeting. That must really be great.'

Imagine that. Imagine always being early -- or not caring. Imagine the stress evaporating. I've thought about that moment several times every day since then. I think I can learn something from that slow driver and from Bob.


KC Christensen-Lang - 8/29/2005 12:28:04 PM
Hello Kevin and fellow readers!

I smiled when I read your post and was so glad you had the 'Aha' moment when you were zooming along in your car recently. A former Californian who grew up in a state where freeways, traffic jams and road rage were as common as sunshine and surfers, I had mine when I moved to the beautiful, but slower-paced Maine! WHEW! Not only did those 'Mainers' drive slower than me, but I quickly discovered, as my temper was rising when I came upon a vehicle going along at a frustrating turtle pace, that I probably knew the driver too! Yikes! I figured it wouldn't be polite to have a 'road-rage' incident with my neighbor, my kid's school teacher or the town's mayor of my new community and state!

Today, I am a recovering 'Poster Child of Stress,' and as a Joyologist, Success Coach and Certified Laughter Leader, I actually coach people worldwide how to reduce their stress! (ironic I know, but wonderful.) That seems to be the top concern of my clients. We often discuss allowing yourself extra time...a buffer zone so you don't have to rush in the car, since so often that slow driver, construction site or traffic jam will appear! Another way to reduce stress in the car is to make it more of a sanctuary. Turn the disturbing news, the loud chatter off once in awhile and have some stillness in your hectic day. Or Comedy tapes or upbeat or soothing music can help. Keeping things in perspective is key. Humor and laughter can get folks through even the most difficult day. One bestselling author in my humor industry actually keeps bubbles in his car and rolls down his window during a traffic jam. Restless drivers actually start to smile when the bubbles float by their stuck vehicles. Others wear funny hats or sing silly songs to cheer themselves and the other drivers up. Just goes to show, 'Laughter really is the best medicine.'

In New Delphi, the red lights actually flash...'Relax.' Hmmm...might be something to try in the good ol' USA?

Wishing all of you safe driving, more laughs and less stress!

Laughing in Maine,
KC :)
Janet Auty-Carlisle - 8/27/2005 10:58:13 PM
What's that comment...when the student is ready the universe makes it happen?
Best of luck with your reminders.
Living la vida fearless,
Jodee Bock - 8/27/2005 1:15:35 PM
Wow - lots of reminders for me to slow down. I just read about pausing on another of my favorite blogs (Making a Difference) which prompted me to write about slowing down just now on my own blog (You Already Know This Stuff). Thanks for the 3rd hit today - and the opportunity to really enjoy my Saturday afternoon.


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