Life is a car ride

I've been thinking about what it's like to be a passenger. When my husband drives, I can read or nap or look at email on my phone. I don't pay attention to how he's driving. I'm sure he'll be fine.

I drove with my mom the other day. She's older now and I was on high alert. Does she see how close those cars parked on the street are? Is she going to stop at that stop sign? It was like I was driving.

Only I wasn't. No matter how much I braced myself against the dash, no matter how many times I tapped my imaginary brake, no matter how much I cringed - I wasn't in control.

And you know what? I'm not sure my husband is that much better of a driver than my mom. The only difference was the attitude I brought to it. And the stress I felt.

And a lot of times, in a lot of ways, I'm just a passenger. I need to figure out how to relax. How to do other things besides fret and try to keep the car from crashing using just my mind.




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That insight is the beginning of just that. Keep going; you're doing great.
That is very helpful. Sometimes I'm good at not worrying, but that ability seems to be waning...
I was a much more relaxed passenger before I learned how to drive.
Although in recent years, my anxiety is not so much about my husband, who is usually the one driving our car. I trust him. It's the other drivers. People do such stupid crazy things. I no longer trust other drivers to stop at red lights, to stay in their lanes, to keep their eyes on the road, etc. (because, sadly, they often don't). And so being in heavy traffic is agony because we're surrounded by other drivers, and I half expect them to come barreling into us at any moment.
But you're right that I can't control the other drivers. So I try to read or something.
Has your teen started driving yet? That was the biggest test for me. Mine was a pretty good, if inexperienced, driver from the get go - two years of driving golf carts at his summer job saw to that. I was a wreck and hyper-vigilant when he was driving, even after he passed the second stage of his test which allowed him to drive solo. He cunningly put me in charge of his iPod one journey and because I was concentrating on that, finding the songs he was requesting, I was distracted from watching his every move and realized that the journey was just as smooth as if I or his dad had been driving.
Teen has license. I could have used her as an example, too. It's that hyper vigilance about everything I need to get past.