There have been times in my life I think to myself, “I drive well”. I pay attention to the road and other drivers, I’m not in a hurry, and I practice patience. Other times, I know I have not driven well. I let my concentration lapse, I make poor choices almost to the point of causing accidents, I try to rush through light phases, or I drive while I’m tired. None of these are good traits to espouse when driving a vehicle.
In a similar way there are times in my life I think, “I know where I’m going, and I’m looking forward to putting in the hard work to get there”. More often though, I feel lost and unsure of where to go, let alone how to steer my ship’s wheel to get there. I need to learn to pay attention all the time to keep myself and others safe while driving, and to listen to my instincts, especially when they tell me I shouldn’t be driving. This is not paying attention to the little voice telling me to stay up later or buy lunch more days than I need to, but the spark inside my soul which is always there, quietly guiding me.
Indicators on cars seem like they are becoming even more of an optional extra than they used to be. At least, it seems fewer people are taking the time to use them. Their purpose is right there in the name. Indicate. Proper use lets others know where we are going so they can adjust their driving accordingly to be safe. This is not the same as a token flick for barely a second after already having changed lanes or turned the corner. That is an afterthought. A potentially dangerous one. Yes, there are times when I miss turning my indicator on. BUT. I recognise this and make sure I don’t let my use of indicators lapse. Maybe it is a symptom of having driven for so long we think we can do it in autopilot? (There’s another whole blog post in there, and I think I may have even written one!)
What I need to focus on is maintaining vigilance in all the other aspects of driving too, not just the use of indicators.
One of my pet peeves with pedestrians also involves a lack of indication. Plenty of footpaths are skinny enough you can only have two people walking past each other, one in either direction. Sometimes a footpath is so skinny there is only enough space for one person to walk in either direction. Few people seem to be aware of others moving to pass them from in front of behind. Or they notice but don’t seem to care. The biggest culprits seem to be larger groups. They monopolise footpath space, even when the footpath is very wide, and look on with annoyance when they have to move even a few inches. During our first lockdown in New Zealand people were courteous and ensured there was enough space to walk past comfortably. (I say first because though we are doing well here that doesn’t mean we won’t require another.) People acknowledged others with a smile and made eye contact. I found walking to be much less stressful. Now the footpaths are full of people again, the concept of “keep left” has gone right back out the window. (In other countries which drive on the right hand side of the road I understand it may well be “keep right”, but in no situation is the, “I’m walking here so you can find somewhere else, like the road” appropriate pedestrian etiquette.)
This may sound petty but it is a small action which can help so many more people than we could ever be aware of. Friends, let us open our awareness and choose kindness.
Changing tack a bit, I used to find it difficult to know what I wanted to do in life. The spark inside my soul was alive but I had no idea where it was guiding me. This has meant I’ve become lost several times along the way. I followed the guidance of my parents and my friends, both through them explicitly telling me and seeing what they were doing. If my friends were studying a technology degree, surely it would be a good choice for me? The sector seems like it’s well paid with plenty of job openings, how could I go wrong?
Well, I finished the degree. However, this came with the realisation working somewhere which has the sole aim of making more money was not a place I wanted to be. I understand businesses need to make money to pay employees. If you work anywhere in the corporate world this is true. But people should always factor into the equation. Customers, clients, and colleagues will feel better and be more likely to help if they are treated well and fairly. The organisation I work for now has a strong motivation to help people so I feel good in this job. It also leaves (some) time to write my novels, enter story competitions with my dad, play and record music, play video games with a good story, and read books I’ve been meaning to for quite some time.
This is not the perfect job. In fact I want to move towards a more writing focussed working life which might be more along the self-employed track. Even with all this direction from that spark I still get lost a lot. The difference? It doesn’t scare me quite as much as it used to. I pray to God to show me a path through the difficulty, and I get to work to make it happen. I know there is a way to find the right path, even if I have to travel a few of the wrong ones to find it.
How is your driving of cars? Of life? Where might you wish to change direction? Have you got a plan on how to make the moves you want to?
Keeping on keeping on being awesome. Peace.