At re:generation, I’m supposed to keep it about me. How I handle a situation, not about what’s been done to me. Normally, I excel at this, because being hard on myself is my superpower.
But during the first week of groundwork, I had an assignment. Pick a struggle and conquer it for a whole day. Paraphrased, of course.
Groundwork is work
I chose staying chill when people drive stupidly. And I discovered that I’m perfectly capable of making things NOT about my reaction. Purely about what’s being done-not always to me-but in front of me. It might be strange for a fantasy writer to say this, but I like to stay in the lines. If we all follow the rules, we can avoid the false-start-tango at four-way stops. Just take your turn and assume I’m going to take mine. And off we go.
Not so simple, sadly. I get equally annoyed with the jerk who breezes through when they know VERY WELL that I stopped first, and the person who hesitates, hitting brakes, gas, brakes … wasting my time. My husband resolutely stops during such events, not bothered, listening to songs inside his head. But me? There’s no room for music when adrenaline is making your heart push steam out your ears!
“Just go!” I shout, my stomach concocting something sour out of whatever I nibbled before I left. Now I’m in a bad mood. The people who parked in the driving lane make me angrier. And don’t get me started on people who merge onto the highway slowly or dare to drive under the speed limit in the fast lane. My car could run itself on the heat rolling off my skin. Tired of gas prices? Fill your tank with my fury.
I said groundwork was work, right?
So, of course, I chose that. I had to drive my son to work without losing my temper. I needed my therapist in the seat beside me, demonstrating how to relax tension. Heck, just her voice.
But my son was there, and I had told him what I was going to attempt. So much as an eye twitch, he was going to see it.
I prayed about it, left early enough to drive as slowly as necessary, and skipped the angry songs I use to help me imagine how I’m going to write my gladiator battle scenes. And I made it. One day of not getting mad at other people for not driving the way I think they should. But don’t get too happy for me. One day. I still have a long way to go.
I’d love to hear from you! Does anything make you crazy on the road? Better yet, do you have any tips for conquering this demon?