Monday, October 6, 2014

Editorial: Driving as therapy

To some, driving is a chore. The slog every day of getting up in the morning to join the the lemmings on the road, inching along at a snails pace to arrive and put in a a full day of work, only to be faced with the same terrible conditions on the drive home. For even the most dedicated of gear heads, such drudgery is just utterly painful. Yet, there are some of us who see driving as an opportunity so focus our conscious minds on a mechanical task that allows the subconscious mind to wander freely, handling the work of solving some of the great challenges in our lives, those great paradoxes that have been plaguing us.

For me personally, ever since I started driving, it has become my go-to activity to clear my mind. Many job decisions, major purchases, and even serious life-altering conclusions have been arrived at following a long drive. Working the clutch and shifter, focusing my mind on finding that next apex, sensing the tire adhesion and road conditions, all have a surprisingly de-cluttering effect on my subconscious, allowing it to piece together thoughts that might otherwise have been obfuscated by the millions of things rattling around in my brain at any one time. The driving clears my head long enough to allow the related thoughts to gel into something coherent.

In recent weeks, things have been a bit crazy around here. Lots of things have cropped up and our lives have developed a level of complexity that was, to say the least, unexpected. Finding the time to figure stuff out has been challenging, but, luckily, the one thing California is not short on is driving. In the last two months, since our departure from Boston, I have driven more miles that I have in nearly the past year and a half. Not every one of those miles was spent in contemplation, but when I needed the time to clear my head, the opportunity has been there. For me, regardless of if it is a work matter, a personal matter, or a financial matter, spending the time on the road, whether behind the wheel or in the saddle is a better form of therapy than doing just about anything else.