Tag Archives: driving

Cold weather gratitude.

I wanted to take a moment to express gratitude.

The cold weather this week brought some snow and ice and made roads very crappy. I’m at work 20 min early because I left early assuming I might still have to deal with slick roads and drivers that don’t know how to handle it. Fortunately today the roads were minimally impacted.

Yet the last 3 days has made me aware of how much skill I have in driving that many here in KC don’t.

I grew up in Iowa and learned to drive on snowy roads early. Then my best college job was driving busses for the university while I was a student there. I learned very well how to handle any vehicle on slick roads.

I still remember driving a bus with bald tires up pentecrest hill, having my two passengers stand over the rear duels knowing that their weight was really fairly insignificant. I snaked my way up the hill at 5 mph until I finally crested the top and radioed base for a bus with better tires.

I also remember driving a bus when an ice storm hit mid shift. My next to last round of the route I lost traction heading downhill towards a major intersection. I steered the bus into the curb and let the curb stop the bus to avoid accident.

Now as an adult driving in KC weather is only nerve wracking because of other drivers. Monday night I left work and it took almost an hour to do my normally 20 min commute. I crept past cars in yards and on medians. Driving mostly in second gear, because even in an automatic transmission, I know how to down-shift. One hill about 2 miles from home was so slick that people were spinning wheels and going nowhere. Again I downshifted and stuck to the curb to make it up the hill.

Yesterday morning was a repeat, and when the hill had everyone stuck and traffic blocked, I wedged past and crept through the side streets to clear the clog.

I am so grateful that I have so much driving experience that I can navigate my way through messes like that unscathed. Especially since my whole family loves our new-to-us van so much.

The only thing it caused was an excess of nervous anxiety from having made the treacherous treck multiple times. As a result I opted for yoga to calm and center.

Monday night at home, and Tuesday in office, I did the routine linked below. I think it’s my favorite of all the ones I’ve done. It’s faster paced for good burn, and there’s still a few challenging moments where I’m like “You want me to do what?!” Or “Yea, that’s totally not happening (handstands)!” Even with those moments, it helps me to ground and center and feel better.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the yoga video as much as I do.

May you have driving confidence and know your skills. May you know how to ground anxiety and jitters from stressful moments. May you always be safe. May you know that God loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Quiet night

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That’s the road in front of us.  No worries,  husband, Nathan, is driving.

We’re headed to our paper route.  Yep,  I said it,  we’re adults driving a route. I didn’t know it until we met Jen (who is giving us the trailer), but rural paper routes pay decent.  Right now we’re Sunday only,  but the paper just offered me a 7 day route,  4 hours a day that pays better than my  elderly massage stuff.
Can’t pass something like that up.  Between the 2 paper routes,  I’ll make  double  what I used to make with  just massage, & if I can bear to keep doing massage with  the old folks,  we’ll make about 5 grand a month.  Numbers I’ve never seen.

Our little family has had it hard in the last  decade,  and it’s not for the lack of trying.

I have a BA in art, & been trained & certified as a massage therapist,  & been trained & licensed as a class B professional driver. To this point I’ve worked in all 3 fields and never broken 30grand a year. The best money to this point has been driving transit & handicap buses. A close second was when I did massage for a chiropractor,  which was ok hourly wages,  until he nearly worked me to death- and I fell asleep at the wheel headed home- I quit.
Enough was enough then too, and I struck out on my own.  Opened a small office & ran Groupon’s/LivingSocial’s, & barely made ends meet until I solidly got into several nursing centers. Then I had my baby,  closed my office, & just did nursing centers. Things were tight, but I could pay our bills & not have  a 40+ hour work week, which was vital with a brand new baby.

I love Anya,  but she was not a birth for me.  Her mom left Nathan when Anya was just a baby,  & we spent 8 years driving back  & forth  every 2 weeks to see Anya. Then Anya’s mom died of cancer, & the driving & those costs ceased  because we got full custody.

Those were challenges in their own right,  but not on the scale of giving birth & trying to work with a newborn.

Why did I have  to work?  I was the only one that could.  Anya’s mom leaving,  in my opinion literally broke Nathan’s heart. It may seem like a stretch to some,  but for me it’s real.  4 years into driving for Anya,  Nathan got sick. He had/has an enlarged heart, high blood pressure,  & out of control diabetes.  Doctors orders: don’t  work, apply for disability,  watch your salt & numbers.  We did that & so much more.  I’m confident he’ll live many more  years because of all the work we did. Did we ever get disability? NO. So, I get to support us.   Although,  when Anya’s mom died of cancer we did get benefits for her,  which have hepled more times than I can count. Never the less those benefits rightfully belong to her,  & I hope to be able to replace what I’ve used  one day. Regardless of the benefits,  I’m really the income for the family. I make sure we have  healthy food,  warm clothes,  & as comfortable of a home as I can create.

That last one was falling short with the bug infested apartment, so now the trailer journey. Again, enough is enough.  I know I can do better,  so I will.

With the apparent strength in that statement,  there has been many a metaphorically dark night.

I’ve struggled with depression, literally since I was  12 years old.  I currently hold western medicine responsible for that with  new knowledge of  my thyroid woes. Regardless,  I’ve had one emotional struggle, followed by another. I talk about them now, in hopes of giving others solace that they are not alone. I’ve had many semicolons in my life,  when I thought things were over. It can happen for others,  but it’s not always sunshine & roses, and that perspective can sometimes actually make matters worse.  Never tell someone that is suicidal that “they just need to snap out of it,  it’s not as  bad as you think”. That’s essentially telling an already suicidal person that they are crazy,  mentally ill. And though that may be technically the case,  it’s not helpful in preventing suicide. I KNOW!

It’s better to give love & support, let them know you care,  that you’re there,  offer to help find resources if it’s needed.  And most  importantly,  a shoulder to cry on,  that it’s ok to cry, just let it out. That’s what’s helpful.

In every case where I’ve been most lost, that is what has mattered.

There has been twice that I’ve literally almost lost the battle.  Once when I first met Nathan,  we were rural.  I drove myself to a small lake nearby,  in the middle of nowhere,  corn fields. I found myself sitting in the car on the beach listening to mice chewing on the insulation of the car’s roof.  Thinking I cold just hit the gas, drive in & end everything. Finally,  I broke down sobbing,  fell out of the car,  & sat there crying for an eternity. When I finally got too cold, I crawled back into the driver’s seat & went home. Nathan told me he didn’t know where I’d gone, that he knew something was horribly wrong,  but he didn’t know what to do.

The second was just after my son was born, & my thyroid had fallen WAY off. I didn’t  know that’s what was happening, I just found myself screaming and screaming  at “God”. Finally,  headed home from work one day,  I was screaming at “God” again, & when I got to the Missouri river bridge,  I actually found myself thinking of driving off the side,  to the extent that I even headed for the shoulder of the highway.  Luckily,  whatever stupid self preservation mechanism we have  as humans finally kicked in & I righted  the vehicle & cried my way  home. When I got home crying,  Nathan just held me.

Again,  I offer my story for a sense of solace for those in the midst of the dark,  & for perspective for  those trying to help someone who is in the dark.  It can shift,  change for the better.  The semicolon of life can be found.  Hang in there.