Bad Behavior

Jennifer, Take the Wheel

For 2016 and beyond, I gave up texting and driving.
WHAT?! Hasn’t everyone given up that dangerous behavior? Who in the world still DOES that? 
I have no idea, but I suspect most people would claim they don’t text and drive, and in my unofficial research (driving), I’d bet they’re lying. But maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel like less of a jerk.
Regardless, I gave it up, because sadly, it’s not just texting.  Answer a call? You bet! Text my friends? Not a problem! Schedule a meeting and send an invite to 6 people for a week from Tuesday from 9:30-10:30 am? Damn right! With the advent of iPhone, I pretty quickly lost the ability to distinguish my car environment from my business or personal environment.Time to get in the car? No problem. I can still…
schedule a meeting
make notes
watch a video
snap pics
review PDFs
make a house payment
transfer money
apply cool filters to Instagram photos of my dog
take a survey
…and on, and on
I run a business from the driver’s seat of my car. All while flying down the freeway. Oh, and did I mention I’m a chronic speeder?
Hands at 10 & 2, interesting concept. How do you feel about me managing the wheel from the northeast corner of my left knee? No more.
Why the change? For me, it’s less about giving up a bad habit and more about getting some things back:
1. A renewed focus on my surroundings. Because the world is pretty beautiful from 80 mph (I didn’t give up speeding, mind you). I pay attention to the sky and clouds, and most importantly, other drivers and their proximity to my vehicle. Genius.
2. I’m enjoying music again. I’m listening to the words and feeling the rhythm and it’s really damn nice. Except for that Adele song. I can only cry so many times at that one.
3. A calm, centered feeling. Instead of CONSTANTLY checking my phone for texts and emails, I’m peacefully thinking about what’s happening now, not tomorrow, and not next week when meetings need to be scheduled. The true meaning of staying in the moment.
It wasn’t easy at first. I had separation anxiety. My hands unconsciously fumbled for the device and the satisfying ‘click’ of the iPhone’s home button as it scans my fingerprint with some voodoo technology I still don’t understand. Many times I’ve had to put the phone face down on the passenger seat or slip it into my coat pocket to keep from mindlessly looking at it.
But it’s worth it. So worth it. Because instead of some made-up sense of accomplishment I get from booking a dinner reservation in rush hour traffic, I have my mind back, at least in 20 minute increments.

3 thoughts on “Jennifer, Take the Wheel”

  1. First of all, THANK YOU!! I’m the person in the next car yelling at you to GET OFF YOUR PHONE (Road rage. Working on it.). But also, right on. The car is a good place to relax, and let your mind drift and of course SING REALLY LOUDLY.


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