The kids and I were running errands this past Friday and were enjoying our time cruising around town and visiting about some of our upcoming excitement. As we were on our way to take Husband a little something to eat we noticed the dusting snow started to gradually get worse, the clouds became thicker and we left the afternoon hours and entered evening all in a matter of seconds, the wind picked up, and soon we had entered blizzard land. Our region sees this type of weather often, so I put myself in blizzard mode just in time to have my visibility down to little more than a couple of car lengths. Although the kids were pretty nervous they are having a great time, and we had a fabulous weather and safety discussion!
We had quite a few miles to go to get to Husbands work office and as I was going I observed other drivers and their method of dealing with the flurry. The first I observed was somewhat naïve, rushing into the storm just as quickly as any other fast paced driving session he did not adjust his driving before he got to the storm, he continued head one. Before this driver decided to proceed with caution he had to give himself, and a couple of innocent by-drivers, two scary near-misses. My own explanation would be he was either a young driving or very inexperienced with the weather, and thought he could handle with no alterations the challenges he was met with.
The second driver took his pick-up truck right into that storm, did not waiver nor adjust his driving from what I could tell, and steadily made his way through the scuff without having to slam on the breaks. He sliced right through the storm and traffic leaving us behind. I figured he must be a more experienced driver and must therefore also be quite a bit more confident in his decisions.
The third driver was a lady that also went head-on with the snowy storm, she slowed a bit before the dark cloud was fully over us but she seemed to keep that slowed pace very consistently. She was a confident driver in that a couple of white-out situations did not throw her into a brake-slamming, curving maniac, but it was obvious that she was a more defensive driver than an offensive one. She moved out of the way of quicker traffic and quite obviously avoided (our more naïve driver) cars that could cause problems on the road.
The fourth driver was the over cautious driver that slowed way before the dark clouds, and did not change her pace but to slow more. She was driving so slowly that the other drivers were trying to get around her, and truly she seemed to become more of a driving obstacle. She obviously had experience enough to know that these storms can be very dangerous, but in her cautious state she put others at risk.
We arrived at our destination, dropped of a yummy snack to Husband, joked about the weather and finally headed back into town. The weather was worsening and crossing the highway had just been on was a challenge all its own. Since we have had children I am less willing to take those little driving risks, I would rather error on the side of caution than risk them getting injured. Of course this got me to thinking about the different stages of driving experience I have had over the years, how I went from the first driver to where I am now, and some of the crazy stunts that got me here. Then of course my mind continued to wander and as we were leaving the storm it hit me these styles of drivers or a close correlations to styles of lives we live.
That young naïve driver is a perfect representation of a person first making his way out into the world with very little experience telling him to adjust to the dangers ahead of him. The second more confident driver reflected a person whom had enough experience to know he could handle what was ahead of him. The third driver was able to go into the storm with confidence, but was also expecting situations to change or difficulties to rise that she would need to adjust for. In life the third driver reminded me of someone who had enough life experience to know that things to do not often go as planned. The fourth driver also focused on getting somewhere safely but seemed frightened with what was ahead of her. Her life experience with that situation could be pretty terrible, or she was lacking confidence in her driving that day, either way her extremely slow paced caution startled drivers around her, and seemed to put them at more peril as they tried to maneuver around her in low visibility. I have met extremely cautious people in life who seem to be so cautious that they most always have negative advice, and they seem to look at the world with fear, dread, or pessimism.
All of the people had a common goal or direction; they simply had different strategies as to how to get there. As I was placing myself amongst then I started to reflect on how I handle most difficult situations in life, sure enough it was very similar to my driving style. Of course not everyone will have the same results, but I am sure many will be similar to mine. That got me thinking, should I be more like driver one and push the limits to learn new things, should I try to reach outside of my box? What about driver two should I head into that storm without slowing completely confident that things will work out? How about driver three is going into life with confidence but always expecting something bad to happen the way I want to live my life? And what of driver four, should I be so expectant of mishap that I put others in danger to completely isolate myself?
The solution I am sure is different for everyone and I am confident it changes with life situations. I believe our personal faith, decisions, and life goals affect our driving/life, and as those things change so do our driving styles. Are you aiming for a different driving style or are you perfectly happy with the technique you chose? Although flaws can be seen with each style is there one solution to fix this driving dilemma, or would combining all the techniques bring you’re a perfectly rounded life?
So how do you drive into your personal storm?