One reason I am writing later this evening rather than my usual morning post is because I was planted on the 101 Freeway for more than two hours today. Thankfully there were no car accidents, just plenty of cars. Not only was I exhausted during the drive, I began to feel a little claustrophobic knowing that I was packed between countless sheets of steel.
Yet I am always looking for things to be thankful for and I remember thinking, “Well, this is surely not going in the 5 Daily Gratitudes.” But I hate to just waste two perfectly good hours of my life. Surely there is a silver lining to even car clouds. And indeed there was; with these tips that I am about to share, I was able to make my trip home much more pleasant, entertaining (not just for myself but for all the drivers), and time manageable.
1. Listen to a variety of music. Try not to listen to the same song twice and have a variety of channels on hand so that you can cater to your eclectic tastes.
2. Stay well hydrated, but not too well hydrated. We all know what that feels like and having that feeling while being stuck in auto sardines is no fun.
3. Keep your car’s vital signs strong. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, a reasonably recent oil change, and working lights. It will be so much more stressful if you’re checking a meter every 5 seconds rather than what you should be looking at–the road.
4. Do NOT text. I’m always tempted to do this, especially during traffic when I start to get bored, but this is the most dangerous thing you can do! You may have thought the traffic was bad but wait until you get into an actual car accident.
5. Try not to look at the clock too much. It’s important to remember that traffic is out of your control and thousands of other people are going along for the ride just like you. Notice your surroundings and use this as a time for self reflection, mindless fun, or just a little peace and quiet.
Happiness is the most contagious bug out there–even through car windows. If other drivers see you smiling, singing, or dancing; chances are, you’ll make them want to smile as well. And here’s an idea–rather than ignoring people as you drive along the freeway, flash someone a smile. And this includes everyone, not just Christie Brinkley in her red mustang (that’s for all of you Vacation filmgoers). Now, happy and safe driving everyone!