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Mindful Thoughts

Driving the speed limit

By October 17, 20134 Comments

Today I picked up my book of daily yoga and read, “Today, drive the speed limit.” That was all.

It wasn’t very profound compared to other days when I’ve contemplated gratefulness or stated out loud my intention for the day or cultivated my inner child. Just, “Drive the speed limit.” I guess if you’re coming up with a different yoga meditation for every day of the year, you might very well run dry by October, I thought.

speed limitI am not what you would call a speed demon. I certainly drive faster than my husband. I’ll admit that sometimes when I’m riding with him I stare at the speedometer pointedly, and he is kind enough to ignore me. I am one of those people who is annoyed if the person in front of me on the road is driving the actual speed limit. “Who do they think they are?” I wonder. “Don’t they know that you’re supposed to go at least 5-10 miles over the speed limit? It’s, like, a rule.”

But my book of daily yoga has not led me astray yet, so I got in the car and drove the speed limit. Thirty miles an house on 2nd Street downtown, which was not so hard. Thirty miles an hour on Main Street was harder, but I did it. I slowed down. And I thought.

When someone drives slow in front of me, I get angry. I feel they have violated some inherent right of mine to go fast. To get to the next place. To move on. To get it over with and on to the next thing. Driving the speed limit it occurred to me that this is crazy.

First, I have no god-given right to go fast and, second, why do I want to? What’s the rush?

Today I drove the speed limit and I still got where I needed to be on time. I felt like I was out for a ride rather than on a mad dash. It didn’t feel quite so horrible to be in my car. I smiled when I had to stop for construction on the road to work; it seemed like a nice opportunity to take a look around rather than a bothersome delay.

Today I drove the speed limit, and it was okay.


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