This blog was first published in my community blog Life Goes On for the St. Albert Gazette.
I am doing the happy dance for the arrival of spring but not for the reasons you might expect. Yes it’s great that the temperature is warmer and green things are sprouting in the garden. It’s wonderful that the street sweepers are out cleaning up the grit and grime from the winter. I do love being able to wear a lighter jacket and saying so long to my boots.
But none of those things are the reason I’m happy spring is here. You see I have become a whiner about driving, particularly in the winter. It’s not just about the miserable road conditions but also driving in the dark, which in this part of the world occurs awfully early once winter comes.
My kids roll their eyes when I mutter about road conditions or the deteriorating state of my night vision. Sometimes I am certain I am channelling parents who as I recall also muttered about similar things as they got older. I also recall some measure of eye rolling on my part.
On a recent trip to Toronto I was horrified at the typical traffic people encounter. Having grown up there I know that we in the Edmonton area have no concept of a “real” traffic jam. Toronto has always had an abundance of traffic. But I was surprised to see how bad driving has actually become there. A two hour commute to work is not uncommon. Definitely not something I would be willing to undertake at this point in my life. Apparently lots of people see it differently.
A good friend shared with me that she rarely drives into Toronto from her home in Mississauga. Back in the day we used to make that trip without even thinking about it. And yes there was traffic back then. It just didn’t factor into the conversation. Now she says that with the parking and the congestion, she just can’t be bothered.
Driving may be one of the best indicators of a post 50 mindset. I haven’t decided whether it’s wisdom that makes me unwilling to tolerate the things I easily took in stride decades before or that in later life I have simply become a wuss. I do know that it’s easy to not bother.
I’m trying to be mindful of my adverse reaction to driving somewhere and be conscious of whether it’s a rational reaction based in experience or it’s simply an opportunity to become a little old lady.
It’s one thing if daddy takes the T-bird away and quite another if I keep it parked in the garage.
What limits do you put on yourself as you age?