“Drive for yourself and let other drivers worry about themselves…”
Words of wisdom from my much missed Granda Pops.
He said these words to my Mum many times and he said them to me when I drove my first car up to his sitting room window many years ago.
He looked out from his throne, cast his eyes over it, nodded that it was a “good big safe car” and then added these words.
I’d heard them before of course. It was one of his lines that my Mum had taken with her when she left home, repeating it at many opportunities, much like the one or two clangers that I constantly repeat from my Dad.
And like Daddy’s “Remember who has the problem” line, this one has stood the test of time and lingered on in our memories, not just because of who used to say it, but because it’s so so true.
Mum still likes to remind us of, especially when one of us comes home giving out about someone who pulled out in front of us, or didn’t use an indicator, or almost caused a three car pile up at the roundabout.
But this past week I’ve thought about it and said it more than once…and yet, I haven’t even been driving. I haven’t left the house.
In a few different conversations and phonecalls, and in the current climate of the JudgyMcJudgerson and AngryMcAngryson, I have found myself comforting people by using Granda’s line.
Let’s get metaphorical, shall we? Buckle up… (see what I did there?)
We all drive our own car. ( We all live our own lives).
We’re all responsible for our own vehicle. (You worry about you, I’ll worry about me.)
We all have our own passengers. (My family is my responsibility.)
We shouldn’t drive too fast. (Calm yourself woman!)
We can’t drive with an empty tank. (Fuel that body up!)
The car needs regular services. (Self care is important… Let your imagination go where it will there Jacinta!)
If you’re on the wrong route, you can always turn around or change lanes. (You’re NOT stuck in that job/rut/relationship. Do what you need to make yourself happy.)
Make sure the tyres are fit for purpose. (Shoes are also important…)
We should all stay in our own lane (Mind your business Polly…)
Actually, this one is pretty important. Drive to get yourself where you need to go, but try not to bump into anyone else on your journey eh? Don’t be a roadhog and remember you’re not the only car on the road.
But joking aside, there’s a reason cars and driving are so frequently used for analyses of life. It makes sense. Life is a journey and we are all travelling through, trying to navigate potholes and flat tyres and other cars.
You can’t control how other drivers drive their cars or react on the road. And you can’t control how other people live their lives or react to things.
You can disapprove of a person’s driving style or behaviour on the road, but there’s very little you can DO about it. Same goes for life and other people’s decisions/business/choices.
You can watch in horror as someone overtakes on a corner, aghast at what might happen, but there is nothing you can do about their decision. People have to make their own decisions.
You can disagree on the style or colour or size of someone else’s car choice. Guess what, it’s not YOUR car and really, what they drive is nothing to do with you. Stop comparing yourself to others. You’re not them.
If people are reacting or behaving a certain way towards you. If people are commenting and disapproving of what you do. If people are unhappy with how you are driving YOUR car… whatever.
Are they your passengers?
Are they in danger because of how “drive your car”?
Do they pay for your car?
Well if not, does it really matter what they think?
And if someone decided to flash their lights at you, or give you the one fingered salute as they pass, or shout out the window at you…or even if they sit in their car bitching about yours, once again, you can’t control that.
And actually now that I think of it, my Granda’s words of wisdom AND my Daddy’s words of wisdom go quite well together.
“You drive for yourself and let other drivers drive for themselves”. Oh and if someone doesn’t like your “driving”, “remember who has the problem”.