Slower, quieter, calmer

Normally a long distance drive for me (e.g., LA to SF) is “fill up the tank, minimize fluid intake, and go like blazes pushing the speed at every opportunity”. After all, hitting 82 mph is significantly better than a pokey 77 mph. 🙃

Today I did it differently. I made stops every two hours or so. A bit of food or caffeine or both every time I stopped. Probs added 1.5 hours to the trip. My stops were at the bottom of the Grapevine, Kettleman City, and one other place I forget.

It felt good. And really — I was going to get there no matter what. Why not get there in a relaxed style?

I know it was good for my head because a young kid driving a beat-up old pickup truck merged into my lane on I-580 in Berkeley and almost hit my car.

No drama in my head. Stopped completely (rush hour, so slow traffic), let him proceed. My head didn’t go to hell about it. I was peaceful and in fact almost immediately forgot about the incident.

The 101 from San Rafael was jammed due to an accident. 28 miles took me an hour. No agitation.

I’m writing about it here to remind my future self that I don’t have to go to hell about minor events that might nearly possibly have happened but didn’t actually happen.

That’s something I know how to do well — the constant rehearsal in my head: “He’s wrong and this is what I’m going to tell him for exactly why he is wrong.” Useless.

Final icing on this braincake.

Probably half of the trip was in silence. No music, no podcasts. Just me and my head.

And it was fine. Some internal chatter, but true to Naval’s advice, I just allowed the brain to do what it did, watching it in debug mode as much as I could.