Head out for the highway

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Yes, Monday finds me back at my same gray walled office. Back to work, slogging through emails and working up my expense report.

All in all, the trip to Florida was a good one.

I’m glad to be home. It was a long haul on Saturday, hopping a couple planes and ultimately arriving almost two hours later than I was supposed to. But I made it and a really cute boy was waiting for me when I came down the stairs to baggage claim.

I didn’t sleep well on the trip, so was glad to sleep in my own little bed, and sleep I did. Woke up Sunday morning MUCH refreshed. The Good Man fussed over me and that helped get me right, too.

Back to “regular” work today. While making the drive in this morning, I was thinking about what made the Florida trip fun, and I hit on a thought.

I got to drive.

Now, don’t gave me that doggy head tilt look. Let me explain.

“Back in the day” living in New Mexico, one of my best stress relievers was to get in the car and drive. Not always with a destination, sometimes just driving, watching the white lines roll by.

Since I went to school in Las Cruces and my folks lived in Carlsbad, I had a LOT of hours in the middle of NOWHERE, hum of the tires as my companion.

I got a LOT of good thinking done during those drives.

Meditation. That’s really what it is.

Well now living here in a densely populated area, just getting in the car and going isn’t all that meditative. With all the traffic, it is stress inducing.

When I lived in Albuquerque, I could drive for a half hour in pretty much any direction and be OUT of the city, humming along at 75 mph, and letting the stress float away.

Here, I can drive a half hour and be ever more mired in humanity.

So I enjoyed the fact that, last week, I got some road time. The ride on I-4W to Clearwater Beach took about two and a half hours all in. It was a little densely populated around Tampa Bay and that stressed me, but had moments of a peaceful ride. It got really good when I got off I-4 and into the small roads winding through Clearwater and over all the causeways.

The trip to Cocoa Beach was only about an hour and was PERFECT for highway meditation. (see, I still can find NOTHING wrong with Cocoa Beach). SR-528E is pretty rural, away from people, not heavily trafficked on a weekday. The tolls do take a bit away from that trip, but even they are manageable. You get a rhythm of hitting the various toll plazas and you know they’ll be there (kind of like having to stop at a Border Patrol station…so it’s all good).

And during those two drives a lot of thinking got done. Some useful (i.e. where should I emphasize success criteria for my team this year), some not (i.e. why do so called “80’s” radio stations only play the cheesy “hits” like “Jump” (both Van Halen and Pointer sisters), and not the deeper cuts from bands like Depeche Mode or The Cure?).

Getting all that thinking done is healing. I find I’m in a better mood today than when I left. Like I’ve grown from my journey.

I sure wish I could more easily hit the open road from where I live to think things out.

Oh well, just another reason to miss my fair New Mexico.

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Comments

  • Avelino

    Driving in New Mexico is the best! Those stretches of “nowhere” have always had an intrinsic beauty for me, something that eased the passage of the mile-markers on long drives.

    Or looping through the forested mountains near Silver City or Cloudcroft (my favorites) late at night (or early in the morning), the windows down and the wind blowing through the trees.

    Wow, way to bring back the memories Karen!

  • Karen Fayeth

    You know, as I was writing this post, I thought to myself, “the one person I bet really *gets* this post will be Avelino.”

    :)

    Yeah…driving through the mountains to Silver City is so, so beautiful. One of those drives that lingers in my memories.

  • Becci

    Growing up in Artesia I loved to get in the car and just make a trip to Cloudcroft or Ruidoso. It was so nice to just drive. It’s also nice when I get a chance to visit to make a drive up to the Caverns. Most of the time a very relaxing drive. And if you just want a drive that is 100 miles of straight (I think there is one little curve in there about halfway) road, nothing beats the road between Roswell and Vaughn.

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