Solo Survivor

Life in the slow lane…

I have decided to try life in the slow lane for a change. Since my last big anxiety attack, I have been aware at how stressed out driving to work and back is making me. I have been getting to the office in a less than optimum frame of mind to start the day and to be sure my days have enough pressure in them already.

So now I have decided to try the slow lane on my drive in. This is not easy for someone who goes through a personality change as soon as they get behind the wheel of a car. The slow lane often goes slower than the speed limit and is less frenetic – people don’t tend to sit on your bumper at 100km like they do in the fast lane. If someone wants to cut in front with barely enough room to make it, I take a deep breath and slow down.

So far, it seems to be working – I arrive calmer and more ready to face the day. I have come to realise lately that I can only control my behaviour and responses and not those of everyone around me.

A friend recently wrote on her blog that she had resolved ‘to treat strangers with the same compassion as I would a good friend, giving them some leeway when I am finding some behaviour upsetting‘. I decide to try this in the traffic and have found it helpful. Instead of getting upset, I remind myself how I would react if it was a friend instead of a stranger behaving this way. The result is a new calmness at the start of my day which is refreshing.

I am trying out the slow lane in other areas of my day as well. Like not getting flustered or impatient if I have to wait for 5 or 6 lifts to go by before I feel comfortable enough to get on one; simply declining meetings that are organised when my calendar clearly says I’m not available and countless other little decisions I have to make on a daily basis.

I keep having to remember that I am doing things differently now, but am benefitting from being in the slow lane. Part of this whole process, is learning to be kind to myself as well – I am not good at that generally but have been challenged recently to try. It means understanding my limitations as they are now and working towards overcoming them with the same patience and care for myself that I would afford a friend in the same situation.

Why not give the slow lane a go…

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