Friday, October 31, 2008

Slow down, you’re moving too fast…

Okay, so this is not the first thing the San Diego City Police officer said to me when he pulled me over last Thursday:

“What did the cow get when he drove across the road? A moo-ving violation.”

But I kind-of wish it were. Because that’s what I got. And because it’s funny (in a four-year-old-popsicle-stick-joke kind of way).

But, no. No. Instead he bent down and said, “What’s the hurry?”

His question left me speechless. First off, I always travel this way -- they just don’t pack enough hours into the week, it’s basically the speed at which I live my life. Secondly, was I even going that fast?

It turns out I was, 47 in a 30, but in my own defense, it was a lame-ass speed trap, two cops pulling over car after car on a street you’d never think would be a 30 MPH zone.

After I got over being indignant and annoyed at the fact that I was caught in such a sneaky manner, which took more than a few minutes, I decided there were two ways to go with this: (1) to keep on driving my usual way, which I admit, is heavy on the gas and late on the breaks, or (2) to slow down.

I won’t deny that the prospect of getting a second ticket before the 18-month time clock for this ticket expires from my driving record was a factor in my choice, but I’ve opted for number 2, to slow down.

I’ve decided to embrace it. I’m trying to make it my habit to drive more slowly and with more intention. It’s not been easy so far. But I have had some positive reinforcement. The very same day of the ticket I pulled up behind an RV with a bumper sticker that read, “Just go around me, I’m retired.”

Hey, I like that, I wish I were retired. And where am I rushing to anyway? My grave?

Secondly, I feel kind-of like Ellie and Mistah, who are only semi-retired, but who know how to take their time nonetheless.

And thirdly, I keep hearing these old groovy lyrics in my head:

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.
Ba da, Ba da, Ba da, Ba da...Feelin' Groovy.
Hello lamp-post,What cha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'.
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo,Feelin' groovy.
I've got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you, All is groovy.
My life gets overly frenetic at times, so I figure if I can commit to driving slower, at least those moments of my life will be more focused, and who knows, maybe this will spill out into other areas of my life.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m trying hard (struggling at times) to look at my speeding ticket as a blessing in disguise, as an expensive reminder to slow down and make the morning last.

Because let’s face it, if they need reminders on Caye Caulker, Belize to go slow, we all do.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

One of the best lines in the history of songwriting: "Life I love you, All is groovy."

One of the 800 zillion great things about the Westy is we HAVE to slow down; she doesn't *GO* fast.

Great post, Beth. Have a great weeekend. And remember: sslllloooooowwwww.


Heinous said...

I never risk tickets anymore. The fines are beastly in PA.

martyjoco said...

I so much can't stand that heart-pounding, weak-in-the-knees feeling when the cop lights come up behind me that I just don't speed. I have been caught rolling through stop signs twice in my life, and they were both those really irritating slow-down ones with no actual crossing traffic to justify their placement (which is why I rolled through). Oh well, let's all Be The Buddha, embrace the stop signs and speed bumps and sneaky hidden lawmen & use less gas too! Ommmm.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I'm dappled and drowsy and ready for sleep.

I really am, even though I'm not 100% certain about what it means to be dappled.

Just seeing the title of your post was good for me today, it's advice I need to follow as well. Except in my car, let da man just TRY and catch me.


Kathi D said...

Good for you. I might even try it myself. Dang, it's hard, though. Rick has often pointed out to me that even with my jackrabbit starts and excess speed, he can keep up with me in town, what with stoplights and all, and I have always answered him by saying, "But speed is its own reward."

I don't want to go to stinking traffic school any more, though. Oh sigh.

xup said...

Really, what's the hurry? So you get somewhere 4 minutes earlier. So what? I walk eveywhere and it takes forever, but I enjoy every minute.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Ah, xup, you've got it right. Walking is the best. It's hard to walk everywhere here in So Cal though, so spread out, so many freeways, etc.

But I do have to agree with Kathi that speed is its own reward! Ahem. However, I am still trying to stick to my new slow plan. I've seen the same moto cop who pulled me over twice since the incident -- he's been a very good reminder. I'm going to wave like crazy at him next time.