Being on the road this much has stirred up some provocative thinking in me over the last few months:
- All that sitting can’t be good for me.
- There is no freedom in living out of your car.
- The time spent alone driving is possibly contributing to me disassociating.
- What other dangers are there that are not so apparent?
- I don’t understand how truckers can do it!
All this back and forth is a lot. I literally drive hundreds of miles every week. No kidding! When I first started this venture back in October last year I was totally on board. I must admit I was nervous; maybe even a little scared.
A large concern of mine has always been the wildlife, particularly in Vermont. And when I say “large” I do mean LARGE. Aside from deer and bears that can occasionally wander into the highway there are moose. Just last night I saw one around eight PM no more than fifty feet from the main drag out in field. He, or she, was just standing there grazing before seeing me. The moose stopped eating, stared at me for a little bit with ears perked up, then trotted off into woods.
It never occurs to me that I’m looking straight at a moose until I get closer. My initial thoughts are usually “Huh, that’s weird. That one horse is just… WAIT A SEC!“
Collisions involving moose can be lethal and you’re lucky if you walk away with just a few bumps and bruises. FYI.
Not only are animals a danger, but other drivers as well. Its said that you’re more likely to get into a car accident than a plane crash. Every now and then this thought takes up space in my head and I can’t help but feel very fortunate that I’ve not had any close calls or fender benders. People in Quebec drive too fast. People in Vermont drive too slow. No happy medium. Here in Vermont you’ve got redneck rampage going on. Dudes with souped pick up trucks that are too big and too loud. In Quebec you’ve got the flashier, more sophisticated sport car types. Ooh la la! And everything else in between.
Another issue I face at times is just being tired. Some days I’m exhausted. Doing overnights at a residence for boys doesn’t usually provide me with a restful night’s sleep. It’s not home. Its not my own space, nor bed. I’m either on a couch or a bed in basement. Neither location in the house is ideal for comfort and relaxation in my opinion. The bed I use is shared by all staff who do night shifts and is in our staff office. The bed is surrounded by what you’d expect to be in an office. The couch is upstairs. Its in better surroundings, but the fact remains that its still “sleep on a couch.” It’s not preferable. I don’t expect work to be luxurious.
I don’t get real sleep until I go back home. Sleep is so important. Its a physical and mental requirement. We should all know that. Getting shorted on proper Zs can really effect your day. Not being fully rested makes me irritable and irrational. And, yes, running on five or less hours of sleep can make driving a bit tricky too.
There are many days where I don’t feel motivated to do much. While in Vermont there are times when I get this urge to just call in and go back to Quebec. I seek escape. But, I don’t. I need the money and I, for the most part, enjoy my job. And I don’t want to further isolate myself. I need human interaction even if it is with colleagues and clients. I work with some fascinating human beings.
Being alone in the car gives me plenty of time to think. This is not always good. Negative thinking leads me down this spiral of hopelessness and fear. And its not always easy to pull myself out of it. One tool I’ve recently began using while in my car is meditation. Over the weekend I was inspired to start meditating again from a blog that I read by Neurodivergent Rebel. I highly recommend you check it out if you’re looking to get back into meditation and need a swift kick in the pants to get going.
I’ve been pulling over in a shady spot or just staying in a parking lot, set the timer on my phone for ten minutes, shut my eyes, and go. Its been helping. I’ve noticed that I’m starting to be able to sit better with ugly thoughts rather than spin on them. A good start for me.
I hope that meditation will allow me to wake up a little more while out there on the road. Not so much in the literal sense, but rather heighten my awareness of all the moving parts. No matter how much I complain it won’t change anything. I have to remain behind the wheel for now. But, in the meantime, if I can find some tricks to help me get through the tougher times I will. I’ll graciously try anything.