How Remedial Driving School Cured My Adrenaline Addiction!
Last month, I got a notice in the mail saying I had to go to remedial driving school. I called the number on the letter and said they must be mistaking me for someone else.
“You’ve had 3 infractions in the past 5 years,” they said.
“No I haven’t,” I replied.
They refreshed my memory. Here’s what I slowly remembered:
I was always running, running, running, so much that sometimes when there was a yellow light, I would just keep going and be under it as it was turning red. . I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. Who could stop safely at that speed anyway, I rationalized?
One time I was on a phone call, holding my protein shake and waving my other hand since I was telling a story, and all of a sudden I was being pulled over by a cop.
“What’s going on?” I asked, confused.
“You are a mess,” he said. He explained that it’s illegal to hold your phone while driving and gave me a ticket. “I could put you in jail for not having your insurance card with you, too, but I won’t.”
“Thank you,” I said. I got back as he drove away, and finished my story, now adding my ticket to for more drama.
Another time I was driving through a 20 mile an hour speed limit, but I got pulled over for speeding because I was doing 40.
Oh, okay. I had forgotten about these things. They were so “little” in my mind.
The third and most recent was a month or so before the letter. I was at a red light, stopped, and putting in my Weight Watchers points for the breakfast I just ate. All of a sudden, I was being waved over to the side of the road.
“What?! I wasn’t even doing anything wrong. I was stopped at a light. You know, I was multitasking.”
They gave me a ticket anyway.
I tried to talk my way out of the remedial driving school but I couldn’t. I had to go to a driving class for a day.
I found out that if I got another ticket within five years, I would lose my license for 30 days. And if I got a second one, I would lose my license for 60 days. This was not good.
The instructor said, “In order to stay out of trouble and avoid getting more tickets, drive the speed limit.”
“Wait, seriously? Do people really do that? My father used to say, ‘The speed limit is for idiots. No one goes the speed limit.’” I literally thought no one did that,” I said, shocked.
The woman just laughed. I was serious. I couldn’t believe it.
Here’s another thing: I was once told I was addicted to adrenaline. I’m always doing too much and trying to do multiple things at the same time.
I didn’t even have time to stop for red lights. Well now, because of the threat of losing my license if I get one more ticket, I have to rethink my life.
And slow down. And breathe.
This is what I’ve learned: There’s something called the vagus nerve. When you breathe, it apparently calms you down, and stops your racing heart.
I have learned to breathe, slow down, only do one thing at a time, and relax. It’s a much more enjoyable life.
I’ve realized that before I was kind of in a fight for my survival. Well, my survival is not actually at stake, it just felt like it was.
I don’t have to be in a rush all the time. I can take my time, look around, smell the roses and get the same amount done without that panic and without that craziness. Because when I’m not present, I’m not doing a very good job anyway. And I can’t afford to lose my license.
So that’s my story about how going to remedial driving school taught me to take a breath, let the adrenaline go, and not be in fight or flight.
Where in your life do you feel craziness?
Like something bad’s going to happen if you don’t get something done. And you’re driven by something and you’re not really present.
Are there any places like that for you? Take a look and let me know in the comments below.
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