The Driver’s Seat – Who’s Driving?

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Are you in the driver’s seat? Who’s in charge of you?

Here’s a true story.

I’ve been driving for decades, having received my license in my late teens. That doesn’t seem to have much impact on my husband when I’m in the driver’s seat.

Usually, when we’re going somewhere together, my husband prefers to drive. I don’t fuss, seeing as I get to read, or watch the world go by, as we go. Thankfully, my husband has lots of good qualities, but one of his questionable ones is that he’s a “backseat driver”.

When he’s the passenger and I’m in the driver’s seat, you’d think this was my first driving lesson in a foreign city – completely clueless about the location of my office, the church we attend regularly, our grocery store, because he thinks he has to give me directions for everything.

“This route is quicker. Turn right, there’s too much construction on this road.

“Watch that guy on the bike, he may suddenly swerve into our lane.”

With an air of supreme patience that would surpass that of the Dalai Lama, I carry on until…. “No, that’s the wrong way!”, at which point I’ve been known to surrender the wheel. “Fine, you drive.”

Did you know that it takes two to pull out of a driveway? How bizarre that I did it on my own, and passed, my first driver’s test a hundred years ago. However, since then, whenever I’m backing out of a driveway, my husband begins his instructions, looking this way and that, completely obstructing my view. “Ok, go,” he declares.

When I’m shifting lanes on the highway, he swivels around like a circus acrobat, to give me the all-clear, as if I need it. “Go ahead,” he announces, satisfied we’re in no danger.

I suspect that, if something goes wrong, I’ll get the traffic ticket. How could I possibly claim that the accident is my husband’s responsibility? “Officer, it’s my husband’s fault. He gave me the all-clear.”

This driver control gene seems to run in all the families I know – isn’t that interesting. My friends say the same thing happens when they’re out with their spouses. Troubling that it runs in our family too.

Because when I’m out with my son, we inevitably end up with him driving, even if we’re using my car.

On the rare occasion I’m driving, it’s: “Mom, take this other road, there’s less traffic.” Aaargh.

Now I give my passengers an assignment upon entering my car. “Try to suppress any instruction-giving tendencies until we arrive”.

It works!

Are you in control of your destiny? How much are you “driving”, or allowing others to make decisions for you or to shape your future?

Life offers opportunities to make your own choices, good or bad, and to learn from them. Most times that’s good. Other times, it may be optimal for circumstances or others to show you the way. It’s how we learn …… or compromise.

Need help being your own driver? Email me: .

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