Slow Challenge #4: Don’t Drive.

OK, so this one is gonna take some planning. I figured I’d leave the two toughest till the end and let you warm up a bit. The first three you could pull off fairly easily unless you were out of eggs, have no shoes or you’re that person who’s never owned a game (c’mon, everyone has a weird game in their closet like Trivial Pursuit or something…) 

This one? This might take a bit of work. Don’t drive. For a day.

Alright, I know. I’m the guy who biked to work with two kids sitting in the trailer behind me. I get it, it’s not easy. You live an hour from work. You live 10 minutes from the nearest store. You love the smell of gasoline (you need help). But really, it can work. Don’t do it today, or even tomorrow. But try to work out a day in the next couple weeks where you don’t drive. For a whole day. 

Our first two snow days in a while… we gladly let our Subie take a break.
I could link to a bunch of articles I’ve read about the way driving stresses people out. Your heart rate goes up immediately after you see your car, your eyes dialate just a bit once you grab the steering wheel, and your blood pressure bursts small veins once you turn out of your street (note: slight exaggeration.) Though I tend to agree to a certain point in these studies, I also need to do a reality check: we live in a culture here in North America that demands our independent ability to move around long distances. Believe me, I know. Lanna and I have spent our entire married lives (13 years and change, to be exact) with one car. We’ve had to get creative at times but for the most part, I’ve happily biked and bussed my way around the sprawling metro-Phoenix area. And when we had car trouble, it meant we had to get really creative. But it is possible to go without driving, I promise. 
So, get a movie, a book, or a good board game (OK, play whatever you’re into on your phone, we can let that slide), make sure you’re stocked up on food (it might be a good night to order some Pizza Hut, which they just got in my hometown…!) and resist all temptation to leave. 

“Why? How does that slow me down?”

Well, I don’t know about all the research and articles posted on the subject, but I am aware enough to know that when I merge onto a freeway or blaze through a yellow light, I’m on high alert. And when your body is on high alert, it’s not exactly taking it easy. No matter how relaxing a road trip through the countryside can be, most of our driving is actually quite the opposite of that ideal. And hey, now’s a good chance to either catch up on the first three challenges or maybe turn those one-hit-wonders into a bit of a “thing.” Really, you’re looking at exponential amounts of slow-ness. 

So just try it. You might hate it, you might kinda’ like it. You might already do it (so why are you still reading?) I think you may find that it can be a good, slow day when you give your four wheels a little breather. 

And remember to tip the pizza guy, he just had to white-knuckle it through all those stressed out drivers to get you dinner. 


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