As the year draws to an end, I had HUGE plans for a nice post about my year and what it has meant to me. After all, I’ve done things I never dreamed I would do; I’ve had photographers out to the farm, and stories printed in magazines. I’ve hauled a load of homegrown, natural, grass fed, beef to people that were amazingly happy to see me (and their beef). I’ve met astounding people that have changed my world, and how I look at it and that includes all of you-you are all amazing…. However, after the trip down, maybe the message is something worth reading below.
As I was heading south on i25 in New Mexico the other day, I had a fancy Lincoln Town car sit in the hammer lane, right at the tail end of my trailer, and along side of me (right where my trailer wheels were rolling down the highway) for over 10 miles. I had my cruise set at 75 miles an hour; I was enjoying the sunshine and the 40-degree weather.
Because they were not making any headway, I finally took my cruise control off and slowed a bit to get the Lincoln out and away from me. For my safety as well as everyone else’s I don’t like anyone around my truck for too long. I don’t sit next to other trucks in my truck let alone when I’m in my personal vehicle. Why on earth would you want to?
It took me another good 5 miles to flush the car out ahead of me. I figured they either hung there because Rosie was a filthy mess like the Lincoln, and they felt some kind of connection, or this guy was mesmerized by my big wheels going around and round and round. When the Lincoln finally got out ahead of me, I noticed they too were from Minnesota, so of course I thought maybe my license plate had caught them.
Once they got next to me, I could see an elderly man was at the wheel, and I assume it was his wife who was in the back seat on the passenger side. I could just barely see them through their dirty unwashed windows. I shook my head as the old snowbirds got a good ¾ of a mile out ahead of me and finally, I resumed my speed hoping that was the last I would see of them. Of course I was wrong.
The Lincoln slowed again, and I started to catch up. I took the cruise off once more and slowed down to keep a good space between us as we were getting into the hills that will slow trucks down. The traffic was heavier and just I wanted to keep my slow lane, mind my own business and not have to bother with anyone. I know that was probably wishful thinking, but at this moment I was really enjoying my truck and quiet I had thus far.
As I started pulling a good hill just south of Las Vegas NM the Lincoln again slowed way down, as if it too was pulling 80,000 pounds up the hill. I was catching them quickly and backed out of it even more to let a few vehicles go by me in case I needed the hammer lane, which I did. I passed the old fart at 60 miles an hour, going up a good hill that will make any truck work. As I passed back into the slow lane ahead of them, I was surprised the Lincoln stayed behind, but then as quick as that thought entered my mind, the car shot out into the hammer lane cutting off a bunch of other vehicles that were actually going the speed limit, as if I was now holding him up.
As the old fart toddled up along side of me- I’m just hitting 65 mph at this point and maybe he was doing 66 or 67 mph- I figured I’d right get to the point so we didn’t have to continue this on down the highway. I rolled my window down and held my left hand out the window as far as I could get it, finger high in the air…
Grandpa was leaning over looking up at me, and the last I saw of Granny was her face, smashed against the back window looking up and out at me as if I had just lost my mind.
Go ahead and say it, I know– I’m such a lady.
The good thing though, was that I got their attention, and they stayed way ahead of me from that point on, which made me very happy. The bad thing was, they most likely didn’t know they had done anything wrong, and most likely didn’t even know there was a semi truck on the same road as them.
Of course there were quite a few giggles on my part. I just wish I had it all on video- the look on their faces, not my giggling.
The point of this story is that we are more populated on the highways with not only semi-trucks, but also cars, pick-ups and motorcycles than ever before. And in the summer you can add in all the bicycles that DO NOT belong on interstates as well.
With that, your actions and mine affect everyone else.
So, I have this idea.
Along side of drivers training, you know where they should be teaching trainees how to merge, turn, parallel park, and such. I think we need to teach everyone that we are not the most important people out there, that others walking and driving along side of us are just as important. I think, if we taught everyone to have respect for one another (I know far out idea), and to have courtesy for others, our world, not only the roadways would be so much safer and pleasant. We have lost that.
There is not a mile that goes by when I have other vehicles around me that I do not worry if I’m holding someone up, or try to get out of someone’s way because they are traveling faster than I am, or it is me who is watching how I am passing someone else- where there vehicle is verses my vehicle.
There are many times when I will slow down to let others go by me- even when I myself am coming up on a slow vehicle quickly, because if I don’t have to, I’d rather not cause animosity.
In the back of my mind it is always there- that I am not the only one on the highway. Of course I also know there is a TON of people that hate trucks & truckers alike, so that’s always in the back of my mind too.
I try to live my life how I drive my truck, with the least amount of resistance.
So back to mindfulness- try to put some mindfulness into your day.
Watch the people around you. Get out of the hammer lane once you are safely past another vehicle so others can go around you. Stop bullshitting in front of the check-out line so others can get done what they are trying to do. It’s easy. Start treating others the way you want to be treated. Be kind. Be polite. And see what everyone else is doing around you, because it matters to everyone else.
Start the year anew with a smile and slow down a bit. Give. Not money or anything that you can hold in your hands. Give you. Be tolerant and give a little smile rather than a dirty look.
And, if all else fails, well, give them the finger.
Happy New Year xoxo