The Driver and The Passenger

When I travel in the car with my family, I’m usually the one who drives. I don’t mind at all. If there is ever any question as to who should drive, I volunteer. If it is a journey to a destination we’ve never been, Bethany is far better navigating me and making the strategic decisions on how to get there. I’m better at following her lead. I enjoy driving.
Most of us really don’t stop to think of how much relaxed yet active focus it takes to drive a car. There are so many iables that require our constant monitoring and adjustment. The speed. The distance between us and every other object sharing the road. The signs and signals to obey come from every direction. I mean, seriously, driving is very busy work. There is not much else that we can (or should) pay attention to but the journey ahead and everything involved in making sure we get to the end of it safely.
For those of us who are drivers, when the occasion arrises to be in the passenger seat, it is like being in a whole new world. A road we may have driven hundreds of times is filled with things that have always been there but we are too busy to notice. While we are busy being focused on the road ahead there was a whole reality that was passing us by. This is not to say that the passenger seat is better. This is just to say that there is a focus on the bigger picture unfolding around the car as it travels ahead. One that is not solely attentive to the act of driving.
I’m having some fairly major surgery this upcoming Monday (November 22nd, 2010). I have some disk degeneration in my neck (C5, 6, & 7) that is causing bulging into the nerve space. This has caused me to be in ious levels of constant pain from my neck down my right arm for over four years now. I’ve finally run out of non-surgical options to treat it and treating it surgically is now the only remaining option. The recovery time is expected to be 4-6 weeks with at least the first two weeks spent in a hard collar/brace that will not permit me to drive or do much in the way of writing, computing, consulting, or posting to my ious sites.
I will be in a unique position. From both a physical perspective (due to the hard collar) and the metaphorical (Not being able to write). One in which the driver and passenger are merged. I will be called to appreciate and enjoy the world that is unfolding around me while at the same time focused on the busy work of keeping myself on the road ahead, making sure I get to the end of it safely.
I’ll see you back here, in the drivers seat, at the end of this journey.