Thanksgiving means millions of U.S. road trips this week to be with loved ones.
Time with loved ones makes us rich in what matters. Arriving in a happy, relaxed state of mind makes that time richer.
Thor and I are staying home for Thanksgiving and hosting, but I’m a road trip veteran, partly due to my work. I mentally drafted this post last Friday as I drove back up to Portland, Oregon from the stunning Rogue Valley. (You can tell I was in a playful, ironic mood).
Let’s tackle Worst Road Trip Practices first.
Pack at the last possible minute. This raises stress and blood pressure levels in exhilarating ways. It also helps us forget crucial items like phone chargers.
Eat lots of junk food en route. Ditto on caffeinated drinks. This raises our nervous energy to epic proportions and lets us arrive wired. Create your own coconut cream pie fiasco there in the car. Take pictures and post on Facebook while you’re at the wheel.
Drive the largest, most inefficient vehicle possible. The more emissions, the better. Global warming is a hoax created by left-wing long-haired overeducated commie atheist married gays.
Make people-pleasing, unrealistic promises about what time you’ll arrive. This drives the next worst practice.
Rush all the way there, driving fast and tailgating others. Safety is overrated. So is serenity.
Refuse to stop for rest or bathroom breaks. The discomfort this creates builds character, and prepares us for the military.
Arrive stressed and exhausted. (The prior practices all help to guarantee this.) Take care of yourself by drinking heavily and zoning out in front of the TV. This impresses hosts.
Eat to the point of unconsciousness on Thanksgiving Day. Shop compulsively throughout Black Friday, and as much as possible on Thanksgiving itself, to boot. All of this consumption supports a healthy, sustainable economy and helps defeat the left-wing long-haired overeducated commie atheist married gays who think our climate is in trouble.
Best Road Trip Practices
My experience is that doing the opposite of the above tends to make us richer in what matters. A few more thoughts:
Make a packing list well ahead of time. Include the items you’ve kicked yourself in the past for forgetting. Consider doing this during a dull work meeting. It can pass as note-taking. Make verbal contributions to the meeting as well so that you’re still pulling your weight.
Pack early, even a couple of days prior. If I need to use the item before I leave, I take it from the bag and return it to the bag. When I pack early instead of last-minute, I am calm when leaving the house instead of high-strung, which means I’m kinder to my husband.
Create slack in your system. For example, give your hosts a general window of time in which you expect to arrive. Assume that you will take bathroom breaks en route, and that you will need to drive back home from the bottom of your street because someone forgot their phone (Thor!). Fill the car with gas a day or two before the trip. Slack in your system creates ease, and kinder treatment of each other.
Bring and eat light, healthy snacks. Keep the caffeine low-key, and drink plain water. This keeps us from bristling with nervous energy, which means less irritability.
Let’s hear from you: what are your own best and worst road trip practices?
Reminder: Thanksgiving Day is when I’m announcing the winner of the free copy of the inspiring book ”I Am Malala”. It’s by Malala Yousafzai, the young education activist who recovered fully after the Taliban shot her in the head. Register for the drawing by getting a free email subscription to Diamond-Cut Life at the top right of the site. (You’ll then receive my Sunday posts in your email inbox. Easy to unsubscribe with a click any time.)