I recently had to sell my vehicle for a move thats taking place very soon. I had to part with Maxwell; my trusty, reliable and automatic beauty. Since I was 16, I have been driving automatic cars (avoiding at all costs the possibility of driving a standard vehicle, which quite frankly, scared me completely). When I practiced with my mom years ago, I gave up after mistaking the break for the clutch and stalling every. single. time.
Fast forward about 8 years and I found myself confronted with the same standard car predicament. However this time, the only vehicle I had access to was a little zippy manual car from my sister. Honestly, I was tempted to start taking up biking. I never bike. But I felt like desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
Wrong. Thankfully I realized that my irrational fear of driving a standard vehicle and stalling in the middle of the road had gone on long enough (thought I admit, if I wasn’t forced to learn I probably would have avoided this scenario for a few more years). Either way, I took that vehicle out on the road and my oh my, I’ve learned a lot. I thought I would just share a few lessons I’ve learned :
- 1. Becoming more compassionate with bad drivers: Prior to this whole standard driving thing, I was pretty critical for slow and bad drivers. I’m not excusing bad driving, but now I’m much more inclined to ask the question “Maybe, they just suck because it’s their first day of learning how to drive a standard”. It’s actually helped me to be less critical behind the wheel.
- 2. Patience is a virtue learned in 1st-4th gear- In the past few weeks I’ve been forced to slow down a lot. From my acceleration time at a green light, to learning how to drive on the free way, I’m a rookie. In the past, I’ve loved pretending I’m a race-car driver, but I see the benefits to just enjoying the ride for what it is. Not always being in such a rush.
- Laughing at yourself is necessary- The amount of laughing aloud that is taking place in my car is incredible! I’m not stalling much anymore, but at the beginning I just had to give a solid wave in my review mirror to the guy waiting for me to restart my vehicle and then smile as they drive past with their snazzy car, leaving me in the dust. #humility
- Give yourself more credit- I realized I can acquire new skills even if they scare me a lot! Although we know this, we often don’t believe this. I’m so happy I was forced to take this car out, face a little humiliation and come out on the other side laughing and enjoying the memories along the road.
Today is a day to remember. To pause. To reflect. To be thankful. Today we celebrate Remembrance Day in Canada. For every Canadian, this is a day where we celebrate our heritage. We give thanks and honor those men and woman who gave their lives for our freedom. These war veterans were those who fought in the first and second world wars. Many of them sacrificed their lives, futures and families for the Canada we have now.
Leading up to today, I saw countless people wearing a bright red poppy on their jacket to prepare for Remembrance Day. This symbol is a powerful representation of the unity we have as a Canadian people. I know that I wear my poppy with pride. At 11:00 a.m, I stopped along with millions of Canadians for two minutes of silence. In this moment, I found myself incredibly thankful for what I have been given. The gift it is to live in a country that is free. To live without fear of persecution for religion. To know I have health care coverage. To have a democratic government. To live in a province with clean and fresh air. To have rights as a woman, a citizen and a voter. To live in a country with beautiful landscapes. To be Canadian.
Although we reserve this celebration for November 11th, I want to continue to be thankful for my homeland throughout the rest of the year. Not only do we have maple syrup, moose and Tim Horton’s, we truly have a strong nation. We are founded upon the sacrifices and dedication of men and women who gave their lives for Canada. What a blessing it is to be Canadian.