Driving in a fog
I saw the train at the last second. If my reaction time had been a nanosecond slower, I most likely would not be writing these words. The fog was so thick it was like looking through glasses smeared with gray Vaseline. For sixty miserable miles through the Kansas plains, I crept home on the dark winter’s night. Once, the fog was so encompassing I pulled off the road to get my bearings. I stepped out to get fresh air and looked up at an unbelievable crystal clear sky. I jumped on the running board of my truck and popped my head up like a periscope out of the ocean. I could see for miles over the top of the six-foot tall blanket of fog.
I made the journey home, stopping occasionally to look above the fog. To guide me home were the microwave tower lights, the amber glow of the city, and the silhouetted windmills like sentinels in the night. I would stop to make sure I knew where I was so I could determine where I needed to go.
Teaching old dogs new tricks
Apparently you can teach old dogs new tricks because I’ve taught myself a new one; I’ve learned to give myself advice. Perhaps your life’s direction is always crystal clear, but I find myself occasionally driving in a thick, gray, fog unsure of which way to turn. The quickest way for me to clear the fog is to stick my head above it and holler back down at myself the direction I need to go.
Tricks I’ve learned to give myself direction
- I use my imagination to elevate myself far enough away from me to see the whole picture of my circumstance
- I imagine that I am giving advice to someone other than me so I can be more objective
- By elevating myself, I can distance myself emotionally
- I ask myself what I would tell me if I weren’t me, but someone I trusted who was giving me advice
- I look as far as I can see to determine where I want to end up and then establish the markers along the way to make sure I follow
- I literally say these things, out loud, to myself like I was talking to a friend
As per my history of following the advice of others, I have about a 70% chance of listening to my own advice.
If you suddenly see me scrambling up to get a better view, don’t be surprised if you hear me mumbling. Please don’t call the men in the white jackets from the sanitarium. I don’t have multiple personalities; I’m just giving myself advice.