Mindful driving – Getting into Car Fu

view from rearview mirrorCar Fu is being mindful about driving, just like doing things with Kung Fu is more about excellence than it is about martial arts. A baker can bake with excellence, with kung fu, just as a brick layer can lay bricks with kung fu. My sweetie taught me to treat driving in a similar way; though he calls it Car Fu. As he’s successfully avoided accidents by being one-with-the-car for many years, I thought this sounded like a good practice.

He sits in the car for a few minutes and settles himself in the moment.Adjusts the mirrors, touches the wheel, the stick, looks around, and then turns on the car. He listens to it, breathing into the moment, making a connection with the car. You could argue that he’s listening for any engine trouble, and that would also be true. Almost everything about driving is in muscle memory and learned responses, yet the best drivers are those who pay attention to everything around them. He is one of those drivers.

Just about every day, I drive in city traffic in Seattle. Around me, people are talking on cellphones, merging with no signals, changing lanes without looking first. Getting into Car Fu, and being present in the moment, mindful of where I am and what I am doing is good when driving a car. It makes me much more able to respond to changing circumstances. I still swear a lot when insane stuff happens on the road. I fancy though, that Car Fu has saved me more than once. Try it some time.

Copyright 2013 R Loader all rights reserved

Organizing the car and enjoying the ride

Car-Boot-Tidy-Bag-Organiser-Organize-Bag-Auto-Storage-Box-Multi-use-Tools-organizer-sampleI should start this post by saying that organizing is one of the things that makes me happy. It clears my head, gives my hands something to do, and I can see concrete results from the effort. I noticed recently that there seems to be a lot of stuff that accumulates in the car. I took inventory of things that needed sorted and put away. Wow, was I surprised! There was an pile of towels, umbrellas, survival gear, clothing, cans for recycling, cds and miscellaneous paperback novels. I’m not even sure what to say about the lace parasol and the bag of steampunk gears and watch parts. In addition, there were collections of things.

Jackets and wraps
I’m sure there’s a good reason for having 3 winter jackets, a summer sarong, and 3 pashminis in the hatchback section of my car. However, I feel it takes preparedness too far to add shorts, a halter top and 3 winter hats.

Shoes
Ugh boots, two pairs of sandals, one that I’d forgotten I had, and a pair of flip flops that I only wore to a gym that I haven’t had a membership in for two years.

Hardware
There were two hammers, a set of screwdrivers, a rubber mallet, and two fix-a-flat cans, a big ball of twine, 2 rolls of duct tape, bungie cords (2 sizes), and a set of tent stakes, along with a lantern and 3 flashlights.

Cups, mugs and picnic gear
I found no less than 6 travel mugs, all thankfully empty and pre-washed. That was a relief, I can tell you. A set of plastic tumblers, picnic blanket, fold up sit-on-the-ground seat with a back, folding chair and a couple of gallons of water.

At this point I feel compelled to say that I do not have kids, and was not carrying about any of this stuff for anyone else. It was simply the detritus of a year of being prepared for various eventualities that, well, didn’t. Eventuate that is. It took six bags to carry it all into the house and fully a month before it got sorted into laundry, kitchen, and other sundry piles for putting away.

Organizing the car
I got myself a couple of those cloth square baskets with flat bottoms, so at least the car and emergency stuff has it’s own place. And there’s even one with a garbage bag in it for collecting empty drink cans. When I get a chance, I’ll add a couple of totes for my shopping bags.

Am feeling so much better about the organizing I got done. There are no longer any strange sounds as unknown, and heavy, objects roll about in the back area of the car when I take a curve too fast.  I no longer have the task of cleaning out the car distracting me from time to time. Now I can just enjoy the ride.

Copyright 2013 R Loader all rights reserved