Saturday, February 19, 2011

One year later

I'm not superstitious, yet I didn't have any desire to be out and about tonight, an evening that corresponds with the one capped by the car accident. Part of my choice to stay in is due to the amount of time I've spent away from home this year. Oh, I've slept at my place every night this year, but I haven't been home much. If keeping busy has been my business, business has been good. A quiet day at home from mid-afternoon on would be welcome after that.

Nevertheless, I did give some thought to whether or not I wanted to be on the road on this particular evening. If there was something I wanted to do, I would have done it. I don't believe that there's anything special (or cursed) about this particular night or the date, which will arrive on Sunday. I've driven through the accident scene several times, so it's not like there's anything I'm avoiding. Still, in its own way, observing the anniversary of the wreck by sitting at home feels fitting.

I wouldn't say that I've ever been a real aggressive driver or one prone to anger, yet within the last few years I've become more conscious about being less stressed behind the wheel. It's remarkable how much easier it is to go places if you're not in a hurry. The accident didn't dramatically change my driving habits--I probably avoided hitting the stopped car on the highway because I wasn't flying around the curve--yet I do find myself being even more defensive.

More often than not I'm content to stay in the right or middle lane, depending on which keeps me in the flow without having to change lanes regularly. I probably give a little more space to the cars in front of me than I used to. I'm certainly aware of cars behind me--maybe too much when sitting at a stop.

None of that is a guarantee of avoiding another accident. The fact is that the one I was in a year ago wasn't something I could avoid. The only thing in my control was keeping it from being worse. Remembering that may be reason enough for recognizing this day a year later.

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