Road rage is something I’ve been trying to conquer for years. I’ve been involved in everything from verbal altercations, being followed, to near physical fights because of this. It took me awhile to understand the root of my road rage and what my part in it all was, but I finally feel like I’ve overcome a lot of it! I am one of those drivers that likes to get to where I’m going; I don’t play games, I take driving seriously and pride myself in having solid discretion on the road. So for me, when someone exerts disrespect by tailgating me, or using inappropriate gestures, it has been a huge trigger for me. Slow drivers have always been another unfortunate annoyance as well. But one day after the zillionth confrontation, I really sat down and pondered what my problem was since I know by now that I can’t control other drivers and their actions. And I realized that it was my fault for being reactionary in the first place and expecting that people should drive a certain way. I also took into account about how lucky I’d been that I’d never been shot or hurt in my road rage episodes and that the risk just wasn’t worth it. So I started being calmer when I got on the road; breathing; laughing things off; jamming to my favorite music; or admiring the beauty of where I live and being grateful for the ocean view. One day, a guy who was trying to jam into my lane got pissed off when I didn’t let him in (there was no room), and proceeded to tailgate me as he flipped me the double bird. I remember the familiar feeling of anger trying to consume me; while my adrenaline rushed furiously, and then I just smiled and decided not to allow him to ruin my driving experience. So I ignored him and watched him work himself into a tizzy all on his own! After awhile, I think he saw that he wasn’t going to get a reaction out of me, and he just stopped. It was empowering; I won!
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