Two Roads Diverged

Life is all about choices – so which choice is coming next?

Driving to the End of the Year

on January 5, 2013

As 2012 came to an end, and many were looking back at the year, I spent the last days of 2012 looking forward.

At the road in front of me and concentrating really hard on the ‘sound of the engine’.

Actual New Years Eve I spent working. The night shift. And then the night shift had the opening day shift on New Years Day. Brilliant Managerial scheduling really – we were all ready to work from having passed out from exhaustion rather than from drunken partying.

Driving a stick, Day 2
My dad drove us out to a little town nearby. (And when I say ‘little’ I mean population 1,000.)

Lots of back roads, no people. The perfect place to practice.

Needless to say as I got behind the wheel I was petrified.

“There might actually be someone else on the road! What do I do if someone else is driving on the road too?!”

My dad just patiently looked at me.

Oh right. I know how to drive, just not the mechanics of the stick shift yet…

I pushed in the clutch, and started the car.

And everything about day 2 went better!

Having actual space to get the car moving to practice shifting gears? Awesome! I was no longer just starting, stopping, starting, stopping.

I was starting, GOING, shifting!

For over an hour I was able to drive on the roads, not only shifting, but also practicing stopping and starting as I hit stop signs.

I even went on the freeway – jumping off and on at exits to practice shifting faster. (Let’s just say: I need more practice…)

And the next day went well too! (Though it was a rough start – it was the first time I drove with shoes on. I really am a better driver without shoes – my feet are more sensitive to the minute changes in the pedals.)

The end result: when we first got the Oldsmobile, it was meant for my dad to take up to San Jose, for his work commute. But since he claims, “I’m comfortable enough to manage,” the car will be staying in San Diego for me to drive. (I am especially rejoicing as the truck I’ve been driving gets 18 mi/g. Ooph that’s been hurting my bank account!)

Next week will see me driving the stick shift. Alone.


21 responses to “Driving to the End of the Year

  1. Welcome to the graveyard shift Jill – the best people work that one don’t you know!

  2. mairedubhtx says:

    You just need practice. The more you do, the easier it will become. You’ll do great!

  3. MaximumWage says:

    YAY! Way to do it! I believe in you!

  4. El Guapo says:

    Way to go!
    Once you can start moving on a steep uphill, you will truly be a clutch master.

  5. Lily says:

    That’s amazing! I’m so proud of you! Learning to drive stick seems so tough, but it seems like you’re chugging right along. I guess it helps to have a good teacher, right?

  6. calahan says:

    I am staying off the road, er,… I mean, go Giggs!

  7. MissFourEyes says:

    Way to go, Jill! I’m rootin’ for ya! (with pom poms, of course)😀

  8. vyvacious says:

    Ooh, exciting!! Sounds like you’re making fantastic practice! The first time I got on the freeway, ever, I screamed in my car. Just a long, drawn out scream to make myself feel better as I merged onto the freeway. You should try it.

  9. The Hook says:

    Good luck on the open road of life, my friend!

  10. Drive in Palm Springs – it’s easier than SD! I would be petrified to drive in 90% of California… Blythe, maybe I could drive there…

  11. Your progress with driving a stick has improved significantly in comparison to my experience! You are so right. The best part is the excellent mileage of most manual cars. =]

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