Driving Lessons, Screw Ups, Progress, and Personal Days

So the thing about change is sometimes you need a break because it’s all too much. I’ve been doing a lot lately; making a lot of progress in the right direction. It’s really not surprising that I needed a mental break.

Sunday night, Ian gave me the first driving lesson I’ve had in over 12 years in a Walmart parking lot. He even brought traffic cones. Needless to say, I was in a pretty constant state of panic. Ian drives a truck. It’s not huge or anything, but it’s still a truck. Most days, I can barely handle walking, let alone controlling a moving vehicle, but I digress because I did it (badly, but I still did it).

Left-handed parking was easy after a few attempts, but the right-handed parking was giving me problems. I ended the driving lesson actually feeling shook and covered in sweat. That’s how much effort I was putting in. I maybe had a miniature breakdown and laughed until I cried while Ian was gathering traffic cones.

I was exhausted and we still had to make dinner (it was like 11 pm) and I had work the next day.

We stayed up until 3 am and I was falling asleep fast. By the next morning, it felt like I was hit by a train. I just needed to rest, I needed a break… so I took a personal day. It’s not something I was planning to do or something I want to do again, especially after my last job. But at my last job, I hadn’t been making any forward progress. I hadn’t been learning or growing, and now I am.

It just got to be a little too much, too fast.

Let’s address dinner for a minute though, 1) Ian is working on better time management so we can stop making midnight burgers and 2) the recipe was stuffed peppers and we forgot tomato sauce. It was too late to buy anything from the store and all the nearby food places were closing, so we couldn’t order a pizza. We found some frozen pizza at home.

The next night, since I took a personal day, we attempted stuffed peppers again. We skipped a step and forgot to brown the meat. Also, we didn’t have quite enough tomato sauce. We may salvage that food into something else if we can, but we ended up ordering a pizza.

The point I’m trying to make is that life moves fast, you do things and you make progress, you screw up plans, but you make it work. And if at the end of all that, you feel like you did too much, you take a personal day. You recuperate and try again the next day.

I don’t want to be the person who takes too many personal days; I was that person and I hated that person, but I respect that I’ve been busy lately. I’ve been doing my best. So, it’s okay and I’m okay.

Let’s try again.

EDIT: I explained badly why I took the personal day. It wasn’t wasn’t about staying up till 3 am and being tired, it was about feeling emotionally fragile after my driving lesson.

It had been so long since I’d tried to drive and it’s such a stressful learning process, but more specifically my own history with why I didn’t learn to drive really affected me and it took a day to process those feelings and even after Monday, it was still making my week harder.

But I went to work Tuesday through Friday. I tried to move past my feelings and deal with normal work stress. It was a bit shaky, but by Friday, I actually felt good and happy up until I got told that my parents were disappointed in me for taking a personal day.

So there it is.

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10 thoughts on “Driving Lessons, Screw Ups, Progress, and Personal Days

      1. I was going to, I got my permit and then after a few lessons at age 15, I just decided I wasn’t ready. But that decision ultimately made my life a lot more difficult

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      2. I’m 29. I probably would have gotten it earlier but I never really got another opportunity to learn until now. I’ve mostly been living in Florida. I walk and take the bus a lot, but the public transportation is pretty terrible and frustrating.

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      3. I told people it was because I always envisioned myself living in a big city like New York or London or Boston, but my mom has passed away from breast cancer when I was 14 and I think that it was a way for me to prevent myself from moving forward/growing up.

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