Posted on January 18, 2019
by Steve Janowick
I did the math and couldn’t believe it.
I’ve driven approximately 1,020,000 miles since getting my license at sixteen. That’s 40 times around the globe. 200 round trips from east coast to west. And it all took 17,000 hours of my life. 17,000! And by the time I’m food for worms, I’ll have doubled that. That’s a hell of a lot of time behind the wheel. A hell of a lot of time to see a hell of a lot of things and do a hell of a lot of thinking.
It’s my humble opinion that men and women view the task of driving very differently. Most women see it as just that-a necessary task. A means to get to a destination. However, men (at least most that I know) see the act of driving as an integral part of the physical journey. An essential part of life itself. There’s something cerebral, and oddly calming, about the solitude of being alone in a car and on the open road that has compelled many a wife or girlfriend to question the sanity, and sometimes fidelity, of her mate. I know my wife has never fully come to grips with my capricious instincts to just get in my car and drive when life throws me any kind of curveball. Need to contemplate or think deeply? Take a drive. Pissed off about something? Hop in the car and go. Want to just decompress or relax? Turn on the tunes and put it in drive.
I’d venture to say that some of the biggest decisions in a man’s life are mulled over, and ultimately made, while behind the wheel of his car. Who says we’re not multi-taskers? I’m sure every man who’s reading this can recall countless times when he’s pulled up to his destination without remembering a damn thing about how he got there. You solved the world’s problems in your head, but you can’t recollect a single red light or turn signal to save your ass. That’s what driving is to us. Our own personal eight cylinder shrinks chair where we work it all out.
And it’s a hell of a lot cheaper!
I don’t claim to know the science behind it, but there’s something very meditative about the act of driving for a man. Doesn’t matter if it’s a simple automatic transmission or a six-speed manual, somehow, we’re able to compartmentalize and not allow the physical act to distract us from our thoughts. That’s right. I said it. The thinking takes precedence to the experienced male driver. The cognitive release and/or escape. The therapy. Of course, I’m not saying that one’s full attention to his surroundings isn’t of the utmost importance regarding safe driving, but when you’ve logged close to a million miles on the highways and side roads, that part of driving is as instinctual as breathing-at least it better be.
I’d love to know how many CEO’s and politicians have shaped our daily lives based on the thoughts they had and decisions they made while driving. I’m guessing a ton. It’s in our DNA. I’m guessing that as long as there are still roads and cars that are not driven by the robots, there’ll be some man somewhere eager to fix himself…
while behind the wheel of his machine.
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