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Cruise Control


The other day I was cruising down the interstate in cruise control.  I enjoy cruise control because it keeps my car at the legal speed limit and I don’t worry about being caught by the Highway Patrol for speeding!

I’m doing 74 mph when suddenly, my car jerked as if I’d hit the brakes 2-3 times.  I immediately turned off the cruise control because this was not the first time this had happened.  My cruise control was not operating correctly.  Ugh.

This means I had to be in charge of driving the speed limit for a 45 minute car drive.  Do you have ANY idea how hard that is?  Especially when you’ve trained yourself to let the car do the driving?  And especially when you wear sunglasses and you can’t see the speedometer without lifting them off your eyes?

Sign Go Faster

I thought about painting a bright white line on the plastic over the speedometer so I could see more clearly but no.  I thought about finding some sunglasses I could see with in the dark area of the dashboard, but haven’t done that yet.

Every time I drive into town, I have to be in charge of how fast I drive.  I did not realize how accustomed I’d gotten to allowing a machine to dictate how fast I drove.  I didn’t even realize how hard it would be to keep my driving within the speed limit.  Every time I looked, I was doing 80 mph.

I had been mindless while my car drove the correct speed limit to my destination.

Huh.  That got me to thinking about life and living in cruise control.  I know!  Deep, huh?  So deep.


But it is true.  It is so easy to just mindlessly live each day of our life in cruise control.  Mindless living – going to sleep, getting up, going to work, getting home, going to sleep, getting up, going to work, getting home, taking a vacation, getting home, going to sleep, getting up, going to work, getting home, having a day off for holiday, getting home, going to sleep, getting up, going to work…

Cruise control.  And while we live in cruise control, we think, “Someday I am going to do what I REALLY want to be doing.  Someday.”  Or we live toward this glimmering dream of retirement when we can REALLY enjoy our lives.  Yeah, right.  Or we go through life without thought at all.


I don’t want to live in cruise control.  Sure I don’t mind it in my car, but I don’t want to live that way in my life.  I don’t want to get to the end of my days and look back with regret.  We have ONE life and it is ours to decide what to do with.

I do NOT want to be cruising mindlessly down the highway of my life.

I want to live deliberately with MY foot on the gas pedal and MY eyes checking the speed limit and MY choices bringing me to destinations in strange and wonderful ways.  I want to take back roads that don’t require cruise control.  I want to turn corners and be happily surprised by what I see when I turn them.

rural road in forest

I want to drive down dirt roads wondering where the road will lead.  Or with the top down, letting the wind totally destroy my neat hairdo!  I want to be able to pull over, get out and meander through the woods to discover a babbling brook with flowers all about.  I want to arrive at my destination with my hair messed up, dirt streaking my shoes, a huge smile on my face, and satisfaction in my heart.

What about you?  Are you living your life mindlessly cruising or are you driving with the top down?  I plan to make changes so that every day is lived fully, deliberately, with purpose.  I will enjoy my life fully!

A simple broken cruise control gave me an epiphany.



13 thoughts on “Cruise Control

  1. Cool analogy, Miss Nan. And I know what you mean about the sunglasses. I have this cool heads-up display on my car, but for the first 5 years I owned it, I thought it didn’t work during the daytime. Then one dreary day when I wasn’t wearing my sunglasses, I realized I was the problem and had been all along.

  2. Bravo! Lady, I love this post! What a fantastic piece of writing! Lately, I’ve regained the desire to drive with the top down. The knee issues forced me into cruise control for a long while, but I’ve had it. Every day, I strive to drive longer and longer with the top down, taking control of my life and this horrible pain. In spite of all the difficulties, we shall conquer, my friend. I’m sure of it! Did I tell you how silky the argan oil has made my hair? ha! I think of you every time I use it, friend! Thank you! 🙂

  3. I love this post! What a great analogy you’ve come up with. That’s exactly what I like about living abroad–I cannot live on cruise control. Everything is new and different so there is no automatic living. Even everyday struggles with the language make me feel alive. (Sometimes of course I long for the easy & familiar, but surprisingly, it doesn’t happen often.)

  4. This is sooooo true! Get up run kids here, do this chore, that chore, make OR PICK UP dinner, watch a tv show, go to bed and get up and do it all over again.

    I’m trying to change that.. Living with a purpose! Becoming who I choose to be. No cruise control anymore.

    Love ya Nanners. Another great post!

  5. This is a really good analogy Nan-o. Too many times we do let our life just sit in “cruise”. Things happen around us that we don’t really pay attention to, things fly by us that we don’t see. As a professional driver, (and having a car that for the first time in many years doesn’t HAVE CC) I’ve had to pay more attention to my speed. But more importantly…while we are watching our speed, we see what others are doing. In other words….we are actually paying attention. And although I drive like an old lady, it does my little heart good to see when Johnny Law has pulled someone over who flew by me because I was just driving to slow. It’s not slow….it’s NOTICING !! <3

  6. Excellent, insightful Post.

    Many readers will DEF identify w/ this post, Nan.

    Great symbolism!

    PS. I’ve never had my car on cruise control…but many times my life has been on CC.

    Xxxx LOVE.

  7. OK! I’m holding you to that – NO more cruise control. Let’s shake it up around here!!

  8. Wise words from a wise woman…Too many people cruise thru life thinking “tomorrow”, next week”, “next year”, and before you know it, the ride is over.
    Be concious of all your thoughts, emotions, and live purposefully.
    You only get one go.

    Thank you, Nan.

    1. ONE go is right. I think we forget that too many times because it’s too easy to cruise!

  9. So cool. We miss too many things in cruise control. Here it is almost August and it seems as though only yesterday was Christmas. You look back and seems to just be a blur. We need to quit letting cruise control take us down the road seeing the same things time and time again until we don’t ever see anything differently. I am with you BayBay. No more cruise control.

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