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Today I Drove Slow

Today I drove slow. 

I took the slow lane of the interstate, on purpose. 

I was midway through my two-hour drive, most of which was on the interstate, when the Google Maps voice said, “We’ve found an alternate route which is six minutes faster.” Normally I would click “accept” before she finished her sentence, but today I didn’t. I declined the offer to change my route that would save time. 

Initially I declined it because the new, faster route was a toll road and I didn’t want to pay for it. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I didn’t feel like the price of the tolls would be worth the six minutes it would save me. Sometimes it is – time is money, after all! But today it wasn’t. To be honest, I wasn’t even paying attention to my time! I had no clue on when I would arrive at my destination or how much more time was left. The only things in my brain were if I had the correct destination plugged in and gas to get there. 

As I continued to think about it though, my reasons for declining Google’s faster offer went beyond just saving a few bucks on the tolls. A series of questions came to mind, such as:

  • Why is faster automatically better?
  • Is six minutes really worth the cost of the tolls?
  • I know “time is money,” but that phrase assumes that money is the most valuable thing, otherwise it wouldn’t be the comparison point here. Is money the most valuable? Is time the most valuable? Is there something else more valuable than both? 
  • Other than gaining time and losing money by taking an alternate route, what else would I gain or lose?

Leave it to me to turn a simple GPS direction into an existential discussion! 

My default thinking tends to place money and time as two of the most valuable things in the world. And they certainly do have value! But they may not be the most valuable things all the time. There’s also something to say about sacrificing time and money for the sake of rest, relationships, mental and emotional health, and a variety of other things! 

When I’m sick, I don’t think about the time and money I’m losing by resting to get well. Instead I think about how much longer I would be sick if I didn’t take the time off to heal. On these days, it’s easy for me to choose health as a higher value item than money or time. 

Do I have to wait until something is wrong to make this value choice? Can I decide before I’m in the express lane feeling the anxiety of the zooming cars surrounding me that a peaceful drive is just as valuable as time or money? 

Today I drove slow. On purpose. I reached my destination without any sacrifice. 

Thanks for making this a part of your day!
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