I got my driver’s license at 16 and mostly drove to school (20 minutes), the Mexican restaurant I worked at (12), and the park to run (5, max). As such, I found a different sort of energy in the park drives.
When you’re driving to the park to run—less than 5 minutes travel time—you want one solid song. This means no scanning of stations for the best possible tune, but rather totally, fully, committing to the first station you hear playing a song you semi-like.
When driving anywhere but the park? Well, you have 10, 15, 20 minutes. Now you can afford to get picky. You can search for the love songs, the break-up songs, the angsty songs.
As I’ve found myself behind the wheel more frequently than I have been in recent years, I’ve realized that old habits die hard. I’m still scanning while driving to the grocery store and leaning into the first song while driving to the park.
And as I’ve reflected on this, I realize I love the park drives a lot more. I like the park drives because rather than endlessly scanning radio numbers searching for “the perfect song,” I’m choosing one song to take me to my location and being 100% fully committed to it. I’m talking singing along, dancing (safely), and totally immersing myself in that moment as if it were my absolute favorite song ever written.
Don’t get me wrong—there are times, when scanning the stations that I do luck out and find one of my absolute favorite songs ever written. But more often than not, I find myself rolling song after song, never really appreciating any of it, and arriving at my destination no more inspired than when I left.
And I wonder if there’s something to all of this. To leaning in. To fully committing to what you are doing. Maybe my favorite song is just one station click away. But I chose this station. I chose this song. And as such, I’m sure it is the absolute best song for this moment. And I’m going to sing along and make it so.
July 28, 2013 | Day 628:
Happiness is.. a series of events this afternoon. It's a gorgeous day. I went to the park to run but ended up in a neighborhood where I ran past a lemonade stand. I apologized since I wasn't carrying cash, obviously. I passed them again on my way back and all I heard as I passed them was, "free for runners!!" But I was already flying back to finish so I kept going. Finally, I pit stopped at their stand on my drive home and bought the best ice cold lemonade ever. And as I got back into my car, "House of the Rising Sun" literally just started on the radio so I drove home blasting that with the windows down, drinking my lemonade and feeling really good about the run and the day in general. And it was one of those "Life is so wonderful" moments. And I honestly don't know how to phrase it simply so I hope this suffices as a "Happiness is." And if not—I power washed the porch when I got home and that was cool too.