Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Driving Lesson #6

Weighed in at 135.2 this morning. (That's 9st 9lbs to you, Tess). Glad to see a downward trend already. What a relief. Now to get it back to the normal 133lbs (9st 7lbs).

I did the neti pot again this morning, my third morning. It was much easier today. Not so much of a drowning feeling this time; I'm still working on getting the angle of the head just right, and I think I may need to measure the salt instead of just sprinkling some in. I will have to look up how much salt goes into 240ml of water.

Breakfast: 2 bowls of soaked muesli. (But each bowl only had a bit in the bottom of the bowl, so I guess it was really one full bowl...) Caro, 1 pint water.

Snack: After the driving lesson, half a Linda McCartney burger patty, a few chunks of roasted potato (definitely not more than half a potato), two dates and a small handful of Derek's granola cereal. *sigh* Stress induced. See what an emotional eater I am.

Lunch: None

Snack: It's all a blur, but it involved more handfuls of cereal and dried fruit.

Dinner: Steamed courgette and broccoli with brown rice.

Snack: Yes, another bowl of muesli.



My driving lesson today was on junctions. Approaching a junction is like a choreographed dance. Mirror, signal, position, slow to 10 mph, put the car in 2nd gear, keep clutch covered while checking if you can proceed, if you can't see, brake and drop it into 1st, but don't stop unless you have to. The object is to keep moving. As you go around the corner or roundabout or whatever, don't accelerate until you have completed the manoeuvre. My driving instructor says I can talk her through this stuff, but I'm 'not doing it'. I'm sure 17 years ago when I drove a stick regularly, I must have done something similar to this, but I feel like I never get the chance to try because she is always telling me what to do. And I have to do it exactly the same each time. I never seem to time it exactly the way she wants it done. If she says at one junction I waited too long to brake, then at the next junction I brake sooner, she says I braked too soon. I'm sure it's not her, she has a reputation of being a good instructor. It's me not able to get it perfect.I can't imagine how people ever learn to do this exactly 'perfect' every time. She also doesn't like the way I use the clutch to change gears or the way I put my hand on the gear knob.

I'm trying very hard not to feel discouraged. Taking driving lessons is creating a fear in me of driving. I was never afraid to drive in my life until I started taking lessons.

All I can do now is put thoughts of the test out of my mind. I must stay in the moment right now. In the moment right now, I have had a lesson on junctions. I am (sort of) making progress. The test is in the future. I have to trust that if I stay in the here and now, I will be ready for the test in the future. Looking at how far I have to go just leaves me feeling hopeless and wanting to give up. It makes me feel worried. I have to remember all the other things I've accomplished that in the beginning I didn't think I could. Yet I did.

Things I Have Accomplished
*I was the first person in my family to finish university and earn a degree.
*I taught high school English for 17 years, even though I really hated it. I kept going back because I didn't know what else to do. That's fortitude, however misguided!
*I survived an unhappy marriage, an unfaithful partner, and the divorce.
*I faced the trauma of voluntarily relinquishing custody of my son and survived that.
*I moved to England.
*I got a job here, passed national tests in maths and IT, endured two days of scrutiny by a DfES official and earned Qualified Teacher Status.
*I got married again, this time to a wonderful person.
*I left teaching and took a job in a library, which was a huge cut in pay and forced me to face my fears of not earning enough money to live on my own, thus making me financially dependent on another person.
*I lost over 70lbs (5st)over about a year and a half and have kept it off for three years.
*I stopped eating meat and became a vegan.
*I started an exercise regime and have not had an unplanned fallow period from it for four years. (Wow, that amazes even me!)
*I stopped worrying my mind with Christianity and relaxed into the Buddhism that had attracted me all my life.
*I got Indefinite Leave to Remain. (Which is one step below citizenship, and you don't have to take it any further if you don't want to).
*I passed the UK citizenship test and became a UK citizen.
*I got a British passport.

What's clutch control compared to all of that!

And to take another leaf from the Girl's Guide to Losing Your L-Plates:

A List of Reasons Why I Really Want to Pass My Test

*I'll be able to get in the car on impulse and go anywhere I want to go--and it won't matter if it's a Sunday, bank holiday, the trains are doing works or if the destination doesn't have a railway station.
*I won't need to rely on lifts from other people or public transport when I have to travel in my current job.
*I can pick my family up from the airport and take them around to interesting places when they visit.
*I won't have to drag groceries home in the rain in a tartan wheelie bag.
*I can go when I want to go and return when I want to return and not be a slave to a train or bus timetable.
*The UK driving licence is the last qualification on my lists of things I wanted to accomplish here. I got a teaching licence, citizenship and a passport. I got the right to vote. Now I want the driving licence. I am British, after all!

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