I hate it when some jerk is driving behind me in his big truck, towering over my shoulder and threatening to run me over by his sheer size. Clearly, he thinks he has somewhere to be or someone to meet who can’t live without him. Sure, I’m aware of some occasional emergencies, but as regularly as this happens, I doubt the driver’s urgency. Just to spite him or her, I decide to drive at exactly the speed limit, if that. I make sure to take up as much of my lane as I possibly can, especially if the lane next to mine is merging into it. And I vocally complain about the person speeding. In essence, I become the jerk.
But when I’m late, it’s a totally different story. I get antsy. I beg the driver ahead of me to hurry up, to drive at least the speed limit. I might even employ some of the cut-off-and-run tactics I learned while maneuvering Chicago’s suburb traffic last summer. I call my sense of urgency a need, sometimes driving close to the car in front of me, like a yippy little dog that bites at your ankles and gets on your nerves.
But I never call it speeding. I don’t speed, I’d never do that. No, I keep to within 5 (maybe 10) miles per hour of the speed limit. That’s keeping it, right?
I find it somewhat the same when I see people blog about how they hate people making New Year’s resolutions and then talk about how they’re going to start making a change in their life starting in January. How is that any different from my calling my speeding by another name? I’m still doing the same thing that I complain the jerk on my heels is doing, so why don’t I just admit that it’s the same thing.
So, if you’re going to talk down to people who are making a New Year’s resolution, please decide to make your life changes at a different time of year. I hear April’s nice.