Many years ago when I was living in London, a colleague remarked that the people in our company were all passengers.
Curious, I asked him what he meant. He explained that there had been so many changes in management that the staff were simply passengers on whatever train happened to pick them up on any given morning.
I was struck by this thought one morning last weekend while lying in my cosy hotel room bed in Toronto. We all like to think we are drivers, boldly pursuing our destinies. Making smart choices, changing directions with clear, conscious logic, minimizing our personal risk. I’ve always thought of myself as a driver. But maybe I’ve sometimes been a passenger, just riding along on someone else’s train. Decisions being taken along the way and I just kept riding that same train. Maybe I help with the driving from time to time or participate in some of the decisions but ultimately it’s not my journey that I’ve was on. Or was it?
I need to pause and think about this some more. I am a somewhat introspective person, although people think I am more so lately. These past three years recovering have certainly made me think more about things, think more deeply, seek to understand other people better, be less glib. Am I a passenger? I’ve definitely gone along with the flow from time-to-time, whatever that might have been and it’s taken me to here, this place, my now. and I’m OK with that. But I’ve also been a driver in my destiny.
It’s been a good journey so far. If you are a passenger, think about the ride you are on. Are you moving in the direction you wanted? At pace? Are the stops on your journey interesting? Are you learning, growing, developing according to your own conscience? If not, consider taking the wheel and driving for awhile. Maybe there are some passengers you’d like to bring along with you: think about it. Today’s feature image is of me and the two passengers I want on my train with me!
How awful to find yourself somewhere and wonder how the heck you got there or if it’s even where you want to be now, at this time in your life.
I worry about this more as the time for retirement draws closer. Have you all discussed your retirement goals with your spouses, partners, friends. I’ve only just started these conversations, hoping we align mostly on our dreams and plans, otherwise we may find ourselves as two drivers moving independently towards different goals. I surely hope not. Take some time to check in on this one. Take out your map, set a course, and get driving!
For today, Friday, , baby it’s cold outside! And rainy and windy.
I am strong and I am beautiful. I am a driver!