Yesterday, driving home from Golden, I was on a stretch of road where the speed limit is 65. I only drive that road for about two miles - get on, go to the next exit, and get off. I probably average 68 mph over those two miles. I have this idea that it doesn't count as speeding until you reach the next big line on the speedometer, so I try to stay below 70. I also try to stay above 65, because who drives the speed limit, honestly? Old people and boring people, that's who.
When I entered the highway, I pulled in behind someone who was driving about 64.
I had several choices.
- Stay behind him.
- Speed up to over 70 to quickly pass him, then move back into my lane and my comfort speed.
- Pull into the left lane and mosey past him at my normal speed.
2 and 3 are sort of ridiculous, really. He wasn't going 10 miles an hour - he was going one mile under the speed limit and four miles slower than I wanted to go. There was no good reason to pass him.
Of course, I passed him. I went with option 2, because there were other people in the left lane and I would have slowed them down if I'd gone with 3.
Then, at my exit, he followed me up the ramp and we stopped at the same light, proving that I'd gained absolutely nothing.
I do this a lot - on the road, while walking, and in social situations. I think that in the last case it has quite a bit to do with my confidence in my own decisions. I sometimes doubt my abilities (ahem programming ahem), but I can't point to a single time in my life when I've thought I made the wrong call. Even if whatever I was doing turned out badly, I have never seen the point of second guessing something I've already done.
So I make up my mind (to go 68, to go to this one certain school, to have Thanksgiving at my house), and I plug ahead. If it doesn't make sense, I do it anyway, because that decision was already made, y'all. If someone gets in my way, I get all cranky, even though there is a not insignificant chance that the outcome will be the same if I'm a little more flexible.
I don't know how to overcome this without becoming someone who doubts herself more. I certainly don't want that.
Baby steps, maybe. Next time I'm on the highway, I'll go with option 1.