Hanging up the car keys and giving up one’s driving privilege is not an easy decision. But with advancing years, I decided it was best — if not for me then for the safety of others.
As we age, vision dims, hearing is not what it once was and reactions to what can occur are slowed.
Independence is another thing of the past. The lack of it is just a part of the aging process. Having to rely on others or public transportation does not come easily to most of us. But, at the same time, I am happy to have that option.
Driver education was not part of the curriculum when I attended high school. Growing up in a small town, we could walk to our destinations. I took a driver’s education course as an adult and then obtained my first license after I had my son and daughter. It was a convenience to be able to drive but not anything I particularly enjoyed.
Now I may miss my independence, but I am free of taking written and road tests every few years. I no longer read the signs of rising gas prices at the filling stations. No car insurance to worry about. License plates and city stickers are not expenses for me. No more oil changes, tire rotations or other maintenance. No more single-finger salutes from fellow motorists. No more parallel-parking woes.
After making the decision to stop driving, I now needed an attitude adjustment.
Psychiatrist and author Viktor Frankl said it best: “The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”