It started a few weeks ago. That tight feeling in my chest. Sweaty hands. Negative talking myself. The dread. The worry. No, nothing major is going on. It happens to me in the late fall every year. This is all because of the thoughts of Winter Driving. Yup, I totally capitalized it. To me it is an entity. The horrible thing that makes me hate winter so much. The thing that makes me go utterly insane!
I can stand the cold, the bundling up to go outside. Enjoy how pretty the snow makes everything look, the kids playing and having fun, making snow angels, skating….aww, it all seems so nice. But then I want to go somewhere and the roads, oh those snow/slush/ice covered roads, they make me want to curl up and hibernate. Which to some, that is basically what it seems like I do – I hibernate from about the end of December till March, or when the snow starts to melt away.
I have good reason to hate Winter Driving so much. It is probably the only reason that my friends don’t commit me every winter when it all starts up again. My Mom died in a car accident due to a snow storm. It will be 16 years ago tomorrow morning. She was driving in to work in Kanata from Calabogie, when what police figured, she lost visibility due to a freak snow storm, and drove off the road landing on the cars roof in the river beside it. I was 14. I didn’t have my drivers license at that point, but it didn’t deter me from getting it or driving by the exact spot more times than I can count since that fatal day. (You can read a little more about it all in my post Driving Naked that I wrote in September.) I got my license as soon as I turned 16, and I had no problems driving, no matter the season. When I was 21 I even ditched my car due to icy roads, and it shook me up a little bit, but I was still ok, and got back in the drivers seat.
It wasn’t until I was off work on maternity leave with my daughter that this fear really took its hold. I was now a Mother. I couldn’t imagine leaving my children how our Mom unfortunately left us. I became afraid that if I went out I wouldn’t be able to reach my daughter if we got in an accident. That if we did, no one would find us. I would still go out, but hated driving when it was snowing. I remember one time going to Ottawa and it was fine when we drove there, then it was majorly snowing on the way home. I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe and almost crying cause I just wanted to pull over and not move. After that, I basically make sure that I am not in a situation where I have to drive in weather like that again. And more often than not, it means I just really don’t go anywhere most of the winter.
The roads need to be clear, like I can see pavement clear. I live in the country, and that is often rare around here. I watch and check, and check and watch the weather forecast days ahead when I know something is planned. And I only make plans with the warning ‘…as long as the weather is good.” I like someone else to drive whenever possible if I do go out.
I hate it. I really hate it. I hate that Winter Driving basically paralyzes me. I hate that it was hardly even the beginning of November when I first started worrying about it. Making plans for an event in February, and my first thought is “what if the weather is bad?”. Winter Driving runs my life in the winter, and I feel helpless. I basically equate driving on a snowy day to getting in an accident, and that with death. So I just avoid it all together.
It is not something I am proud of, and every year I think to myself, this winter will be different. This winter you won’t let Winter Driving rule your life. But each year it almost tends to get worse. It isn’t anything anyone can do, it is all me. It is in my head, in my confidence of myself (or lack of), and in my heart. I know what Winter Driving can do, and I don’t want it doing it to me or my family again. So I do what I know to do, hibernate, become a hermit and not leave my house till the spring!
So please tell me I am not alone in my hate of Winter Driving!? Tell me that I am not a loony to basically hibernate because of it! Are you a fan of winter driving, or what gets your through it at least!?