For years, I insisted on driving a stick shift. I loved the control, the driving experience; the very idea of driving a stick was cool. I called automatics “golf carts”. If you had asked me, in those days, I would have told you that I would always drive stick; that I would never buy an automatic. Automatics were for suckers who didn’t know how to drive. Pssssshhhhhh.

I drive an automatic now.

When I bought my last car, I passed over the sport model with leather seats and six speed shifter, and bought the economy four banger with automatic. It was a good five years newer, with 25000 fewer miles, and I figured it would be more reliable in the long run. Quite a different decision from one I might have made earlier.

This could well be attributed to age, experience, and wisdom; and I do believe that these factors have helped me in my recovery, more so than the other way around. I have always thought that being 42 when I entered recovery gave me many advantages, and conversely I cannot attribute these changes to recovery alone. What I am certain of is that, whether it was chicken or egg that came first, recovery for me has meant changing many things about my thinking, my actions and my concept of self. Recovery for me is about making better decisions, abandoning the impetuousness of youth, and thinking for the long haul. I do not do this perfectly, but the important part is the awareness. I was so hard-headed for so long that I didn’t even realize how hard-headed I was. I look back now and cringe.

You know what I have noticed about driving an automatic? It’s a hell of a lot easier.

Keep an eye out for my next blog entry, “I Take Multivitamins Now”.

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