The advice I gave my Daughter in law about winter driving that applies to so much more

Photo of Boulder Colorado thanks to Alex Smits Photography.com

Photo of Boulder Colorado thanks to Alex Smits Photography.com

Growing up at the foot hills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder Colorado where is seems that winter lasts 6 months of the year, we all got lots of practice driving in snow and slush. I admit, I was a very timid and stressful winter driver in my youth, but I did learn something after a few winters under my belt. The most important and what I shared with my daughter in law this last week was learning to NOT be a white knuckle driver. I am not sure if this a common expression or is just what my mother called it. The white knuckle driver is one who  holds the steering wheel so tight that the knuckles on the back of you hands turn white from the grip that you have on the wheel. Where you are so afraid of what is happening on the road that the tension is visible all over your body. Most young drivers experience this while learning to drive and it passes only to return when winter weather reappears. So when I am feeling stressed behind the wheel in the winter, I still to this day, I take a deep breath  and play this song in my head to remind myself what to do.

38 Special… “Hold On Loosely”

If you choose not to see the video  I still want to share with you the chorus with you so that you understand what is that I am trying to get at.  ” Just hold on loosely, but don’t let go, if you cling to tightly to her, you’re gonna lose control”. This is a simple way for me to force myself to slow down, take a deep breath and stop white knuckling my way through life.

snow covered road by Jeff Cook.

snow-covered road by Jeff Cook.

38 Special  wrote and preformed the song with a love affair in mind, but I like to take the idea and expand it to life in general.  How often have we all smothered our loved ones, our children or choked off other opportunities in our lives because we were to afraid to just let life happen. We are terrified that we would not be able to handle the results of a life lived in the present. We do not believe in ourselves enough to handle what life was giving us. I was guilty of this much of my youth.

I wanted all the details of everyone’s lives. I had to check in with my friends a million times a day. I worried that if I wasn’t part of what was happening then something terrible would happen. Well guess what, terrible things happen everyday, all across the world, in my town and yours, to people we love and those we do not know at all and it happens with or without us. The reality is that we really have very little control over the weather, our friends, family or at times our own health. So it is by choice that I have tried to stop letting worry control my happiness.

Instead of worrying about everything that happens in my life I have learned, as the song says,” To Hold On Loosely, But Not Let Go”. To allow for the bumps in the road and the twists and turns that we all experience without totally losing my way in the world. Age gives you insight to realize that there is really nothing that you can not over come in your life if you are willing to just Hold On, Not Give Up and Try Again.

So to my Daughter In Law I said  “Try not to white knuckle all the fun out of life by trying to control the things that you can’t”. Don’t lose your balance and happiness because the fear of losing something or someone.We all lose it is part of life, but you can keep your sense of happiness if you just remember to ” Take a deep breath, go slow and hold on loosely but don’t let go”.

I am sure that our conversation about winter driving made sense to her it is easy to understand The  other part about not doing the same for her family, friends and future may have made her think that I was just crazy, I just hope when the time comes in her life that she will think back on this song and find some solace there.

toms truck on a snowy road near old house

toms truck on a snowy road near old house

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Categories: Colorado, family memories, music, rock music, snow, winter driving | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “The advice I gave my Daughter in law about winter driving that applies to so much more

  1. You are correct, that is great advice!

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  2. A superb post Jolynn! I think your advice to your daughter is good advice for all of us to live by. I am a worrier and I love your suggesiton of “trying to not white knuckle the fun out of life by trying to control the things you can’t”. Hold loosely, but don’t let go~perfect.. 🙂

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  3. A wonderful post Jolynn and good advice. You’re right though, knowing how to do this seems to come with age and life experience. Keep safe in all that snow.

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    • yes we will try today is unusually cold about -12 F… or neg -27 C. We are not able to “enjoy” the snow today we are inside playing and have added the pet bunnies to our playtime inside…I think some warm cookies are going to be made to too!

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  4. Faith Antion

    Wonderful advice, Jolynn. The best part about it is the application, as you say, to everything else outside of winter. I wish I’d been able to grasp this lesson earlier in my life.

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  5. This is great advice, for driving and life! I tend to be a white knuckled winter driver, but it never helps – it only makes all the sliding and the stress worse. I’m going to take this piece of advice as I drive home in snow today!

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