*My friend Lindsay is committed to making our roads safer. She is tired of the needless loss of life that happens on our roads. She created the blog Fix The Toaster to wake the world up to this easily solved problem. Check it out - your life might depend on it.
Here's a post I wrote for her site last week...
CUT IT OUT!
When someone tells me to “cut it out,” it totally turns me on. I’m a strong woman and I need this kind of blunt, somewhat aggressive command to be reigned in a little. Don’t get me wrong. I have to actually know the person commanding me to ‘cut it out’ or at least feel a sense of security with him or her. Let’s not get too dirty here. But…if my husband were to read this post (doubt it) he might find himself getting lucky if he would find a way to simply use these three little words. Oh man, I’m getting off course here – this is not the intended subject of this post. What I want you to understand is that I love the expression ‘cut it out!’ I use it often too. Not to turn people on mind you but to reign in my little ones. I have two toddler boys who are awesome and fun and WILD. If I walk in on them say; punching each other in the face, I might loudly, in a low commanding voice yell, ‘cut it out.’ It gets their attention, stops them in their tracks, and allows me the one second opening I need to get down to their level and calmly walk them through some kind of teaching moment.
‘Cut it out’: a multipurpose expression that can be used on various ages. (Noel’s Dictionary 40th Edition) OK, now to the point…
A few months ago I realized that my texting-checking e-mail-surfing the web while driving habit was becoming, to put it simply, STUPID! I mean really, what was I thinking? I was giving myself all kinds of excuses too; I’m in standstill traffic, I can text safely. I’m using SIRI, I’m not actually typing. I’m just going to check this website for one thing, it’ll be fine. WT? Every day I was reading posts by @fixthetoaster about terrible accidents and loss of life due to this addiction that has taken over me and about 78.4%* of all other drivers on the planet. (*fictional stat to make a point) I would find myself horrified at the numbers, disturbed by the videos and yet I was STILL finding sneaky ways of feeding my iPhone-while-driving addiction. And then one day I almost – almost- thank GOD, rear ended a cyclist while I was – wait for it – checking FACEBOOK of all things! Holy shit. “Sorry bicycle dude I was updating my status.”
‘CUT IT OUT’ I screamed at myself as I threw my iPhone on the passenger side floorboard. Just ‘CUT IT OUT!’ This is the moment that I committed to ending this life threatening habit. For my kids. For my husband. For myself. For the planet. I mean seriously people, what are we thinking? Put it on the passenger seat, turn up the volume for all incoming texts and calls and if you must answer a call and you do not have a Bluetooth, PULL OVER for goodness sake.
The best way to kill one habit is to add another. I commute over 2 hours a day so I do need something – something to take my mind off, but not too far off – the road. So I chose Audible.com. A great, healthy, not too expensive, new habit. By listening to audio books I can stimulate my mind, entertain myself, and get smarter. (*Maybe I should listen to a book on grammar – nahhh) Since I picked up this new habit I am no longer iPhoning it while I’m driving. This could be the equivalent to donating quarts and quarts of blood, volunteering at hospitals, serving my country. OK, OK pipe down. I do not mean any disrespect to our service men and women, maybe it’s a stretch to compare, but is it? Our roads can be dangerous and by not using my phone while driving I am potentially (probably) saving lives.
For $14.95 a month I get one audio book per month and a clear conscious. If I don’t use the credit it rolls over to the next month. Although texting is hip and social media keeps me current – with Audible.com I have read (cough cough – listened to) over 10 books in the past 4 months. Titles ranging from – wait, I need to keep some things private. But let’s put it this way – you can get ANYTHING (almost) on this website – fiction, non-fiction, self-help, history lessons, comedy, classics, whatever you fancy. A piece of advice – there are SOME books that should not be listened to while driving – you know what I’m talking about. CUT IT OUT!