The Sunday Drive; A Tonic For A Weary Soul.
*Note. This post is unedited, my friend who does the editing work did not edit this post, so please excuse any misspellings or bad grammar. I’m no poet after all.
It’s April 18th, though it feels like it should be mid-November. The year has been long, the ongoing pandemic continues to wear us down. Politics and politicians continue to intrude in our everyday lives. The news contently reminds us the world is ending and everyone is a racist, homophobic, and anti-everything jerk. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like deliver us the worst humanity has to offer on a semi-regular basis. And the light at the end of the tunnel just might be a train. It can be easy to become discouraged even depressed in times like these. But I think there could be a simple, low-tech, and inexpensive solution, even if it is only temporary. And best of all, it’s fat-free. My friends, it’s time to bring back the Sunday drive.
In the episode “Mr. Hyunh Goes Country” of the 90s Nick show “Hey Arnold”, something I continue to watch 20 years later, the song “Simple Things” is central to the plot. Mr. Hyunh prefers “French fried onion rings” over the “palaces of kings”. The point was to stop and enjoy the simple things life has to offer. And one of the best simple things that we often overlook is the Sunday drive. Something that was a staple of Americana, until the oil crisis forever changed Americans driving habits, and the car took on a much more utilitarian purpose and design. We stopped viewing our cars as something to be enjoyed, instead we now view them as a tool to be used. And Sundays went from a day of rest and enjoyment, to another day filled with social obligations, or opportunities to catch up on school work or even regular work. Much like my 10mm deep socket, we have lost the pleasures of the simple things. Sundays and driving.
On a Sunday drive you don’t have to worry about that book report, spreadsheet, annoying boss or coworkers. It simply becomes you and the road. Let the miles melt the stress of the week, let the fresh air refresh you, and just relax and unplug for 30 minutes. Find a back road and just drive it. Plan it out if you must, or just find that inner Calvin and Hobbes adventurer spirit and just start driving. Roll the window down, open the sunroof, take the T-tops off, or put the top down. Feel the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair, feel alive for once.
Put the phone on silent and ignore any incoming calls and texts. If it’s important they’ll leave a voicemail. Enjoy the view as it flys by at 45 MPH. Yeah, it slow but that’s kinda the point. You spend all week running, chasing the riches of the world, that promotion, that degree, or whatever. Slow down for 30 minutes and enjoy a drive, not a commute. Enjoy the sunlight instead of the glow of LEDs.
You don’t need a fancy or cool “Weekend car” to enjoy a Sunday drive. Get to know our daily all over again by just relaxing as your cruse alone without someone sitting in your blind spot. Turn off lane departure warning/keep assist, and all those other things that beep and buzz at you. Just make it you, the car, and the road ahead. Capture the experience of driving unassisted, track your line through the corners, put it in manual mode if you have an automatic and shift yourself. Have fun for once during a drive, instead of racing the time clock because you hit snooze one too many times.
Turn on the radio or fire up your favorite steeming service and sing along, jamout like it’s high school all over again. But no podcast about current events or politics. Grab that friend you’ve been meaning to hang out with, or that you keep forgetting to text back. Tell jokes, stories, sing, laugh or just enjoy some company.
A Sunday drive won’t solve problems, it won’t magically fix anything either. But it just might help you relax, or detox, if that’s the word kids are using nowadays. Just unplug and drive. So do yourself a favor today, Go for a Sunday drive.