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Shifting Gears

Driving Day 1

I drive a standard transmission automobile.  In fact, I bought Delano because I wanted, I even asked the showroom salesman, to test drive only a stick-shift SUV.  Originally, my motivation stemmed from keeping my new teen driver from taking Mom’s car for a spin, but I also prefer the way a standard handles and I adore being in control of the vehicle.  People often express surprise when they see that my vehicle is not a one-foot wonder.  Commuting with two feet on the pedals has become second nature and over time, the shifting patterns and driving techniques developed instinctively.

My first day in the cab of the big rig mixed up my entire way of thinking when I began double clutching.  One, do not always press the accelerator when letting off the clutch; two, press the accelerator in the middle of downshifting (who knew!); and three, double clutch.  Everything I thought I knew about driving a standard transmission changes when behind the wheel of a tractor trailer guiding eighteen wheels down narrow county roads.  Hmm, this is a whole new way to shift gears, but the idea of rewiring my brain is exactly what challenges me and I will make it instinctive, too.

Dining Night 1

After my first day on the road, I decide to take myself out to dinner to celebrate my first step in experiencing life behind the wheel of my new mode of transportation.  Dining alone, while not new to me, will also become a part of the trucking way of life, so knowing I am comfortable with at least on small facet of this dramatic change of lifestyle provides me with one mental hash mark.  I know people who despise the prospect of eating out by themselves, but as a party of one, I learned years go how to change my way of thinking and enjoy a public meal with my own company.  Like learning how to double clutch, reprogramming myself to be successful in my career equals in importance to revamping my mindset to be content and comfortable in my surroundings.  I’ve got this.

I unknowingly select an establishment that offers free wifi, so the laptop I carry inside with me to keep me entertained while I dine serves a double purpose.  I write and post one of my rare same-day posts: Baseball Season and I marvel at the option to be prolific and eat pizza.  Since arriving at my training, my first opportunity to tap into my creative side forces me to shift gears from working to relaxing, from analyzing to creating, from watching the road ahead, to recalling the sights I have passed along the way.  I know my right brain and my left brain are capable of both.  I know my approach to my new experiences can adapt from the office I have known to the road I will travel.  And today my feet learned they can still single shift and tackle the art of the double clutch.

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About Pam Portland

For a decade and a half I worked behind a series of desks, peeking out from around my computer monitor. Seeing the United States in bits and pieces wasn't enough to satisfy me, so I am grabbing my virtual pen and taking flight. Welcome along!

2 responses to “Shifting Gears

  1. Sue VW ⋅

    I just heard about your new career and your blog. Sorry I wasn’t in the office to say good bye, but I’m very excited for you and would love to follow your adventures. The best of luck to you in this new chapter of your life. YOU GO GIRL!

  2. Pingback: Babies and Big Rigs | Over The Road

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