Everyone and everything is getting on my nerves. The house, kids, and husband are demanding all my time and energy. My skin is crawling with irritation, my shoulders tense. I quickly throw together a cooler of sandwiches and water bottles and head out the door. Calling over my shoulder, “I’ll be back when it gets dark!” I climb into my car, the interior hot from sitting in the sun, adding to my irritation. Backing out the driveway I roll down my window and head towards the garden.
I pass the neighbors houses and the cars of people heading home from work. My brain running through a list of chores, appointments, bills, and groceries. I pass the bridge and start to think about my family. How annoyed I am by the kids and the constant calls for “Mom!” How much my husband has been working and avoiding helping around the house. There always seems to be so much to do and so little time to do it.
Heading out on the highway I can feel my shoulders loosen up. I lean back and listen to the hum of the engine. As the houses fade so does much of my irritation. Looking out at the green fields blowing in the breeze, the cows lazily munching, I think how lucky I am that my kids like me enough to want my attention. I’m able to appreciate my husbands ability to provide for us. The warm air coming in the window blows the frustration away from me and I find myself almost missing my kids arguing in the back seat.
I turn off the highway and won’t pass another car until my return trip. Lists, housework, and bills all become more manageable with the gravel now crunching under my tires. The dry dusty smell is welcome and so is the layer that starts to cover my dash, some weird calming blanket of dust.
Turning down the long farm road, that is little more than two tire tracks on the prairie, I become at ease. There is a striped gopher crossing the road in front of me and I slow down and take in the sights. Hills dipping and rising against a blue sky. Cow trails cutting through the long pale prairie grass heading towards the dam. Bugs buzzing and grouse getting up as my car rolls by. No matter what I get done today, or don’t get done, this drive has accomplished something that nothing else can. It has put perspective back into my life.