Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Help me to win a new Ford Territory for a year and $5000" - Drive...

A few weeks ago, my husband and I found ourselves to be late for a function in an area we were unfamiliar with.
Although tardiness was not new territory for us, being in an area that was foreign was. Not only were we running late, but he had taken a wrong turn setting us back even further.

Baby you can drive my car...

*Insert several thousand swear words, rude hand gestures and demand for divorce here*
There may or may not have been mention of strangulation.
There may or may not have been a threat made relating to the defecation on his toothbrush upon our return.
"Relax," he said to me.
"You worry too much. We'll get there."
GPS system to the rescue!

Or so we thought.
"Make a sharp right hand turn immediately." advised the robotic, yet strangely erotically charged female simulated voice.
Husband and I both looked at each other with furrowed brows at this point, and laughed until we had tears in our eyes.

To the right of us, was a heavily trafficked highway. Just beyond that was a lush green golf course abundant with trees.
Had we listened to that advice in our vulnerable state, and in fact made that sharp turn, it would have meant certain death.
What a waste of make-up and uncommonly shaved legs that would have been.
 A travesty of grand proportions.
True to my neurotic form, it got me contemplating life.
How do we as individuals navigate the direction our lives take? Do we trust our own instincts, or do we prefer to drive in the direction instructed by others?
How do we judge what advice to take on board, and how do we differentiate from the guidance that may turn out to be detrimental to our cause?
When we as individuals become lost in our journey in life, we sometimes search for our bearings externally. Perhaps in an effort to re commence going forth in what we would hope to be the right direction.
What factors drive us to heed the advice given by others, rather than listen to our own internal navigation system?
Lack of self confidence?
Blind trust in the party giving the advice?
Life is bloody hard work. At times we are faced with having to make difficult decisions.
Decisions that we may become fearful in facing alone. This is when we are at our most vulnerable, and taking the counsel offered  by others should be approached with extreme caution.
·         There are times when the person offering the advice may have ulterior motives.
·         There are times when the person offering the advice may not have had all the facts at hand to make an informative diagnosis on your situation.
·         There are times when the person offering you the advice may not actually have your best interest at heart.
·         Then there are times when the person offering the advice may just have no bloody idea what the hell they are talking about.
In how many instances have we made an error in judgement by heeding external advice from friends, colleagues, siblings, or parents?
On how many occasions would it have made more sense to simply trust our own instincts rather than blindly follow the advice given by those in which we trusted?
Hindsight is in fact 20/20 vision, after all.
On my way to work the other day, I was stopped at a red traffic light on a heavily congested street.

Mother Ducker
Car's were furiously driving on either side of the road, and from the corner of my eye I was privy to seeing a mother duck with her ducklings happily waddling out from the shrubs.
She was unwittingly steering her little ducklings straight into the direction of traffic, and they were blindly following her path.
At this point I started to panic.
Being heavily pregnant with my fourth child, and ultra sensitive,  I did not want to bear witness to a family being driven to pate.
I closed my eyes...probably not the best thing to do when driving.
Once I realised it was neither the time nor place to lack the sense of sight, I opened my eyes to observe the mother duck realise her misgivings. She promptly shook her tail feather and drove straight back into the shrubbery with her babies in tow.
I exhaled without even realising I was holding my breath.
Mother's in nature have such a tremendous responsibility in keeping their children safe.
How do we know that some other fuck duck, didn't tell her that if she went for a little walk up the garden path, there would be a beautiful pond waiting for her on the other side of it?
If Mother Duck hadn't listened to her instincts and realised the dangers of that advice, she would have led her vulnerable trusting ducklings to their demise.
What is the driving force behind your decision making process?
How do you navigate the direction your life takes? Do you trust your own instincts or prefer to drive in the direction instructed by others?
NB - In case you hadn't realised with my blatant over use of the word DRIVE, this is my entry toward the Kidspot/ Ford Territory challenge. A blog post themed around the word "drive". Hope they don't think it's shit.


  1. Need a new car already? Was the damage that bad? heh heh xx

  2. Great post! I have been struggling with this myslef at times. Finding and listening to my own voice seems to be my lifes work. I will say that I have a much easier time listening to my voice when it comes to my children, harder to listen to it when it is "just" me, but I'm getting much better. So great to read you! Thanks again!

  3. Definitely instinct! However at times I've kicked myself for not going by my own advice.

  4. Great post!

    In my household we run to both extremes of navigation.

    I prefer to tightly clasp all the reins of my life within my own hot little hand and find it very difficult to release 'control' to outside factions(read husband).

    My darling husband is pro-GPS. If someone else or something else can make his life easier so he doesn't have to think...AWESOME! N.B. He would have taken the 'sharp right' regardless of the consequences!

  5. Truth.
    We Mums do not trust ourselves enough.
    But we'll dutily take advice from some moron who has never even met our child?

  6. On most things I trust my instincts. I ask questions and occasionally look for input but I am far too stubborn and hard headed to listen to anyone but myself (much to the dismay of my husband).

  7. In our house I am always right and I make all the decisions....unfortunately so does Hubby! Makes for some interesting arguments. I'm a big fan of following my heart while Hubby leads with the head all the way. Another great post!

  8. I believe that learning to trust ourselves and our judgement in life is all part of the journey. I've found that even if I believe I had made the right decision, I will always second guess myself. I wonder whether we will ever reach a point where we are 100% confident in our inner voice?

  9. I'm continually amazed at how willing people are to abrogate responsibility for their life choices to someone else (yeah, me too!) - and then have the audacity to complain when it all turns to crap (yeah, me too!).

    And in the world of travel? Don't know how many times I've seen a damaged rig in a caravan park downunder here in OZ, and heard the sad tale - 'the GPS made me do it'!!!

  10. I'm fantastic at doling out advice, but terrible at taking it. From anyone. I'll listen, and then try to figure things out for myself. I find it almost impossible to follow a recipe even; there is always one tiny 'improvement' I think I can make.

  11. Romina, thank you for the great comments on my own site. I am such a big fan of your writing I always appreciate it. Of course I would guest post, I would be honnored. Whatever post you would want me to use would be great, thank you, you made my day!

  12. Great post, you certainly have a way of expressing what we are all thinking. I think deep down i know what i need to do, so i set out to build my case with people that share my view. If they don't share my view it gets filtered out or it serves as a way of cementing my view even more. Love your work.

  13. Thanks for all of the great comments everyone!
    They're awesome.
    The last comment made me think (Thankyou Anonymous).
    I believe I do the same thing. When I am searching for "advice", I tend to look for it in people that tend to share the same view as I do, in the hope that they tell me what I want to hear...
    I wonder how many of us actually do that unwittingly?

  14. I am slowly learning to trust my instincts and I can't believe it's taken me this long to even start trying.

  15. My husband complains bitterly and frequently that I "don't listen" to him. On the contrary, I listen, but don't always agree... so I suppose that means that I tend to do things my way, trust mostly in myself (especially when it concerns my children - must be some sort of weird mother's instinct thing) and follow my opinion more than that of others.

  16. I have always tried to follow my instincts. They rarely steer me wrong. But I did go through a time in my life when I gave others too much power. A long time. But it was a learning experience - sometimes it's the "misses" that teaches you about following your instincts.

    It'a amazing how much we rely on others to steer out lives. It's no wonder so many of us wake up one day thinking, "Whose life is this? How did I get here?!?!?"

    Great insightful post. Now following.

  17. Hmm.... now you've got me thinking. I haven't really given much thought to my decision making process, but I have to admit that I really don't give much weight to the advice of others. Guess I'm pig-headed that way.

  18. Always go with your gut instinct. But if you have bun #4 in that oven, you might get some false readings, as the little person inside may have an agenda of their own.

  19. Excellent read Romina. When making difficult decisions, yes, we are at our most vulnerable and should be cautious in counsel.

    "Lack of self confidence?
    Blind trust in the party giving the advice?

    For most, all of the above are factors in heeding external advice. Sad but true that we live in such a herd-mentality world.
    I rarely seek advice from others because, for one thing, I’m not a sheeple... not one to follow the herd since I have a ‘mind of my own:) VERY inspiring post. Now I have an idea of what I may be writing on in the near future : blind leaders of the blind.

  20. Let your heart be your compass, your mind your map, your soul your guide and you will never get lost, be respectable but be unique, stand up for yourself but remember to be kind, forget the insults as we all have been guilty of that at some point in our lives, but always remember the compliments, always remember If they talk to you about somebody...they will talk to somebody about you these are the people that offer their advice with ulterior motives and if their advice brings negative changes to your life , that is when you have to think hard at your decisions. These people are quick to point out the flaws in other people’s lives and are not willing to look at the flaws in their own, everything in life is a Choice, and every Choice comes with a Consequence! So when it all comes right back at you...remember...It was your choice! You have to believe in yourself, because when everybody around you is telling you negative things you’re going to have to be the one to pick yourself up and deal with the consequences. We sometimes tend to remove the people we fear the most, in that we know we can't compete with their strength and honesty, therefore surround ourselves with mirrored images of ourselves. Silence and a smile are two very powerful tools. A "SMILE" is the way to "SOLVE" many problems and "SILENCE" is the way to "AVOID" many problems.

  21. There comes a time when you have to follow your heart, Listen to others advice but always go with what's right for you and you alone. “Make sure that the decision you make is one that will not bring you regrets') The best way to screw up your life is to listen to others advice especially if you are in a vulnerable state of mind , these people usually are the ones that have more problems in their lives than you and you can rest assured they do have ulterior motives especially if their advice is negative and its on how to live your life. Good Luck!! I Hope you win love your posts.

  22. Aw, another insightful post. Thanks Romina for making us reflect. I must admit it was touche when I read how lack of confidence often causes one not to trust their own instinct/decision making.The fear of owning up to mistakes is probably a factor too. It's easier to blame others when things don't go correctly.

  23. Great post and yes, you have my vote.
    I have had many instances in my life where I have followed the advice of others and not my instinct and got burnt. It all comes down to inner strength and self esteem. Be confident in yourselves ladies (and gents) and trust your inner voice (as long as it's not a bit on the psychopath side!!). Learn from experience and follow your hearts. Our little people will inherit our strengths.

  24. Wow thanks everyone for your insightful comments. I've found that as I get older, and find myself with more responsibility I tend to listen to my instincts more so than when I was younger.
    Although, I am never 100% confident with my approach on anything. Sometimes I think that's the key. Keeps me on my toes, and never really allows me to be too comfortable or cocky in any situation. Tiring though. I hope I can reach a point in my life where I am completely happy with all of my decisions. Although, are any of us really?

  25. I am far to lazy to do either, i tend to drift along in a little lazy bubble.......

  26. LOL... how funny..We know better but we still second guess. I think that toothbrush threat is genius! You wouldn't even have to tell him you did it until you were in the throws of a big argument... But seriously, this whole thing is the fault of GPS, so you're both off the hook.

    Hope you don't mind, I nominated you for an award (see my blog).. but don't feel obligated to do anything about it. You're welcome. Keri

  27. I definitely drive my own race... er, drive. I've really enjoyed the many takes on the Ford post from all the bloggers in the comp. Very refreshing to know we are all so unique. Great job!! x

  28. I just wanted to let you know I've given you the Versatile Blogger Award! Check it out here:

  29. I think it becomes prudent in life at some point to get behind that driver's seat and take charge. Sometimes you may become lost, but finding your own way again is self growth if nothing else...
    At the end of the day, life is all about self growth isn't it?

  30. Fantastic post. I've been thinking about this topic myself a bit during the past few weeks. Not so much about how I make decisions on where to steer my life, though that is part of it, but more on how consciously these decisions are made.
    The times I have made a conscious decision - eg what to do after school, what jobs to go for, what town I want to move to next - it has been made almost wholly by myself (and my husband) with a bit of input and encouragement from friends and family. But looking back, not everything move that brought me to where I am was a conscious decision. There were lots of 'this seems like a good idea, ok then, let's do that'.
    It seems I'm not someone who maps out my life month-by-month or year-by-year but nor am I a happy-go-lucky, life will take me where it will person who makes no decisions. Don't know if this is a good or bad thing. But life has gone well pretty so far, so I guess that's the main point for me to remember!

  31. I married a cartographer so I have a husband with a built in GPS - so I leave a lot of the driving to him. Drive behind decisions though? Well right now I'm driven to drink - does that count?

  32. Thanks for the comment.
    The more I think about it, the more I realise I'm actually a little bit like you.
    One of my many motto's in life (I have a few) is:
    "You lose more by indecision, than by wrong decision" - Carmela Soprano.
    I can sometimes be the type of person who jumps in before I get cold feet. I've made many wrong decisions along the way, but as a whole - this approach has worked for me. Although I'll probably think alot more about any more "large purchases" made.

  33. ps - I totally had to google what a "cartographer" was! xx

  34. Fantastic post Romina. Absolutely brilliant. Go you!! Best wishes.
    PS I just posted my official entry today ...