Nomadic on Speed

Early on a bleak Sunday morning I was clocked by Cambridge Constabulary speeding through the streets of Madingley.  My heart sank as the flash of the speed camera told me I had potentially another three points on my licence.

But when I tore open the letter from said police force I was delighted to see that instead of a fine and a punishing endorsement,  I was offered the chance to be re-educated.   I swiftly booked myself onto the Speeding Awareness course. It meant giving up four hours on a Friday evening – but it has taken me on a deeper journey altogether.  A slower journey.

Most people that know me, will tell you that I operate at 100mph (I hasten to add it was only 35mph through Madingley).  My brain likes to skip between portrait painting, conflict transformation, being a good wife, an innovative parent, a blogger, not to mention holding down a full-time all-absorbing job.  I whizz through airports, speed read novels, and want people and technology to “work quicker”.  I have lunged through Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan (and very often France).  One week I want to write a novel, the next run for election, and the next embark on property development in Bulgaria.  My life, it could be said, is a confusing rush of energy.

Asking me to sit down with 19 other “offenders” for four hours to contemplate my need for speed was therapy in more ways than one.  I realise now that I was lucky to have been caught by a speed camera and not by a 13 year old pedestrian distracted by a text message.  But I wonder whether I have caused other fatal collisions in my swiftness throughout life.  I have told myself I am dynamic and driven (pardon the pun) – but perhaps I am simply superficial and impatient.  Fact is – my love of life makes me see that there is simply too much that interests and excites me and in an attempt to “do it all” – I may well be living without due care and attention.

So.  I am slowing down to (just) within the legal limits.  Those who know me may not notice an external change for as usual I will wear a mask of calm – but know that inside I am more measured, more reflective and less agitated.

One in twelve people will reoffend after taking the course – but this compares with one in four who don’t take part.  If you get clocked speeding I thoroughly recommend taking part (if you are offered the chance).  It might not change the way you live – but it might change the way you drive.

12 responses to “Nomadic on Speed

  1. I got here from one of your BC broadcasts.

    I often move through life the way you describe. So my goal, brought on from having three kids, is to BE PRESENT and stop fast forwarding through life. It’s not easy to do and I’m not always successful, but I try. And what’s happened is that I’m more aware when I’m doing it, so I’m able to stop. Otherwise, I’m going to miss my kids growing up and then what?

    So yes, we all have to slow down……BUT…..on the road, forget it. I say, “Get the F out of my way!”

  2. Oh, and excellent post. Very well written!

    Come visit us sometime.

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  5. I’d rather ride my bike for an hour than drive for half an hour and slow down my life.

  6. Sister, First, I appreciate your writing style and I’m glad that you are using this incident to spread awareness among your fellow bloggers.
    Best Wishes.

  7. Sister, I just read your tweet about Pak/Eng cricket match.

    I’m glad that you’ve interest in cricket.
    We won the last match with Abdur Razak’s sixer and there it is ! Series is leveled. Best Wishes!

  8. Awesome post, I do wonder though how they make this decision who takes the test, cuz and who gets a fine with points.

    • I think it depends where you live. I know Thames Valley and Cambridge Police run thecourses. Not sure of others. And maybe if you are clocked doing 100, you’ll just lose your licence. The 19 people with me were all moderate offenders (with ten mph of the limit)

  9. I liked the post, and life seems to me very fast.

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