Is your life on cruise control?

CruiseControl I looked down at the odometer, taking in the 1641.6 miles covered since leaving home.

I looked out the window of my Honda Fit, aka the Bean, and my eyes saw rolling, amber waves of grain on either side of me.

I looked in the rearview mirror and my eyes took in I-70, unfolding back towards Indiana, Missouri and Illinois for as far as the eye could see.

I smiled and turned up the volume. Passion Pit was blasting thru the Bean, thanks to a playlist my dear friend Ian made me.

I shrugged my shoulders up to my ears, then thrust them back towards my seat, sending my heart forward towards the windshield.

I breathed in deeply, settled back into my seat and smiled. My drive from Massachusetts to Boulder, Colorado was happening. Just 500 or so more miles to go. I was on my last day of driving and the 8 hours that lay ahead of me seemed easy-peezy.

Since I hopped onto I-70 just outside of Columbus, OH and haven't diverted off of it in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and now Kansas, I was thanking my lucky stars for cruise control.

Music is cranking. Amber waves of grain are flying through my peripheral vision. The sun is peeking through the driver's side, warming me.

I sneak a peek at my odometer again.

Holy potatoes!  It now reads 1753.8 miles.

Besides the fact that I'm in Kansas, where the scenery is well....monotonous, how on earth did that happen?!

How did over 110 miles fly by (not just because I was going a steady 80 mph) and I was none the wiser?

Cruise control. That's how it happened.

I hit that button on my steering wheel, saw the green light activated on my dashboard and checked out.

Luckily as I was still in Kansas, I didn't really miss much during those 110 or so miles.

Granted, cruise control is a new, fandangled feature for me on this car. (For perspective, my last car only had 2 doors, wind up windows, manual locks, no cruise control nor power steering. Yes, it was the 2000's and I was driving a car without power steering. But I digress.) So I use cruise control sparingly, mostly because it's not a habit.

That flash of 110+ miles flying by me. That part of my life I can't recall. Those minutes I'll never get back. It got me thinking,

Have you hit cruise control on your life?

How often are the minutes, hours, days and weeks flying by without you even noticing? Do you feel as if you're on auto pilot (ahem, cruise control)? Are you just going through the motions, settled into a routine?

It sure as hell is easy to engage cruise control on I-70. It's straight, with barely a turn of the steering wheel to be made. It's what cruise control was made for. It made the drive e a s y.

windturbinesBut it didn't make it fun and really, what did I gain by checking out completely? I could have played the license plate game. Or counted wind turbines. Or compared cheap gas prices from trucker stop to trucker stop.

And in life when I've got the cruise control on, I cook the same uninspiring food. I do the same workout and don't push myself. I wear the same 2 outfits all week (true story.) I smile less. I hug less. I use less exclamation points when I talk. My heart rate rarely goes up. I ignore strangers. I walk about in a daze with a semi-perma fake smile on my face.

When I've got the cruise control on, I don't set goals. I don't reach further. I don't sit up taller. I don't walk with my shoulders back. I don't sweat it out when I run. I don't have much patience.

What about you? What's life like when you've got cruise control on?

Two thumbs up for cruise control on any highway driving across country. But let's take the cruise control off of our life.

Who is with me?