Monday July 26, 2021 - Driving Peace

I tried an interesting experiment on my way back from Chama, New Mexico, yesterday. I locked in my cruise control at exactly the speed limit for almost the whole trip. I was the guy who drives me and, I’ll bet, drives you crazy sometimes. I did speed up when I passed someone on the interstate if someone was coming up fast behind me so as to not hold up the faster driver, but on the two-lane roads they had to pass me. You feel pretty vulnerable when other people are jockeying around you constantly. Some are not good at estimating time or giving you much space when they pull back in. I’m convinced that it’s not very safe to depend on other drivers to be careful and conscientious. Going with the flow or slightly ahead of it is usually safer since you have more control over your interactions. But what I’m really interested in is how driving slower makes me feel, and also what the psychology is that makes us feel the need to be aggressive toward each other. How does it make me feel? In a word, great! I’m more relaxed. I don’t worry about checking my speed or scanning for speed traps. I get much better gas mileage. The time I lose in the speed difference is honestly negligible on the other end, and many times I catch up to the people who passed me in towns. Leaving five minutes earlier is all it takes for all but longer trips. But the more intriguing question is why we feel the need to be so aggressive toward each other - especially on the road. I’ve felt that feeling of being a caged animal when I’m blocked in or stuck behind a slow driver, and I’m sure you have too. Western culture especially teaches us to be individuals who don’t need and don’t necessarily want interaction with other people. I don’t know if this is something we have learned or whether it’s something that’s innate in us. The strange part is that we have all felt that boost we got when we let someone else go first or actually went out of our way to be kind in some meaningful way. So why do we do the opposite so often? I don’t want to get back to my blog of a couple weeks ago where I asked if we are inherently good, but our driving behavior begs the same question. I encourage you to take a little extra time and make the effort to be kind to others in your driving or even walking and interacting with others. This life can be something full of joy and peace if we only try to make it so. 

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What have I been up to? 

Tuesday was a blast playing at Deann and Matt’s house for my online show about friends. Ricky Maxey was visiting and sat in on a few tunes, and everyone got a real kick out of it! Thanks again, Deann! 

My Wednesday private party was wonderful as well. I won’t go into details, but I hope it is something that I can do again. 

Thursday at the Yellow Pine was a packed house for the barbecue. Some of these nights in the old barn are so special. 

Friday playing at the Pueblo Riverwalk was great fun too. It started out hot and sunny, but the clouds came over and cooled us off. There were many people who came out who I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic, and it was great! The clouds brought some rain just as I was ending my show, and the cool-down was wonderful with no damage to my equipment from the rain. In fact everyone helped me pack up! 

Saturday I had a private party in Chama, New Mexico, that went really well. The folks were so kind and generous, and the next morning I got some great mountain photos that you can see on my Facebook page. I need to start posting some of those to my website too. 

My Sunday online show started a little slow as I was pretty groggy from a full week of playing. (How did everything get scheduled into just one week?!) But I bounced back, and it turned out to be a very enjoyable time with most of our regular group. 

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What am I up to this week? 

I have half a dozen senior facilities this week that should be fun. I’m still afraid that we may go back into some sort of lockdown with all the new Delta variant cases, but for now we don’t have more restrictions on these facilities. I’m always wearing a mask unless we’re outside and I’m at a significant distance. I’m out and about enough that I don’t want any risk of being an asymptomatic carrier. 

My Tuesday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be playing traveling songs. With summer travel going on this seems like a perfect theme. There are a lot of great traveling songs, and I’m really looking forward to this show. Please tune in if you can. 

Thursday 6:30-8 is the Yellow Pine Barbecue once again. I wrote above of how special these nights can be, and I’m look forward to this one as well. Again they have been able to let in a few extra folks each week even though they’re technically sold out for the summer, so if you’d like to come you should call by Tuesday morning to make reservations. 719-742-3528 

My Sunday online show 7-8:30 mountain time will be back to the favorites and the good folks who always contribute so much to these evenings. It’s always fun, and I’d love to have you join in if you can. 

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That’s it for this week. I really do encourage you to find a way to slow down your driving if, like me, you tend to be more aggressive than you’d like to be. Life is really what we make it, and putting extra angst into our lives just doesn’t make sense. 

Best always, 

Tom 

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Details this week: 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of traveling songs 
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Tuesday, July 27, 7-8:30 pm mountain time  

Who:  Tom Munch 
What:  playing & singing at the barbeque 
Where:  Yellow Pine Guest Ranch, Cuchara.  719-742-3528 
When:  Thursday, July 29, 6:30-8:00 pm 

Who:  Tom Munch  
What:  playing and singing an online concert of favorites  
Where:  facebook.com/tom.munch and tommunch.com/online-concerts   
When:  Sunday, August 1, 7-8:30 pm mountain time

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