Looking Forward and Looking Back
Are you looking forward to the long weekend coming up? I sure am!
I remember as a kid going to fireworks displays and being so amazed! We would pack up some snacks, head over to my grandparents’ house, and walk over to the park where we would have a spectacular vantage point for the brilliant display. I also remember learning why we celebrated this holiday that now marks the midsummer point. Of course, it’s the day that commemorates the day the United States became a sovereign nation and the day the Declaration of Independence was signed by our founding fathers.
We now celebrate our independence from our jobs by getting a day off! If the Fourth of July falls on a Friday or Monday, it’s easy to have a great three-day weekend and celebrate however we like to. However, when the holiday happens to be on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday—like it is this year—it becomes a bit of a challenge. Whether you run your own business or work for a large corporation, there’s a dilemma. Do you take an extra day off or work on the Monday or Friday that isn’t the holiday? I am taking the long weekend Saturday through Tuesday and so excited!
Many people will head to the mountains, beach, or woods, taking advantage of the low gas prices. If you are heading out of town, be careful…and courteous. Of course, more people on the roads means more traffic, which means longer transit times, greater chances of accidents, and of course dealing with crazy drivers. Don’t be one of them!
Life in the Fast Lane
- Drive defensively –– Always stay alert and watch for others trying to change lanes, especially when getting on or off the highways.
- Use your turn signal when you change lanes, and give the drivers around you plenty of time to see you. Changing lanes abruptly can easily lead to accidents or angry drivers. Don’t contribute to that! I know sometimes it can get frustrating if other drivers don’t use their signals, but power struggles are never appropriate on the road.
- Pass with care –– If you need to pass on a single-lane road, do it safely! Make sure you can see ahead of you, and never pass when the road has double yellow lines.
- Leave the honking to geese –– Of course, if somebody is ahead of you at a left turn and not paying attention when the light changes, it’s appropriate to honk gently, but give them a second. I’m sure you’ve found yourself in that position before!
- Use the left lanes with caution –– Always pass on the left, and watch your rearview mirror when driving in the “fast lane.”
- Allow space between you and the driver in front of you –– Tailgating really is a problem, but don’t add to it. I know, I know—sometimes when traveling on multi-lane highways, others will sneak into the space you’re trying to allow. It happens to me all the time.
- Pass on the left –– Use the left lanes for passing, and of course, for driving faster. Keep an eye on your mirrors, however, and if another vehicle gets too close behind you, move over and let them pass. Sometimes a little “highway leapfrog” happens, but just allow it.
- Be courteous – We’ve all been in a situation in which we’ve had to change lanes more suddenly than we would ordinarily. Isn’t it fantastic when other drivers give us the grace of letting us over? I know the opposite happens more often than we’d like, but the little mirror thank-you wave can make a huge difference! Try to maintain a positive attitude.
- Wear your seatbelt and keep your eyes on the road – This goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway!
No matter what your plans are for the coming weekend, take care of yourselves and be kind to others. Remember, the reason for this holiday is independence. Act like the proud American you are. Enjoy the fireworks, mountains, or just having some extra time at home.