While out one night with friends a few weeks ago, I accidently told them about one of my less sterling driving episodes. What prompted me to true confessions was their teasing me about my driving. Being competitive in some ways, I merely wanted them to know that my Iowan left turn they had just observed was nothing compared to my adventure of driving backwards. I prefaced the anecdote with my boast of “I’m really a very good driver. I’ve never hit anything moving.”
I then proceeded to tell them about my last accident fifteen years ago. It was Mother’s Day and I had a lunch date with a tall, dark and handsome son. On my way to Arlington, I heard a terrible noise coming from what I thought was a tire. Being a safe and caution driver, I exited off the freeway and pulled into an empty parking lot to check things out. Everything seemed fine so I got back into my car and looked at the clock. Late for my date. I put the car in reverse to turn around and gave it some gas. Hum. I didn't get very far. Had I hit the brake instead of the gas pedal? I floored the gas pedal a second time. Again I didn’t get very far and my head and neck were starting to take a beating from the head rest. What was the problem? I rechecked the rear view mirror and saw nothing to stop me. Getting a headache and becoming frustrated, I decided to give it my all to the gas pedal. Third time had to be a charm, right? My car rose to the occasion. Literally. When the car stopped, its rear was up in the air. Getting out I realized that my car was resting on top of a brightly orange painted cement post.
Now my friends who claim they keep me around for entertainment purposes only thought that this was a really funny story. So did everyone else I told when it originally happened. Did I feel pretty stupid? Yep. But in my defense, the post hadn’t been high enough for me to see through my rear view mirror.
What does this have to do with my second class for “Successful Retirement Planning” that I attended yesterday? While I sat there, I caught myself thinking that if I could only have twenty more classes and thirty more years, I’d be in pretty good shape for retirement. But would I? Would I have made that many changes in my life, made less mistakes, done things differently? All good questions that most of us ask ourselves more than once during the course of our lives, but that’s looking backwards. I don’t know about you but I don’t drive well backwards. Nor have I gotten very far.