The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. I have never run this one by my Episcopal wife but would value her views. I mean the whole thing smacks of the obvious. Why not say “God is a rip off artist” and be done with it?

I can only describe it as profound disappointment, my recent experience with driving. Yes, this is a tiresome and prevailing theme of my blog. But really, just when I seemed to be on a neuromuscular roll, dammed if the deistic powers that be didn’t, you know, taketh away.

Being very big into anxiety management these days, meeting the challenge of post-posttraumatic echoes of youthful misadventure, I prepared for Sunday morning’s drive exquisitely. I started my van, went through some de-stressing exercises and first thing you knew, off I was, driving through the Mission District on the one morning of the week that is virtually guaranteed to be almost traffic-free. No one can claim that this was the most exciting experience. Down 22nd St., up 23rd St., down Harrison Street and up Folsom Street. and so on.

Pointless and certainly goalless on the surface, but actually one gets a sense of what the Mission has to offer. Which includes small streets with beautiful Victorian houses, remnants of decades of Hispanic culture and, of course, the new. Housing, offices, the whole area is changing. Fortunately, the traffic lights aren’t changing, at least not very much, and not on the route I have chosen. Nor are there many hills, the avoidance of which is no small achievement in this burg.

The whole idea was just to drive and drive and drive until something like calm settled over my sternum. And I describe the absence of pain in this anatomical sense, because that’s my recent training. Feel the pain, know its location – or know the joy, sensing its location too. This particular form of body awareness not coming naturally to me, it must be said. I do spend a lot of the time in my head. Which probably isn’t the best place to manage fear.

Anyway, dammed if I wasn’t back in front of my house, parked, quite content on Sunday morning. And ready to repeat – reinforce – the whole experience on Monday morning. No better way to get over driving phobia then to go driving, right?

I go for a morning limp on my terrace, gripping the handrail and staggering up and down its length. And on this particular Monday morning my foot was bothering me, hurting in the place where it has hurt in the past. Problem is, I’ve got this power-through-pain attitude, so that’s what I tried to do, getting in the car and setting off. Big mistake. My aching foot was dramatically undermining my confidence. I kept fearing it would spasm…or just not support braking. With this massive loss of confidence, I tried to park further up the street. I lost nerve there too and eventually coasted downhill, got myself turned around and parked in an easy spot.

What’s the take away? That for an anxious person, tomorrow may be another day. I am speaking of Tuesday. The foot may not hurt so much. Or not hurt at all. Honestly, it’s that simple. Stay tuned to this infrequent blog to see how this unfolds.

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