First Person: 11 Atlanta Road Rules

road rageBy Annie Kinnett Nichols

I have a confession to make: I was an Atlanta traffic complainer. Maybe it’s in my genes, since my grandmother always complained about traffic, too. Then, a couple of years ago,  my yoga  teacher, Jaya Devi, said: “Try to take the energy you create here and take it into your behavior in traffic.” What? No cussing? No flipping the bird?

I decided to take my teacher’s advice and  it has not only changed who I am in traffic, but also in life. I am not always perfect, but I get better and kinder each day.  I’ve picked up some crucial driving strategies that I thought I’d share with you. And like Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap says, “These go to eleven.” Don’t stop reading even if you think #1 is ridiculous.

Driving in the ATL
1. Your mission is to create joy
2. ATL will always have construction – get over it
3. Take the back roads whenever possible – we have mind-blowingly beautiful roads here
4. Do not take the back roads when there’s severe weather – falling trees are dangerous
5. You’re in perfect time with the universe – it’s all good, get a mantra, use it
6. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
7. Stay present and aware
8. I-75/I-85 are your friends and don’t have stop lights
9. Watch for pedestrians, bikes, cars – in that order
10. Strive for the full stop
11. Calm your crazy ass down

Cut these rules out and put them on your sun visor to look at in traffic, turn up your tunes (preferably Album 88) and enjoy the ride.

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