Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The More Slowly You Drive...

Did you know: the more slowly you drive, the farther you can go?

Essolene visible gas pump - Forest, VAImage by The Brucer via Flickr

We're often told this because the discussion is focused on the upper range of the speed limit. More gas is burned at higher speeds because resistance from wind increases dramatically and your car's engine must work harder to overcome it. However, there's a drop in efficiency when we drive too slowly, as well... 'cept we're rarely guilty of putting down the street at 2mph, you know? So, let's just focus on high speeds.

The trade off is time. Will you drive faster to get there more quickly because your time is valuable. In fact, for most, time is more valuable that what's in the tank.

What happens when we apply this principle to love?

I've believed for years that the longer we take to get to know each other, the farther we can go. I'm a fan of holding back on physical intimacy so that I can concentrate on really getting to know a woman. Am I good at doing so? Not really... except in those cases where distance has forced it upon me. The greatest relationships in my life have all had this in common--we got to know each other at a slow pace. When I jump in the sack, then I get too focused on the fun that's found in the sack.

Do you want to be happy in an instance or happy for the distance?

A few years ago, I started being in less of a hurry. When on the road, I began opting for the back roads, the one-light towns, a more intimate ride with nature instead of those behemoth machines that stop for nothing--not deer, not fuel, not unfortunate coupe--and accepted that the journey and the destination both have importance. I decided to be in the "here" instead of the "there."

My tank's been pretty empty lately because I'm a fuel snob. I only want to stop at those stations where I get the the full-service treatment: windows, oil, and high octane fuel. Unfortunately, they are few and far between... which means that I have to slow down a little bit if I want to make the distance between them. I have to plan out my route more than the next guy, which really might not be such a bad thing. I know I'll still get distracted by those new-fangled "Kum & Go" stations with their bright colors, flapping banners, and aisles of yummy good, but no-good-for-you snacks at those times when I'm tired or so empty that I have to drink from their tanks. However, I'm always better off if I can avoid them.

Unfortunately, the full-service stations aren't bound to return any time soon. We really must cherish their value. So, I'm gonna make sure that when I find one, I stop to fill up even if I only need a few gallons of fuel. Why? Because it's important to remember what really matters... taking care of your engine so that you can go the distance.