The question no one ever asks us, is this…
‘Karl, when’s the best time for ME to quit driving?’
We know literally tons of things about motoring. No one ever asks this. Why?
The reasons are many and complex.
Some are emotional and some are irrational.
If you suggest packing up driving, this is what you’ll get back.
“I’m not packing up!”
“I need my independence”
“I’d never be able to get anywhere”
“So and so depends on me for a lift”
“I need to shop”
“I couldn’t possibly, I don’t want to be a nuisance to anyone”
“We’ve always had a car”
“I can’t see any reason to stop”
“What would I do without a car if there was an emergency?”
I do however get asked this question
‘Karl, can you tell me how do I get my Dad (or Mum) to pack up driving?’
I never have to ask ‘Why?’, it’s always because they worry about parents coming to harm. They think of all the ‘motoring type things’ that could be tough for them.
We spend 20 years worrying about kids and as soon as they’re no longer kids, if we’re lucky we spend the next 20 years worrying about our parents as well.
96 years old
A few years ago Ray, a then time star salesman who has long since retired, asked me to pick him up. He was delivering a new car to a customer who was 96 years old.
I sat outside the old boys flat for well over an hour waiting.
Eventually Ray came out.
‘All signed up, are we good to go?’
Ray explained the long handover. The customer had wanted to know all about the extended warranty and then bought an extra 3 years! This hero was 96 years old and was betting on at least another 3 years driving. You have to love this… His kids were probably worried sick, in their 70′s, but he wasn’t.
So is there a right or wrong?
I can remember saying to my Mum when she was in her late 70′s.
‘Get rid of the car. Open an account with a local cab firm, be chauffeured anywhere you want, in style. With your mileage now it’ll cost less than a car, petrol, tax and insurance. If the family are not around – Go by cab!’
She never opened the account.
Out of the blue one day, Mum rang and said ‘Karl come and get the car, I’ve decided I’m not driving anymore.’
Mum used the community car, she walked for miles, she rode the bus, the train and she had army of slightly younger friends, who loved to run her around.
She never missed anything because she didn’t have a lift. She was a very high mileage granny, but she packed up driving.
Now here’s the advice.
Mum said ‘Freedom is always about having a choice, if you’re choosing, you’re free’.
If someone tells you,’you can’t drive anymore’ – if your choice is taken away – you’re not free anymore.
So when it comes to driving it’s very simple. If you want to feel good and be free, CHOOSE to pack up driving when you’re ready and do it before someone else tells you, you have to.
I’ve never heard better advice on the subject, if you’ve got some, I’d love to hear it. Plenty of people want to know.
Good advice Mum, thank you.