May 1, 2008

Big Sigh of Relief!


A few days ago, I removed my California 'driver's license' from the little clear pocket in my wallet in order to see something better. That is when I discovered that I had not been carrying around a California Driver's License at all. The card in my wallet was a Senior Citizen Identification Card. That means that I have been driving with an expired license for years. Oh My God!

In the days that have elapsed since this discovery, every possible worst-case scenario of what it would be like to live in the Los Angeles suburbs without a driver's license crossed my mind.

One of the first things I did to rectify the problem was to call someone I knew who worked at the D.M.V. The next morning, this kind fellow looked up my driver's license number, then called me to tell me; "Yes in deed, you are driving around with an expired license!" "But", he continued, "this happens all the time, and you can still get your license renewed. All you need to do is to go into the D.M.V office, take a vision test, have your picture taken, and take the written exam. And then, he volunteered to drop by the newest California Driver Handbook and an application.

I studied for this exam as I have not studied in years, and alternated between states of anxiety and relative calm when I remembered that this, too, was an opportunity for growth. Nevertheless, I could not help but consider what might happen if I failed the vision test, the written exam, or they found some other reason which would preclude me from driving.

This morning, I told my husband that I needed him to drive me to the D.M.V., and that I would appreciate it if he would speak only encouraging words to me as I prepared. During the short ride over to the nearby office, I shared with him some of my worst fears. I also asked him to say the mantra for me ... not thinking that this would fix anything humanly, but I knew that it would help me to have the spiritual support to accept what ever might happen in any case.

Certainly I know, that this little problem can not compare to the large issues many face every day in this unstable and volatile world. But I was unsettled. Nevertheless, it helped me to be able to connect with the part of me that remembered that I was still capable, that I still had the ability to learn, and that even if I was denied a license, I would learn to cope and even find beauty in whatever might come.

So with this bit of inner calm, I walked into the office, stood in the long line, and when it was my turn, simply and concisely explained my dilemma to the woman waiting behind the counter. She looked up, nodded and proceeded to tell me what to do next.

An hour and a half later, after I passed the vision test, had my picture and thumb print taken, got a perfect score on the written exam, I was issued my new Interim Driver License.

And, not once, (even when I overheard a conversation between a couple of other applicants) did I worry or think about the unflattering photo that would be imprinted on my new license. So maybe I have grown a bit. I am simply feeling very grateful right now. :-)

Posted by Judi at May 1, 2008 4:59 PM | TrackBack
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