Sunday, May 30, 2021

Navigating progress

This morning I went out for brunch with some of the family, and I didn't use GPS to get there—progress, of a sort. I’m kind of familiar with the general area the cafe’s in (it’s on the other side of the city from where I live, but in the early stages of my planning my move to Hamilton I looked at houses there), however, I don’t truly know my way around Hamilton. So, I looked on Apple Maps to find out where the cafe is (it’s new), and from that I could work it out (it also told me how long the drive would be; travel time turned out be reasonably close to the prediction).

I find it much harder to form mental maps nowadays—it takes me longer and many trips along a route to lock it in. Nigel always drove wherever we went because I hated driving with him as a passenger. “It’s like driving with your dad,” I said to him: He was always going for the invisible accelerator or brake on the passenger side, that or breathing-in sharply. This from a guy who sometimes read his emails while driving. Which is why I didn’t accept he had any moral superiority over me in driving.

I think this had the effect of me not making mental maps as much as I may have if I’d done more of the driving. If I’m right, then it could be nothing more than practice for me to polish my rusty mental mapmaking skills—and this business of driving everywhere really is still new to me, so it could take awhile. That’s assuming my age-addled brain hasn’t abandoned the sector that used to make maps. We’ll see.

In any case, GPS has been my lifeline to help me get around a city I still don’t know very well, but today the cumulative effect of repeated trips meant I didn’t need it to get to a particular place. I still need the metaphorical GPS of the life I had with Nigel to help me find my way through the unfamiliar landscape of the life I have now, but even there I can occasionally wing it on my own.

Sometimes it just takes awhile to be able to get around without a GPS of one sort or another. Today, I did. It’s a start.

Republished from my personal Facebook.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

I happened across a blog post of mine from 2012. delivery guys went to Hudson Avenue nowhere near my house, and you can't get there from here.

I was with a friend in 2021, and we're on a straight path to my house, but the GPS suggests a turn that made no sense whatsoever.

I'm glad it's working for you.