My latest major accomplishment happened just yesterday. I had fought knots in my stomach for the previous month and felt nauseous for the two hours it took for it to be over. I’m going to apologize ahead of time for the pathetic answer to this question.

I renewed my driver’s license.

All by myself.

OK, wait. I wasn’t actually all by myself. I had four young children with me in a very crowded room with at least a hundred other people in a dirty little building.

I intentionally waited to go on a weekday during school hours thinking I could breeze through, get my picture taken, and be out in time to go do something fun with the kids for lunch.

Oh, no. There was no “breezing” happening.

First of all, to get to my nearest Department of Public Safety location, I have to drive half an hour over a highway that scares me to death. I’ve seen more accidents on that one highway than I have in all of my life. It used to be a 2-lane state highway, and as the city expanded, it became the main thoroughfare connecting multiple large suburbs. It’s now a 4-lane highway with no center divider, multiple stoplights, and traffic moving at 70 miles an hour (IF they’re bothering to stick to the 65mph speed limit).

I am not kidding when I say I’ve seen people try to make U-turns in the middle of this highway! I’ve seen small cars T-boned by pickup trucks flying down a hill, and I’ve seen big construction vehicles taking up multiple lanes as they use the entire light cycle to make a left turn. Scary, dangerous, nerve-wracking stuff. I hate this road.

Today it was unavoidable because I needed to get to the DPS quickly before the line backed up. So we took the harrowing highway. I should not have bothered trying to redeem a few extra minutes.

The building was jam-packed when we arrived and squeezed in through the door. According to the clerk behind the desk it had been that way all day and would be that way until 4:00. And it was like that every single day which isn’t much help since after 4pm, you have to battle rush-hour traffic. I picked the lesser of the evils and stuck it out for the hour and a half wait time.

I should mention I have a very large personal bubble. I don’t like people in my space. I don’t even like my own children to invade my personal space most of the time, much less complete strangers who smell of various deodorants and perfumes (among other things). One elderly gentleman left his seat and insisted I take it because it was on the end of a row where I’d have room to park the kids on the floor next to me. Bless him!

We sat and sat and sat. The kids squirmed. I was tempted to leave. But the thought of having to drive thirty minutes home then another thirty minutes there and back the next day… Yeah, that just used up the 90-minute wait time. So we waited. Once I’ve committed to something, I just want to get it over with. The thought of having to do it all again the next day made me feel even more queasy than I was already feeling.

So we sat there through our lunch hour. I tried to corral the kids, but they really didn’t need much of that. Why do they sit still in a place like that but run all over Costco like they own the place?! I was actually really proud of them. For the most part.

Bitty Girl got cranky in the last half an hour. She gets hungry, and when she’s hungry she gets mean. And after she gets mean, she pitches a fit. If she gets to that fit-pitching stage, I know a flood of uncontrollable tears is only a matter of time. So we had to avoid the fit-pitching as long as possible.

That said, if she wanted to pitch a fit, I was totally going to let her. If “they” were going to make it so difficult just to renew a driver’s license, they were going to have to endure some torment just like I did!

I still cannot believe that in a populated area of a several million people they don’t have adequate DPS/DMV locations! I even asked the clerk if there was a better time to come back, and she said the only time when the line starts to think out is after 4:00 in the afternoon. Not much help since after 4pm, you have to drive through rush-hour traffic to get there. I picked the lesser of the evils and stuck it out.

We ended up waiting a little over an hour. Every muscle in my body was tense, and my brain couldn’t focus on anything by the time I got to the counter. The clerk was at least upbeat and smiling when he asked for my license. I was so distracted and mentally exhausted at that point that I didn’t even think to have it out!

I laughed and told him, “I’ve been here so long, I don’t even remember why I’m here!” The license renewal itself was at least a breeze. Read a row of letters, take a hideous picture, sign my name, and voila! We were done.

He had me in and out within 5 minutes, and I marched my four progeny out the entrance door (with permission!) so we didn’t have to parade through a hundred people to get to the opposite side of the building.

Then we sat in the van and ate chocolate-covered dried fruit.

We needed it!

By way of decompressing, we went to a former favorite haunt, the local farm supply store. We used to visit on a regular basis back when we had a dog. They have the best prices on animal food. They also have great toys, bird seed, boots, and clothes, so we used to turn it into a bi-monthly family outing. We are easily entertained!

This trip was to procure food for our feathered friends. Dried meal worms (yummy!), a corn-and-peanut combo that actually sounded tasty at that point in our day, and a suet feeder to hopefully distract that cardinals that like to fling themselves at the windows every winter!

By the time we headed home, I think we were all hungry enough to eat those meal worms! My youngest kiddo had reached her limit and pitched her hunger fit in the store. Yay me. She chilled out once she realized we really were headed home to a bath and food.

Then I took a walk. By myself. Walked away the last of the tension and realized that, even though it’s not a big deal to most people, I felt like I’d tackled a major obstacle and survived.

What is your most recent accomplishment?


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