Ode to the Navigator

If you happened to swing by my “About” page you’ll notice that one of the things I mentioned is the fact that I’m horrible with directions. Terry is constantly amazed how lost I can get just a a few exits from our house.

My sister and brother-in-law had been living in their house for three years and I still needed to use a navigator in order to visit them up until this past winter.

When she found out that I was plugging in her address every time I came over to run with her, she couldn’t believe it. Don’t get me wrong, she knew I had bad direction sense, but I don’t think she even realized how truly awful it was.

Although I’m speaking lightly of it, I have to tell you, I absolutely HATE the fact that I get turned around so much. It’s not for lack of trying! I think I know where I am, or that I have a pretty good idea, and then things just get jumbled up in my head and I start to doubt myself.

Or, I’ll see something that looks familiar, but I could have sworn it was in a completely different place. So, I’ll get flustered, turn around, or pull over and start to question everything I’m seeing.

There are tricks I use to help compensate for my deficiency. I memorize pathways between point A and point B. So, yes, I can find myself from my house to my grocery store or to the gas station. One of the problems, though, is that I don’t know how to connect the individual points to all the others unless I go the specific routes that I know.

For example, I can make it from my house to work. Or, I can make it from my house to the grocery store. However, it took me AGES to figure out how to make it from my work to the grocery store without first having to drive by my house.

As you can imagine, this has had a really negative impact on me. There was one time I could not for the life of me find where my salon was for a hair appointment. He was a relatively new stylist for me and I’d only gone to get my hair done with him two other times.

Actually, in my mind I remember thinking, “Hey, I’ve been there two times, I’m sure I know the way…”

Ha! Famous last words. Halfway there, things started looking unfamiliar and I was afraid I might have taken a wrong turn somewhere. I shit you not, FORTY-FIVE minutes later (along with a frantic, desperate phone call to Terry) and I finally arrived at the salon.

The stylist was very gracious about it, but I felt absolutely wretched. Needless to say, I left him a very big tip that day to make up for my extreme tardiness.

This inability to find my way out of a paper bag has also made it so that I have hesitated to accept invitations to go out or meet up with people, especially if I’d never been there before or can’t find a ride with a friend. It’s pretty pathetic when a lack of direction sense actually starts impeding my ability to go out and do things.

All of that changed when I bought my first smart phone four years ago and discovered the invention of Google Navigator. It’s so easy to use! I don’t even have to know where I’m located, the GPS can pick up where I am and start directions to wherever I want to go.

I love it!

It’s especially helpful that Google has integrated their map system with most of their searches. So, if I look up an Italian restaurant in the North End on google search, the address is usually right there as a link directly to their maps. I don’t have to try and memorize it and hope that I type it in correctly in my navigator. It does all the work for me!

I know it may sound silly, but this has made such a HUGE difference in my life. I love that I can say yes to invitations unreservedly and feel confident that I’ll actually be able to find the place to meet up.

Not only that, but I’ve recently gotten a new car that has a touch screen and bluetooth. So, not only can I get driving directions, but it will announce it through my car without me having to look down or fiddle with my phone!

Isn’t technology grand?

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