Think About It

A white cassette tape is on an orange background with the tape unravelling and a label of Jane's mix.

It’s January and the start of a new year. It’s a good time for new beginnings. It’s also a time when we typically take stock of where we are and what we want in the coming year. My song for this month is “Think” by Aretha Franklin and my ask is that you think about planning for your transportation future. I know it sounds boring, but think about it: at a certain age we all start thinking about financial planning and medical directives. We face the fact that we need to take control of our future and plan for the road ahead. While considering those plans, why aren’t we thinking about transportation?

I know I never used to, but I want to be prepared for the life I want to lead. The song says: “Think about what you’re doing to me,” which is often our reaction when a child or loved one starts to talk to us about our driving. But it isn’t about what they are trying to do to me, but what they are trying to for me – and all those around me.

We all are on our own journey, and the impacts of aging on our functional abilities affects each of us differently. If we live long enough, there’s a good chance our abilities will be impacted, and that includes our ability to drive safely. I for one want to take that bull by the horns and plan for how I will continue to be active and mobile in my community. I used to live in a metropolitan area with subways, trains, buses, and a myriad of transportation options at my doorstep. Since moving to a smaller town, many of these options are out there, but I needed to find them and figure out how to take advantage of them so that I can be prepared for my full future life.

Not sure where to start? Try the ChORUS transportation planning tool, which helped me and can help you, too. In a couple of minutes, I answered the 13 yes-no questions and it provided me with a to-do list to start my planning process – based on my responses and tailored just for me. Having this tool empowered me to explore what I need and make decisions to shape my future. ChORUS even has a link to a budgeting tool that helped me figure out costs so I can plan for that too! A future that I see filled with travel, adventures, time with family and friends and many more activities.

Aretha Franklin’s anthem asks us to “Think,” just as I am asking you. It also celebrates freedom. And with the right thinking, planning and good decisions we can have the freedom and independence we want while ensuring traffic safety for ourselves and those we share the roadways with. So get planning, be prepared, and have a happy and safe New Year!