For The Children Weekly Column

Life Lessons from a 1995 F-150 Pickup

December 6, 2021


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “For the Children” Weekly Column

Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117


Over the weekend, I drove down to Arlington to watch some college football with friends from my days at Oklahoma State.  While the game did not end the way I had hoped, it was still a great time and a very enjoyable day of seeing longtime friends at a tailgate party.

To plan for the event, I decided to drive my 1995 F-150 to haul all the necessary items for the get-together.  I bought this used truck in 1998 from Johnson’s of Kingfisher with about 25,000 miles on it.  Currently, the truck has logged about 313,000 miles all across the state and to different parts of the country through the years.  It has been through a couple of wrecks and multiple repairs, but it keeps going strong.

With time to think following the heartbreaking loss for the Cowboys, I realized there are a lot of life lessons that I have learned from this old truck.  I want to share a few of those musings with you as we look to closing out 2021 and the beginning of a new year.

I noticed at one point during heavy traffic that I was gripping the steering wheel more tightly than I should, to the point of nearly “white-knuckling” the steering wheel.  I immediately thought back to the lessons of my driver’s education class taught by Barry Foster in Rush Springs to relax and not panic as that would lead more likely to an accident. 

We need more moments when we all take that deep breath and remember not to panic, especially when it comes to life’s stressful situations.  Over the holidays, we especially see increased issues with tension and associated problems.  Thanks to the Oklahoma Legislature, counseling services are more readily available for people to have a virtual session with a professional to discuss problems.

In the congestion of the “stop and go” traffic flow, I nearly ran up on a vehicle in front of me when things came to an immediate stop.  I was very thankful to have working brakes at that point, or the resulting fender-bender would have slowed everyone else behind me even more. 

Slowing down when life tells you to do so is a must.  We need to know when to say there is too much going on, leading to more stress.  When I add too much to my already busy life, far too often the other parts suffer without that commitment to those things that should come first.  I have had to learn to say “no” to things that would draw undue attention from the vital aspects of work and life.

Finally, having a vehicle with so many miles means that necessary repairs and regular maintenance are vital to keep the truck running.  Just like any machine, our bodies need regular upkeep.  Please consult your doctor for regular check-ups and pay attention when things do not feel right.  With a pandemic going on, I know we all are tired of getting swabs jammed into our noses, but things like this keep us and those loved ones around us safe.

Just like my old truck, I will try to take better care of myself in 2022.  Please try to do the same with yourself, get regular oil changes for your vehicle, and do those things for your well-being that will help you make it through another year!