My satnav is called Maud. We named her this because when we had her on 'English: RP', she gave me directions like an authoritative elderly aunt - we now have her on the more cheery Scottish setting. She has two ways of calculating the route: shortest and fastest, though the former would take you through buildings if it could, and the latter will take you to a motorway if at all possible. It would be lovely to have an 'optimal' setting which bridged the two, but never mind.
What annoys me most, however is that I listen to her. Never mind all the evidence I have that she's taken me down the wrong roads - for example, believing that I could zip down narrow Norfolk country lanes at 60 and thus directing me down them, or sending me on windy Cornish roads when better ones were available - I still seem to drive wherever she tells me to.
That's what happened this morning on the drive to Leicester - she kept me on the A5, with its lack of dual carriageways instead of the M42. I should have known better... It was no terrible loss, I made it to the school in time, but I did wonder why I was stupid enough to cave in to a piece of equipment with a simplistic picture of the roads. I knew the way I wanted to go, but should have left the satnav off until I got closer to Leicester.
Then again, of course, she has helped many times before as well; it's not all terrible. A few times I have had to rely on her guidance when completely lost, and she's pulled me through. Of course, it'd be great if GPS were a) psychic and b) clever, but I can't afford anything like that at the moment, and it's difficult to get a mapbook to stay where you want it to legally. So whilst often I want to defenestrate Maud violently when caught up in traffic or sailing past a junction without a word, I know that sometimes she comes up trumps.
It's that nagging sense of feeling that I knew the right thing to do but then deferred either through wanting to give a second chance to something that has no capacity to change or lack of self-confidence. It's that learned self-doubt that annoys me, especially given my experience with her in the past - or maybe it's wanting to have someone else to blame when things go wrong. Maybe that's the rub, and being able to focus frustration at other drivers or at my GPS is a defence mechanism in deferred responsibility. Of course, the moment I blame someone else I miss the lessons for myself and I don't get to change and grow.
So whilst I would quite like a new and decent satnav, and with Christmas approaching there may be a possibility, I think I should probably stick with Maud. Rather than kicking her out as the worst of a bad job, I can think more about my use of her, learn to trust my instincts and only switch her on closer to my destination. I, in fact, can find my way, just like I did before this year.
It's amazing how technology makes us lazy and dependant.