I consider myself a defensive driver.
When I was 16 years old I was so freaked out by the realization that I would be responsible for the safety and lives of others that I quit driving after my driver's ed class and gave myself a few more years to "grow up". When I was 19 years old I was finally mentally ready to face the responsibility of driving and spent $300 on personal driving lessons to prepare me for the realities of the road. I made sure I had all the right tools necessary to be as safe as possible.
One of the lessons I learned was and is to check my rear view mirror. It gives me perspective to decide if a car is too close behind me so I can adjust my course. I use this tool, like you do I am sure, to make sure I have plenty of room to stop without being rear-ended. I wish life were like this.
Sometimes I have a second to stop and look in my life's rear mirror. I had just that chance last week. My 4 year old stayed with grandpa for a few days and was a good 3 hours away. Our house was quiet and there was a lot less conflict; and a lot less life.
I look in my mirror and see my children growing up. There will be a day (very soon) that I will look and they will not be within my view anymore. My life will be quieter and I will be too far away to see their day-to-day lives.
As parent, I am given rear-view mirror moments when I can see the future approaching.
I have to be purposeful to live in this moment and enjoy today. I need to be careful:
"Objects are Closer than they Appear".