If you’ve been on the road for any significant amount of time, you’ve likely had those moments of conflicting thoughts about doing something else. Maybe a few rough weeks piled up and they had you feeling discouraged about spending so much time on the road, or maybe it just doesn’t feel new anymore, and a change of pace flirts with your thoughts. So, you start pondering what it might be like to spend a little more time at home and take on a different line of work. I’ve often wondered what else I might do if I couldn’t drive a truck anymore, and what kind of adjustments in my life it would take for me to hang up my traveling shoes and transition to a more “normal” lifestyle. Those thoughts don’t last long for me – I know I’m doing what I was born to do. But I do remember my dad giving up the road for a short time. He got a factory job for about a whole month, and then the road called him back into the truck. Mom teased him that he could still make decent money and be home every night if he kept the factory job, but dad said, “Yeah, but then I wouldn’t have any fun!” This poem is about those little “what-ifs” that may cross your mind from time to time, when the glamour of the road seems to have run its course. But then reality kicks in and you realize it’s in your blood. For some people, like me, trying to give up trucking would be a pointless exercise and a waste of time!
By Trevor Hardwick
What if I stopped doin’ what I do,
What if I changed all my current plans?
What if I suddenly made up my mind,
That a wheel won’t be in my hand?
What if I thought about shuttin’ down,
What if I’d rather not be on the go?
What if I never listened anymore,
To the call of the open road?
What if I got another job in town,
What if I took another nine-to-five?
What if you never had to wonder when,
That 18-wheeler will arrive?
What about the kids trying to adjust,
What if they change because I’m around?
What if I can’t fall asleep at night,
Without that runnin’ reefer sound?
What if I never bump another dock,
What if I never tarp another load?
What if I never sling another chain,
On a snowy Rocky Mountain road?
What if I told you it had crossed my mind,
What would you say if I hung it up?
What would be the point of all the years,
I spent in a semi truck?
What if I quit and then miss the road,
What if I can’t settle down for long?
What if I hear a Caterpillar purr,
And it sounds like my favorite song?
What if I’m at home for the holidays,
What a blessing that would be, right?
But what if all I see on the Christmas tree,
Were multi-colored chicken lights?
What if you were asking me a simple thing,
Instead of saying “sure” I just said “10-4”?
What would you really truly think of me,
Would you send me packin’ for the door?
What if I said I’m having second thoughts,
And my first second-thoughts are gone?
What if I told you that I better stay,
‘Cause the road is where I belong?
What if I stopped and what if I quit,
What if I hung it up and that was it?
What if I miss diesel fumes and jammin’ gears?
Maybe I should give it, just a few more years!