Every morning, I wake up at the same time, kiss my wife, feed the cat, shower, pack my lunch and get in the car to go to work. On a normal day, my commute consists of 30 minutes on an average interstate. I don’t live in LA, Chicago, or NYC, so heavy traffic for me is a walk in the park compared to those of you in busy cities.
Having gone from a 5-minute “commute” to a 30-minute “actual commute” within the past year, I’ll admit it initially annoyed the fuck out of me. Everyday, I deal with at least three assholes who need to learn how to drive, not to mention the fact that the Midwest has only two seasons: winter and road construction. It required that I wake up earlier, get home later, all for a pay raise that most likely doesn’t do much more than cover the extra gas I burn getting to and from work.
All that being said, about six months ago, something clicked in my thick skull and I decided I needed to just stop bitching and enjoy the drive. I had a particularly unpleasant day at work, dealing with fellow employees who I suspect have a medical condition known as “shit for brains.” Five minutes after I left the office, my wife called to tell me we needed to make a surprise road trip that evening to visit her parents, who live an hour away.
The following revelation changed the course of my daily life: my 30-minute commute meant that I was GUARANTEED a whole hour to myself each day. No boss, no moron coworkers, no wife. Just a man and his thoughts. Other commuters who can’t drive? Fuck ‘em. I’m in no hurry. Phone ringing? Whoops, didn’t hear it. I can listen to rage metal if I feel exceptionally pissed off, listen to talk radio if I decide to have a clue about what’s going on in the world, and I can listen to some Mozart if I wanna be all classy and shit.
I cannot stress this enough. Embrace your commute. Cherish that time to yourself, because when you get to work, we all know what sort of bullshit will start flying at you the second you set foot in the door. When you get home, your parents will demand that you “earn your keep” since you’re living at home. Your roommates will demand that you do your dishes. Your significant other will demand that you do the dishes. Your landlord will have made a mess fixing the stove, leaving you to either walk around in filth or clean up the colossal mess he made. Someday your kids will be clamoring for toys or attention or food or some other nonsense.
Something is bound to happen, but that time behind the wheel – that’s your time.