Thursday, November 5, 2009

Commute Does Not Compute

I do it every day, just as millions of others do. I commute. I drive 30 minutes to work, and 45 minutes home  - every day. Most days I enjoy it. I use the time in the morning to think about the day in front of me as I hum along to my favourite songs. The traffic is usually pretty light at 6:40 am with the exception of the steady stream of transport trucks heading for the U.S. border.

The drive home for some reason is not usually quite as delightful. The traffic is heavier and it seems that every night there has been a rush hour accident to jam the highway. When that happens I just take some deep breaths and tune to my favourite satellite radio station  -- the Coffeehouse or the Bridge (nice acoustic rock sounds) and settle in for the ride.

Tonight the drive home was especially harrowing. The roads were wet but it wasn't raining. The sun was setting low in the sky when I drove up the ramp into a stream of red taillights. The stream flowed along at geriatiric speed -- bumper to bumper  --- alternating with sporatic break aways and sudden stand stills. My nerves were frayed ... at least twice I avoided being rear ended by swerving onto the shoulder. It's not easy to drive safely when your eyes are locked on the rear view mirror trying not to be hit by tailgaters.

Commuting is a way of life for many, and most have it much worse than me -  some have no job at all. But sometimes I think that the hour and a half I spend trying not to die on the highway could be better spent. At times the commute simply does not compute.

I try to appreciate the blessings that  are bestowed upon me -- a great job working for a noble cause, just a city away. So tomorrow when I get in my car, I will tune to my favourite channel and sing all the way to work, and marvel at the  majesty of the sight of the sun rising just behind the steel plant. And I will do it with gratitude in my heart.


  1. Lyn,
    As you know from my posts on the horrors of commuting, I can totally empathize. I have it a bit easier (in my opinion) because I take a commuter bus. So, I can read, write my Christmas cards out, read a book, download TV shows onto my ipod, watch movies, learn French from podcasts, etc. However, the bus is cramped and hot and sometimes it just takes toooooo long. This week was extra horrible because the street lights were broke. On Tues, Weds, and Thurs I left at 6:30am and got to work at 8:30pm and left work at 5:00pm and got home at 7:20pm. AHHH!! But, on the bright side, I am almost finished the new Dan Brown book...
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend and two commute-free days!

  2. I can relate to this. When I was staying in my home town and commuting to college/work it was about a 30-45 minute trip both ways. Not fun, especially not on days when traffic was heavy.

    I can't tell you how thankful I am now that I've moved about ten minutes away from campus. It's such a blessing.

    I do miss having a nice front yard though. Ah,well. Everything has it's price, I guess.

  3. What a shame you can't 'Let our train take the strain' as a British Rail slogan once succinctly put it! I used to love the time-out, to-ing and fro-ing by rail every day - until it got to one of those winter nights when trains got cancelled, and I had to wait on a windy platform for one to deign to come! Maybe your car commute does have something going for it, after all...


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