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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Having A Long Commute Is Kind Of Nice, Actually

I drive eighty-two miles each weekday. Forty-one miles up. Forty-one miles back. I have coworkers who find that insane, and I have coworkers who make a scoffing sound and then tell me about their hundred-plus mile commute. I guess it's all a matter of what you can tolerate, or have to tolerate.

It's a "have to" in my case, unfortunately. I live in a rather rural area beyond the western suburbs of a big city (I like to call it "Pennsyltucky") and I love where I live. My neighborhood and town and school district are pretty great. The only downside is the pay scale. When I was last scoping out the job market, I began my interviews as close to home as I could get. We have a moderately-sized city just up the road, and lots of industry around us, and my skill set can work in a large variety of corporate environments. I thought it'd be a cake walk finding something close to home.

I found it, all right--at $15-$20k less a year in salary than I'd had in my previous jobs. If I wanted those salary levels, I had to move into the suburbs closer to the big city. So I settled on a good company with outstanding benefits that was forty-five easy cruising minutes down a major highway that's relatively uncongested out my direction, and eight years later, I'm still making that commute.five days a week.

The truth is, I don't mind it much.

Maybe it's because I'm an introvert at heart, but that 90 minutes or so of peace every day is nice. It's like a big old comfy sweater I slip into in the morning after the hectic rush to get the kids out the door. I can decompress and listen to music, or talk to myself about my problems (I'm BIG on talking to myself), or brainstorm my way through writing a section of a book or some dialogue I'm having trouble with. And then on the way home, I can decompress after a long day. I'm very lucky because traffic is generally moving and the scenery out my way is spectacular.

And guys, I'm from New Mexico. Driving an hour or so to get anywhere is just not a big deal. The only downside is the gas and the wear-and-tear on my vehicle, really. Other than that, it's pretty much chill time. I'm in the zone.

What about you? How's your commute? Do you think it adds or takes something away from your life?

1 comment:

  1. I've been commuting between 38-43 miles for 14 years. It's my "normal". Time is how we describe commuting in our area, so my commute is between 38 minutes to an hour and a half, traffic depending.