For the past 12 months, I have been commuting to work on the bus and train because my company moved offices. What was a 5.7 mile bicycle commute is now an 18 mile bus and train ride. It has taken a lot of adjustment and requires significantly more time, but it has saved money over driving and my current job is my best work option right now. The commute has also helped me, maybe I could say forced me, to find ways to use my commute time to fill some gaps in my life. Gaps like education, spiritual renewal, physical improvement, and even social skills. So, maybe what started as a “hardship” really is a blessing. However, the story of what I do on my commute is for another time. Today, I want to keep to the commute and what it means to me.
First of all, let’s start with a bit more detail about my commute.
Commute from home to work
- 8:40 – Leave the house to catch first bus.
- 8:47 – Arrive at first bus stop.
- 8:51 – Get on first bus.
- 8:54 – Get off first bus and run to second bus stop.
- 8:56 – Get on second bus.
- 9:27 – Get off second bus and walk to FrontRunner (train) platform.
- 9:46 – Get on FrontRunner.
- 9:56 – Get off FrontRunner and walk to office.
- 10:02 – Arrive at desk.
Commute from work back home
- 3:55 – Leave desk and walk to FrontRunner platform.
- 4:00 – Arrive at FrontRunner platform.
- 4:06 – Board FrontRunner.
- 4:17 – Get off FrontRunner, walk to bus stop, and get on first bus.
- 5:04 – Get off first bus and walk, or run if needed, to second bus stop.
- 5:10 – Get on second bus.
- 5:13 – Get off second bus and and walk home.
- 5:21 – Arrive at home.
What this means
In total, my commute is close to ninety minutes each way. Of course, this assumes that I do not miss any of my connections. With some of the short gaps between legs, traffic issues, weather, and other random things, it is common to miss a bus or train. This is the big stress for me. Even though I have a fairly flexible work schedule, I am very punctual and missing buses and trains is always a stress on me. On the bright side, I handle stress better these days than I did a few years ago. My body can’t handle as much stress a it use to, but I am far better now at diffusing stress.
So, maybe the point I wanted to get to is that life is full of events. Some seem more ideal than others, for example, when my commute to work was only a ten minute walk. I loved this. Now my commute is the longest I have ever had, and I don’t love it. But was the great commute really that great? What did I do with all the extra time I saved from commuting. Yes, the short commute gave me the option of doing a lot of things, but did I use it for anything worthwhile? And is the bad commute really that bad? I now must commit a lot of time to the commute that I cannot avoid, but I find I am using that time in valuable ways. So I need to be careful about labeling things, because with labeling, I think it is natural to have a bias or attitude, an attitude that could be very wrong. For me, instead of labeling things or events as good or bad, I benefit more by thinking there is good in most things and I need to find that good. By doing so, I will be a better person and far happier.