I work a good distance away from my house. It generally takes me between two-to-three hours to get to work every day with traffic. People ask me how I am able to do this and the answer is I have a job, I would drive anywhere for a job. However, I'll be honest, it is hard and exhausting. Many things happen and many thoughts go through your head during and after a big commute. The following occurs during my daily travels:
- The First hour you are fine. When you travel two-to-three hours to work, the first hour feels like five minutes. In that hour, you are singing, enjoying the quiet. You're awake. Then the second hour hits, and you become angry, filled with road rage. You start thinking of inventions that will keep your eyelids from closing.
- Weather: Your drive can be going absolutely perfect, and then it begins to drizzle. Not even pouring rain, just a slight drizzle and suddenly it is as if all of New York City and Long Island forgot how to drive. You're perfect, faster-than-usual commute has turned into three hours plus. Because, when it is drizzling, people act as if they are about to get hit with knives and slow down.
- Radio: In the beginning of your commute, you are enjoying the radio singing along freely. Then you reach the second and third hour of your commute and have heard Justin Beiber on the radio 13 times. Then it is at this time, that silence is better.
- Accidents: Sitting in traffic daily turns you into a terrible person. You find yourself approaching an accident and your first thought is no longer, “oh my god those poor people,” it now is, “Are you kidding me?!?! I am never getting home.”
- Bladder Problems: You have it down to a perfect science when you should consume anything while driving. You know exactly when to start drinking your coffee so you don’t have to go to the bathroom before you get to work. Then there are those days your scientific plan does not work and you have to pee. However, you find yourself stuck in bumper to bumper traffic so the only logical next thing is to sing to yourself, “Please don’t pee your pants, you are better than this, “to distract yourself from the issue at hand until you get to work. Of course, you find parking blocks away from your job and then you find yourself running like your Usain Bolt into the building.
- Phone: You will call anyone in your phone book just to have someone to talk to. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t spoken to them since the third-grade science fair if they are willing to keep you from falling asleep and killing yourself or others they are your new best friend.
- Mileage: You refuse to look at the mileage on your car. If someone asks you to tell them how many miles you have, you give them the look of death and tell them to worry about their own life.
- After work activities: When people ask you to hang out after work, it is literally thought of as a project. The thought is sickening. No, I do not want to. The thought of driving anywhere other than my apartment is considered my own personal hell. I have been driving for three hours, my limbs are contorted, and my joints feel like I am 95 with arthritis I don’t want to come over and see your new puppy. I want to go home, put Bengay on ligaments, and drink sangria and go to bed to do it all over again.
- Never add up the amount of hours you drive: I made this mistake, I drive as many hours a day as I work. So to make myself feel better I now include that as part of my work day. No, I don’t work 7.5 hours a day, I now work 13 hours a day, OK? No don’t question it, and tell me it is not true. You should try doing it, it is not fun. There was one time where my friend flew to Florida and back before I was able to reach work. Don’t think about time limits, save yourself the agony.
- Finally, the most obvious is road rage: You start off as this nice quiet individual until you drive six hours a day. Now you do not let anyone get in front of you, you beep, you yell vulgar statements, and you consider violent ways of getting the cars to move out of your way. It is just human nature, it happens.
Moral of the story: OK, you drive a lot, your life sucks, believe me I know. But you have a job; a lot of people do not. Use that as your intrinsic motivation to keep going, I sure as heck am!