How’s your commute?
After reading an old blog post I wrote–a little story about my commute one day after work and experiencing this past Tuesday’s commute (over two hours to get home), I feel inspired to write this post, especially since the amount of complaining I have been doing related to my commute has been aplenty.
Your commute also happens to be one of the first questions you get when you start a new job: “How’s your commute? Is it better than the old job?” It really is a way for the person asking the question to benchmark how great or awful to feel about their own commute. Usually, my minimum of one hour and 15 minutes trumps most colleagues’ commute.
Friends and colleagues generally feel for me. “Oh that sucks, you should move! You need to be closer to work!” And I get that. Hell, if I’m honest, I think about that. Quite a lot. There’s just something about being stuck in traffic–the sitting or standing for five minutes, then 10, then 30, an hour, and finally an hour and 40 minutes (yes, that happened Tuesday) that make me lose all cool and start huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf.
For those of you not familiar with NYC subway, it isn’t the most pleasant, especially not during the summer. The platform by which you wait for a train averages about 110 degrees Fahrenheit and when a sweaty arm glides across yours on a crowded train, arm-sanitizing three times over still doesn’t sound enough.
Yes, I complain about my commute. It seems like every single day without fail. If it’s a smooth commute, it wouldn’t be my commute. And I’ve been thinking about how foolish it is to just let my commute ruin my day, evening, or both.
It’s true that my current commute involves me generally taking a bus for 15 minutes, switching over to a train for a solid 35 minutes, transferring to another train for another 15 minutes, then walking a few minutes to my workplace. That also lets me know that I have a solid 35 minutes (more like 45+ minutes most of the time) to: get some shut-eye, scan some headlines/catch up on the news, read a book, start a podcast, or listen to music.
Little everyday annoyances are a constant. Me wasting time being upset is optional. Complaints come so easily, but gratitude can be a struggle when times get tough. It’s a choice to let each passing minute be wasted groaning and sighing as opposed to listening to an informative Ted Talk or reviewing a useful Lynda.com course.
Tough times sometimes are usually the moments I need to reflect and remind myself for all the things I am grateful for in life.
The three things that I’m grateful for about living where I do:
- I talk about how awfully jam-packed the area where I take the train is all the time, but I’m grateful to be in a hub where there’s tons of supermarkets, food courts with many delicious food vendors to select from at affordable prices, a shopping center filled with various stores like Uniqlo, Target, Macy’s, and Marshalls, and various bubble tea spots to choose from.
- I appreciate that my train that I am on for 35-45 minutes comes roughly every five minutes during rush hour.
- I love that I live in an area that has enough green scenery for me to take in and take a break from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, New York aka “The City”.
The three top things that I could be happy without having to deal with on my commute:
- We all know those seat hoggers–those who like to plop a bag or two next to them, or perhaps let their legs just take up more space than necessary. Why do these people think their items should get a seat over another human being? On a day I’d really like to sit, I’ll call them out on it. If I don’t, I still will call them out on it if I see another person wanting to sit because who do they think they are?
- What’s worse than standing in traffic is sitting next to intense head swayers. Head swayers are those who swing their heads as if they’re jamming to some music but in actuality, they’re falling asleep and trying hard to land on your shoulders but hey, you want to try to nap too…rude.
- Pole leaners. You texting, emailing, watching a movie or show, changing a song on Spotify, or whatever you are doing is not more important than anyone else’s safety on a moving train. Please do not lean on the pole and forget that the train is packed and people would appreciate having something to hold onto as well.
I started this blog post days ago, but am finishing this on a Sunday which is not a bad idea since tomorrow is the start of a new work week, which means more commuting. Let the commuting chronicles continue!
Until I change jobs or move elsewhere, I will remember the things I am grateful for and the various things I can do on my commute to make it as productive or fun as I possibly can.
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