May 2, 2012

What I've learned from traffic

Ah, traffic. This is something I could literally spend hours talking about. (I mean, discussing it should be equivalent to the time I spend in it, no?)

I have a love/hate relationship with my daily commute. (I may have even mentioned that a time or two). It's easy to get frustrated at the futility of moving two feet forward, but it's just as easy to be excited about it.

On my way home the other day I was thinking about what traffic in the Northern Virginia/D.C. metro area has taught me, and I was surprised at the life lessons I came across.

There's always another way. You can always find a different road to get you where you need to be.

The scenic route can be better. Frustrating because it's not as direct yes, but oh so rewarding, because it helps you find beauty in unexpected places.

Sometimes things are just crappy. Traffic stinks for no good reason, things don't go your way, but life still goes on.

Being alone with your thoughts is underrated. When your cell phone dies, and traffic is at a standstill, it can be surprisingly thought-provoking. Some of my best ideas have come from my time in the car.

Laughter really is the best medicine. I mean really, driver who zoomed around me? You moved exactly ten feet - I hope you revel in it, because I'm laughing at your foolish antics - and thank you for teaching me to laugh instead of being angry.

It's the simple pleasures in life that really matter. A cool breeze, a good song, and maybe a drink from Starbucks can boost my mood even in the most crappy of days. The end.

Have you ever stopped to think about lessons you've learned from a daily routine? Do you have a long/bad commute to work? Do you find that time frustrating or rewarding?


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Ha, these are all great lessons. On my crappy work commutes, I learned that I could actually learn quite a bit of French, thanks to "Drive Time French".

I no longer have a commute and I know I am so lucky to be able to say that. My commute is a 15 minute walk or 5 minutes bike ride now. It's made a huge difference on my quality of life!!

Suburban Sweetheart said...

I love your posts as of late, Becky. I know you said you've been trying to push yourself outside your writing comfort zone, & it's working!

Today "Breakfast at Tiffany's" came on while I was in the car, & it brightened my whole day. Even though I got to where I was going before it ended, I stayed in the car to hear it out.

Amber said...

Omg I have like a 5-10 minute commute MAX and I hate it!!!! Haha. I could not handle a long commute, I HATE driving. I would love to be able to walk to work and I actually think I might start doing it a few times a week this summer. And I am going to get back into biking to work at the end of this month during bike to work week.

I get a lot of thinking done while on long road trips though, like driving to see friends etc. so I can totally see why you have some of your best thoughts on the road :)

Michelle said...

Very insightful ;) Once I started commuting through Clifton I started noticing all the pluses -- I get to see pretty trees, drive on winding roads (fast or slow, this is fun either way!), and cut about 45 mins off of any other commute I've ever had. I also get 30-60 minutes of music time in, which is awesome since I don't ever have time to listen to music at home anymore!

Lindsey said...

I bus to work, and for the first few months it was miserable. I hated everything about it. Then the port authority removed some of the bus routes and our bus got insanely busy. It got to the point that I had to stand, both ways, every single day. I honestly considered paying the extra to drive, just to sit for that 45 minutes! Recently, they started giving us a bigger bus though, and I've been getting a seat both ways almost everyday, and now I don't mind riding it at all. I really think it was necessary for it to get worse, so I wouldn't hate it so much once it got better again!

Nora said...

I don't really mind the drive to work; gives me a chance to ramp up for the day and then relax after it's over, leaving work stuff at the office. Plus I love getting my updates on the news and rocking out to 80s music (that seems to be all they play on the non-morning talk show stations, which annoy me to death!). Definitely with you on the folks who zoom around though, to get a whopping 10 feet ahead. Makes NO sense. Happy Friday! <3

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