When I started this commuting thing, three+ years ago, I never really thought about how long I would be driving over the Big Hill. It has gotten old.
Now, I don't have the commute that some people do down in Southern California, where the road just washed out and now a 1 hour straight commute has become a 3 hour round-a-bout commute. Or when going 10 miles down the road takes 50 minutes. My commute is 35 miles, one way. It can take an hour to an hour and 45 minutes, depending on the day or the time of year. Yesterday it was 1 hour and 40 minutes. There was an accident. This morning it was 1 hour and 15 minutes...I missed the accident by 10 minutes.
On my computer at work, on my Kindle, on my cellphone I have the CHP traffic website and SIG alert bookmarked. I check them before I leave work. I check them before I leave home. I check them while on the road when traffic stops and we sit and sit and sit. (Not while the car is in motion, and, yes, I still know it is illegal here in CA.) More than once I have made different decisions about going straight home after work because of those websites.
When Papa Bear was in the hospital, I started driving myself, instead of taking the commuter bus, to work every day. Before that I was pretty much a regular bus rider. I'm very irregular since. I've needed the hour plus to myself each morning, preparing myself for the day and the hour plus on the way home to decompress. I've gotten good at crying and driving.
I've gotten used to sitting in traffic.
I know that the right lane, on the Big Hill, usually moves faster when we are in stop and go traffic and going down the hill.
I can tell the people who are "city folk" and don't know how to drive the windy road of the Big Hill. Here comes a curve...BRAAAAAKKKKKEEEE. It's straight ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM.
I know that those who weave through traffic are usually the cause of some of the traffic as those they cut off slam on their brakes.
I also know those who weave and race through traffic are usually just two or three cars ahead of me at the light in town.
I know that when I am in a hurry, I make stupid decisions in the car. I work really hard to not be a hurry.
I know that there are more people traveling to work in the Big City who have to travel the Big Hill, which means there are more people employed and that is a good thing. So I work on my patience and get up a little earlier or stay a little later and just go with the flow as best I can.
That doesn't mean that I don't get frustrated with those who won't move out of the left lane of traffic and let people who want to go faster pass them.
I know that the roads around work get super busy at 5pm and if I leave after 5pm, it's a guaranteed 20 minutes to go three blocks. If I leave around 4:30pm it's not so bad.
I've learned that no matter what direction I go after 5pm, it will take 20 minutes to get to the main freeway, no matter what.
I've also learned that in heavy traffic, people make up their own rules of the road...which pisses off this rules girl to no end!
After three years, the biggest thing I've learned in commuting is a huge appreciation for the Moms and Dads who commute everyday to their jobs. Those who have children at home waiting for dinner or who need to do homework or have soccer practice or gymnastics or swimming or whatever it may be. I get home and I don't usually have any responsibilities but to water the plants, feed the birds, eat dinner (and if Yo Momma is home she is most kind to have dinner ready) and get ready for the next day. I'm in awe of the Moms and Dads who commute over an hour to work every day. They are awesome.
That said, after three+ years the commute has gotten old. I would not be sad to not have to commute anymore for work. I would be very happy with a 10 minute commute again. Maybe one day it will happen.
Gotta go. It's time for bed...I have an hour plus commute in the morning.