Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Beauty of the Commute

I live here: 
I work here: 
 
So, technically, I have to commute to work.  My commute basically looks like this:





I'm not really sure that I can even call it a commute.  It takes me 18 minutes to get from my driveway to the parking lot at work.   (However, now I have to drive an extra six blocks to Charlie's daycare first--usually this drop off takes about 5-7 minutes depending on the day--but I don't count it.)

Now that school is officially out, I find myself in this weird transitional phase.  It happens every year--I'm always so ready to have a break from work, and then the last day gets here and I can't function the next day.  I always have a mild bout of depression--not really being capable of expressing my weird feelings.  I love having my summers off, I love having tons of projects on the "to do" list (even though I'll never accomplish them), I love having a huge pile of chick lit books next to my bed, I love dreaming about long walks, runs, and bike rides (even though i know that most likely, I won't have time for those either).  I have great intentions of golfing, sipping margaritas, going on shopping trips, and lounging at the city pool.  The list goes on....but yet I always feel....weird and kind of sad when the summer officially begins.  I mean, where do I start!?  What is my schedule?  Augh!  I'm thinking that if I could at least have my morning and afternoon commute, I would handle this transition better.

Every day, as I hop in my mom-mobile and head out on highway 14, I feel myself settle into my day.  I sip on my wussy coffee (more like milk with a little splash of caffeine to get me going), listen to an audio book, and drive the open road.  Usually, it really is an open road.  My "stress" comes during planting and harvest season when giant farm equipment takes up both sides of the road and cruises along at 20 mph.  Even during those times, I find myself gazing at the changing fields, or bright leaves, or trying to catch a glimpse of those freaking adorable baby calves.

It's very strange that this highway feels like a part of me--as I'm sure many people can relate.  I have gotten to "know" the houses along the way--and have witnessed their owners' lives.  I've driven by their signs encouraging their athletes, I've seen the signs announcing the birth of their babies.  I've seen their flowers bloom, ditches mowed, trees planted, house additions built, puppies born, swingsets assembled, cars bought, houses painted, swingsets sold, 4-wheelers purchased, and seniors graduate.  I feel like I've gotten to glimpse into someone's lives, just by driving by twice a day. 

And, twice a day, my mind can just focus on driving--with no other distractions.  Just me and my thoughts-- I don't have to answer my phone, I don't have to pass back a sippy cup, I don't have to listen to ESPN radio, I just get to drive and spend time with myself.  And this, is basically, why I love that 36 minutes each day--and miss it when summer comes.

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