For the last few weeks, I’ve been commuting to and from work. And, if there’s one thing I have learned during this time of transition, it’s this: commuting to work sucks. With that being said, please keep in mind that I have only had a 10 minute drive to work for most of my adult life. Because I’ve been spoiled for so many years, my new and unimproved 45-50 minute commute is freakin’ killing me – and I don’t even have to deal with traffic!
I had no idea how much I would hate commuting until I began to experience it firsthand. Now I have to leave an hour early, before the sun rises and before my kids are out of bed. And, now I know why that dude sitting in traffic next to me looks like he wants to kill someone or die trying. It’s because he probably does. Now that I’m living this lifestyle, I’m beginning to realize that the cost of commuting is just too high, at least for me. I don’t think I could do this for five, fifteen, or thirty years, like many people do. Here’s why:
Commuting is Expensive
Until I started my new job, I didn’t realize all of the hidden costs associated with a long commute. Of course, there are obvious financial costs that are somewhat under control by virtue of the fact that I drive a Toyota Prius. Still, I haven’t bought this much gas in years and feel like I’m filling my tank at least twice as often as I usually do. I can’t even imagine how much worse it would be if I drove a regular car, or worse, a gas guzzler. I’m also putting a ton of mileage and causing more general wear and tear.
Commuting is a Time Sink
In addition to being a waste of money, commuting is also a huge waste of time. My current drive causes me to give up nearly 1 1/2 to 2 hours every day. I can think of a million things I would rather be doing other than sitting on my butt counting down the minutes until my work day can begin. An hour and a half would be much better spent sleeping in, playing with the kids, or helping Holly do things around the house.
Commuting Robs Us of Family Time
As if all of the other negative aspects of commuting weren’t enough, my morning drive has wreaked havoc on our regular family routine. I never realized how much just driving to work could impact us emotionally. Ever since my oldest was born, I’ve helped her get ready in the morning. I have eaten breakfast with her, helped her get dressed, and taken her to daycare. Now I leave before anybody wakes up which is rather depressing. Plus, I get home after everybody has had dinner and get stuck eating by myself.
But, things are much worse for Holly. Because of my commute, Holly is stuck getting the kids ready for daycare by herself, bringing them to and from daycare, and making dinner and cleaning up by herself. She’s basically living the life of a single mom except for the hours of 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. when I’m finally home and can help.
I am so thankful that this situation is only temporary and that things will be back to normal starting Monday, November 4th. I can’t wait to help the girls get ready in the morning and take them to daycare on my way into the office. And, now that I know how much I hate commuting, we’re focusing our house search on neighborhoods that aren’t far from work.
Have you ever commuted to work? Did you like it? Hate it?