Making my peace with traffic

3 years ago

One of the many reasons we moved was to shorten our commute time. So, although I find myself driving less miles, I find that I am in the car for the same amount of time as I used to be (or sometimes for longer). Every morning and evening, I sit in traffic and look at the other cars around me: I see angry, frustrated drivers who are endangering everyone around them by not using turn signals when merging; I see sleepy drivers who are yawning and drinking Starbucks; I see a lot of people talking on their phones.

But not me. I am taking back my traffic time.

There was a study that came out a while ago about adults having trouble with the stress associated with social transitioning (from home to the office; from office to home). The study mentioned that women in particular were prone to this stress. So, traffic has become my wind up or wind down time.

In morning traffic, I have just dropped off my son to school, so I use that time to transition to work and think about the projects that I want to get accomplished that day. In the evenings, I use the time to let go of the projects I haven't finished and think about my husband and son. Since I've started doing this, I feel like I am more present in my life and more focused on what I need to be focused on.

Background image by Shawn Campbell

And when I am stuck alone in traffic on the weekends, I have taken that time back for myself. I use the voice recording feature on my phone to tell myself a story that I could use in a future podcast that I can transcribe later. Or I listen to podcasts. Sometimes I think I'll use my time to start listening to audiobooks (sort of a 100 audio book challenge), but I'm not there yet.

And if my son is with me, well, then we turn the car into a musical classroom. And we dance and sing and have much more fun than the angry drivers around us.

The point of all this is that I don't mind traffic anymore. But, I still think everyone should use their blinkers.

What do you do during your morning/evening commute? Tell me at Sorry, Mom. I didn't listen.

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