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Please don't make me drive

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

A plea from the road-weary

I am so tired of being in the car. Between commuting and pickups and drop offs and errands and all that, I feel like I spend way too much time in the car. On particularly crazy days, I sometimes spend more hours in my car than in my bed sleeping. Not good.

Tired Woman DrivingI used to be one of those typical car-loving (energy-consuming) Americans. I used to love to go out for a leisurely, scenic drives. I'd explore small towns and locally owned businesses. Now when the kids or a friend suggest an excursion that would mean me driving, I think, "Do I have to?"

It's not just the price of gas or a generally rising awareness of environmental impact, it's that I'm tired of being in the car. Plain and simple.

Some driving is necessary

In some senses, I drive quite a bit. I commute a fair distance (but only a couple times a week), for example. But in others I don't - after all, I only commute a couple of times a week. While there are pickups and dropoffs around town and family outings, the kids aren't on any travel sports teams and it's been years since I have taken one of those leisurely scenic drives.

Some driving can't be avoided, and that driving I accept even if I don't like it. I have to commute and I have to go to the grocery store. Alfs has to get picked up from choir and Woody from soccer. Sunshine typically is along for the ride.

It's the general driving that gets to me, I think, the non-urgent stuff. I already am in the habit of grouping errands and planning routes to minimize time and gas use. If an errand isn't convenient to a trip and isn't urgent, I've put it off until I had more to do in that area. That planning like that uses less gas is a bonus.

So what changed?

I really have no idea what changed, or even when. It's built up slowly over time. My car is fine and dependable, not new but not old, relatively neat (though not pristine clean). I have good music and radio stations at my fingertips.

Maybe it's just Mommy chauffeur burn out? After all, I'm almost never in my car alone, and certainly never have time to do some exploring along scenic roads. Maybe the cure for my feeling of driving drudgery is an afternoon driving alone, taking in the scenery, finding new places to drive through. That, and lower gas prices.

Until that happens, though, please don't ask me to drive anywhere. I just don't feel like it.

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