I’m not a commuter. Not anymore – thank goodness. But my wife is. Everyday she spends few hours to go to work and another few to go home. If we do a short calculation, multiplying the hours she spent everyday on the road and the number of days she’s been doing that – almost fifteen years, we can fairly say – as my friend put it – she’s getting old on the road.
Curiously, I really did the calculation and came up with an amazingly annoying result. So far, the number of hours she spent on the road - only for going back and forth to work – equals to more than two years. If one spent those amount of time to practice classical guitar, for example, he or she would be a world class classical guitar player. Another way to see it is this: if my wife’s hourly working rate is only a dollar, she has lost about twenty thousand dollars on the road. And the number keeps on growing everyday.
What about people who spent twenty or thirty or more of years of their life commuting?
We have to thank the traffic for wasting years of people’s life. Try to experience the road at the beginning or at the end of office’s hours and you’ll understand. Sure, we can easily blame the government for their incapability of limiting the number of vehicles on the street or providing better infrastructure to cater the wheels. (At least that what happens in my country). But the far better question is this: Since there’s nothing we can do to fix the traffic condition, what are we going to do to make the wasted years useful?
I used to fill the blanks of my commuting moments by sleeping. Some people chat, some other read newspaper. We all have our ways. I personally don’t like sight seeing. Well, actually I do; but after months of the same view, even the most beautiful scenery can be tad boring.
My wife recently learned knitting. You know, grandma’s stuff. It’s better than daydreaming. The result so far, after about two weeks, are two – and a half – wool scarfs, one for my older daughter and one for my mother in law, the other half is going to be for my younger daughter. Future projects: cardigans, sweaters, vests, and her own online knitting store.
I’ve also found a great way to fill my wasted years: start my own success university by listening to self help audiobooks on MP3 format and enlightening myself with wise words from the gurus. (I’m the type of person who can’t read a book on the road without having a headache and a feeling of throwing up).
So to wrap this story up, here’s a quote from a book titled “Fish” (more or less, I don’t really remember): “You can’t always change the situations around you, but you can choose how to feel about them.” Translation: we can explode, be very angry, swear, banging our head to the wall, because of the extremely annoying traffic that we have to deal with everyday. But we can also accept the situation, calm ourselves, and use the time to do something useful.
Care for a knitted scarf?