Monday, January 16, 2012

Commuting

I work about 20 miles from my home.  The kids' schools are about 7-8 miles each way.  In any other place but New Jersey or Southern California this drive would probably take 45 minutes.  Some nights, if I work late, and don't have to pick the kids up, it can actually be done in the time Google Maps says.  But most times when I am driving it, it's between 60 and 75 minutes.

Varying the drive helps.  Several of the alternate routes add 10 miles or so, but the traffic flows a bit more nicely and the time still ends up being the same. I thend to prefer the longer distances and fewer tail lights in front of me.  The stress of having to get from one place to another by a given time is plenty without having to worry about if you are going to have some idiot on his cell phone not notice that you have stopped and plow into the back of you.

Every now and then I take the PATCO train into town just to shake things up.  It's not the most convenient thing to do, since I have to drive about 30 minutes to the train station and then the train takes another 30, but it's an interesting change on days when I don't have to pick the kids up.  The views are a bit more stimulating than the back of the Honda Pilot or Chevy Tahoe that I would otherwise be looking at on Route 70 in Cherry Hill.

No matter how I do it, I still spend about 20 full days a year in the car on the way to or from work.  That's an awful lot of time spent listening to NPR, Audible books, with the occasional top 40, country or sports talk station mixed in.  You'd think that for all that time spent doing something that I would have more to show for it than just returning to the same place as I started the day.


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