Commute

The worst part about this economy has been being forced to apply for and contemplate accepting jobs with an unreasonable commute. Admittedly, I think that anything over a 20 minute drive is an unreasonable commute, whereas I know plenty of people who commute for an hour and a half and think that it’s just fine.

The amazing thing about this job has been how much my mood has shifted. I think to myself, "nobody can possibly feel this happy and this good all the time." I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. But so far, it hasn’t, and I think the fact that instead of getting into my car and driving 25-30 minutes, I leave my house, get on my bike or set out on foot, and I’m at work 5-15 minutes later, chock full of vitamin D and happy endorphins. I read an article yesterday at the gym that talked about exercise and mood, and it explained to me that the 30 minutes of exercise I get from walking to/from work are enough to provide a subtle mood boost for the rest of the week.

I read this article on Lifehacker this morning about all the terrible things that driving does to you, and inwardly, I gloated to myself about how awesome my life is, but I also groaned a little bit – because the day may come when we pack up and move out of the city. That day doesn’t have to come – there are a ton of families in our neighborhood, raising young kids – but I don’t see kids older than 10. Once kids are middle school aged, parents look at the public school system, pick up, and move out. We are talking a lot now about houses and whether we should buy one, and if we do, where? But the problem is, that will mean that we risk having terrible commutes one day – we will not have the freedom to pick up and move to wherever our jobs are, which is one of the nicest things about renting.

There was also an article awhile ago I read that said that couples that commute in the same direction are happier – it makes no sense, but husband and I commute in objectively similar directions and things have been good lately, so, so far, it’s working.

I do know that one of the answers to not having a terrible commute is to not move to areas with horrible traffic issues – moving back to my hometown is not an option for us, and a big part of that is poor traffic and a decreased quality of public transit. What have your solutions been to commute woes? Does anybody have a really long driving commute and figured out a way to make it better?

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