This morning I awoke a bit earlier than usual, rubbed my eyes, and moved slowly about my morning routine. My usual morning involves sleeping past my alarm clock wake-up call, hurrying out the door, grabbing food and coffee on the way. Today I was more intentional. I managed to drag myself out of bead early enough to make my own breakfast and catch the bus to work.
I work on the north end of Seattle, and my typical commute via car is about 20-25 minutes. Because of the location of my work I go opposite of traffic, so I can sail through the 11 miles watching the other direction back up. Today was different, though: today is Worldwide Carfree Day. Today I took the bus, but what benefits my car-commute time hampers my bus-commute time.
Change for the Better
My office is in an odd location for transit to run so I either take a three-transfer 1.5 hour ride, or a leave a bit later and take a single bus for 1 hour then walk half a mile. I chose the latter option. As I was still coming into the wakeful world from my restful state I said goodbye to my wife, kissed my son on the forehead, and set in to enjoy my long ride to work.
I not only got some time to myself, but I was able to read! I love reading, yet so rarely am able to find time to read for an extended period. After a nice leisurely trip, reading my book the whole way, I was finally dropped off a little under half a mile from my place of employment. As I walked I noticed with new eyes the people in their cars.
Bumper-to-bumper, each car with only one person, inching forward, accelerate, brake, accelerate, brake – these people look miserable! Here I am outside, sun shining, and (with the exception of the car noise and pollution) enjoying it far more than these people stuck in their tin cans. Moral of the story? Sometimes adding to your commute adds something else to your life. In my case it adds some self-reflection time, ability to slow down my pace a bit, and start the day off right.
I hope you took this day off from your car, but remember that you can do that any and every day you wish. Your car doesn’t own you, you own it. Break free from your mobile prison!