Lost Among Europeans

Time and transport

The first five months of this year were very hard for me. I worked too much, worried too much, and ended up getting sick. I decided to take measures to stop this.

Of course, measures, like new year’s resolutions (which I never make), tend to be too abstract: stress less, have more time, enjoy more. Yes, of course, but saying it does nothing. One thing that has been helping, though, is that I’ve been very tired. Not really able to drive myself to exhaustion right now. But little by little, I’m getting my energy back.

The best thing I’ve done so far is to change my commute. For over a month, I’ve been taking either the company shuttle, or the public bus, to work. For both, my stop in Seattle is a 15 min. walk from home, and my stop in Redmond is a 15 min. walk from my building. Door to door, then, it’s 50 to 80 minutes, compared to 25 to 135 minutes when driving. I don’t understand how a small city like Seattle can have such traffic jams.

That’s why I used to drive: choosing my departure times carefully , it was much quicker than taking the bus. But driving makes it too easy to become engulfed in work. Arriving home at a late time, after having had no exercise for the whole day, only to get some dinner, and continue to work. Hell. Now, taking the bus, I walk for an hour every day, and that helps me relax. I’m using the time in the bus to read or nap. I’ve finally started catching up with my pile of unread books, after months of neglect. It’s funny that this tiny difference in my commute is having a big impact on my whole week. I should have known, though: walking is my preferred way to think. It probably has something to do with feeding my brain new images. Perhaps.

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