While I only live thirty-two miles from my work, every work day I climb into my gray 2005 Honda Accord and prepare for a commute that typically takes an hour and a half. The congested freeways mark the only path into the city where Broadbean USA resides. There have been slick roads, hundreds of accidents to pass, rain, fog, crazy drivers, slammed-on brakes, traffic sometimes dead stopped, and a couple of traffic tickets along the way. Mostly, there has been a significant amount of talk time on my beloved mobile device. I cannot say I have never texted or never emailed or never facebooked while driving - I confess to these crimes.
My phone has been my constant companion during my commute and one hand always on the wheel.
My drive time has given me endless hours to think, numerous topics to write about, and opportunity to speak with my mom and friends often. I usually have one or two business calls while driving and have even reviewed documents when two mile per hour traffic has allowed. I wish I could say I have hated this drive but the fact of the matter is, I have not. I have seen incredible sunrises, seemingly impossible sunsets, driven through fires, and seen things that have changed my life and way of thinking.
In just over two weeks, my drive will be reduced to only fifteen minutes and I will no longer move along at a snail's pace on packed, over crowded highways wishing I could cheat and sneak into the car pool lane (I have tried and while I didn't get caught, I felt guilty for weeks.) I will now be driving along the ocean on the popular PCH (Highway One, Pacific Coast Highway
.) The added time with my family (15 more hours a week), the reduced wear and tear on my car, diminished fuel costs, and eliminated stress will serve me well.
But I must admit, I will miss my time. I will miss the opportunity to really focus on issues that need solutions. I will miss my phone calls. I will miss the way I could get lost in music or a good audio book. And I will miss the further discovery of self. I guess I will find it in my morning walks that I will now have the time to resume. ;-)
What I have gained almost outweighs the time lost. Almost. This drive has been a part of who I am since February of 2007. Like any trial, what didn't kill me, made me stronger. And while I may miss it, at first, I look forward to it being in my past, to it being less about who I am and more about how I became who I am today. My Honda with 120,000 miles may die of heartbreak but freeways 91 and 55 will have one less traveler. Me.