Archived Story

Commute includes unexpected benefits

Published 2:44pm Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I’ve been griping a lot lately, and it’s all because of the time change.

That might be boiling down the issue a little too much, but the time change has highlighted what’s been the “thorn in my side” for the past five months – my daily commute.

Growing up I would look at people who commuted and think they were crazy. “Why not just work where you live?” I wondered to myself.

As I matured and started looking for my own job, I realized why it just isn’t that easy.

I’ve been commuting approximately 50 minutes to work and 50 minutes back each day since I began my job at Tallapoosa Publishers. I get mixed responses when I tell people about my drive – everything from, “Almost an hour! That’s horrible!” to “Eh, that’s not so bad,” – reactions that almost mirror my own, changing with my mood from day to day.

When I realized that with the time “falling back,” night will now fall well before I clock out in the evenings, I got a little grumpy.

But I’m working on maintaining a more consistently positive attitude, and to be honest, there’s a lot to like about a commute.

I get to enjoy (at least this time of year) the golden sun falling on beautifully-colored trees in the mornings.

I have way more time now to listen to the radio than I used to. I even broke out the books-on-CD, courtesy of the Auburn Public Library.

I can leave my duplex in the mornings without blow-drying my hair but still have it ready to go by the time I pull in Tallapoosa Publishers’ parking lot.

I’ve been able to enjoy seeing the changes in north Auburn and along U.S. Highway 280 – I’ve watched the construction of a new fast food restaurant on North College Street in Auburn from start to finish.

In the evenings I use my travel time to stay in touch with friends and family, making phone calls to find out how they are all doing, something for which I used to never be able to find time.

On Tuesdays when my workday is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., I’ll get to watch the beautiful sunsets in my rearview mirror as I head east.

Sure, I get frustrated that my typical workday gets extended nearly two hours because of the drive. But I have found that you can find a reason to be thankful for almost anything in life; God sneaks a blessing in where you sometimes least expect it. So in this month of thanksgiving, I’m going to say I’m thankful for my commute – even though some days I may not act like it.

James is a staff writer for The Outlook.