I love road trips, but that’s for long drives to destinations that are exciting or fun. I’m referring to driving and just sitting in a lot of "stop and go" traffic almost each and every work day.
I love going to work, but sometimes I could do without the long, almost always slow drive. A good friend and co-worker once said to me, "Just relax and try to enjoy the drive." Easier said than done.
I used to get frustrated with the slow traffic — even though I’m contributing to it — and come into work cranky. But from the good advice from my friend I do try to enjoy the ride by listening to audio books. On my almost one-hour commute to work I listen to them to drown out the hum of other cars and especially the stop-and-screech of commercial trucks. Sometimes I’m so engrossed in the books I regret having to make that turn off the highway.
After almost 25 years of driving on the highways, here are some of my pros and cons:
• A great way to catch up on your reading through audio books, especially the latest best sellers or classics that you don’t have time to visually read;
• You can listen to your genre of music as loud as you want without any other family member’s comments/complaints;
• It’s a great time to just think about things; we don’t get much time to do that when we’re at home or work;
• You can commute with a friend or co-worker to chat with and save on gas/environment;
• You see a lot of your homeland flags — mine Newfoundland — and you smile because you know you’re not alone.
• You leave just enough space so that we don’t crash into the car in front of us in case we have to stop suddenly and, lo and behold, someone sneaks in front of us;
• It’s stop-and-go traffic and you try not to catch the person’s eye in front or behind of you … you can’t look at your phone because you will be caught and fined. Not much scenery to see, just other cars in the same situation as you;
• You feel somewhat guilty for having/using your air conditioning because so many people either may not have it or are not using it;
• Sometimes the air is too hot and fumy that you must use your air conditioning or you won’t be able to "stop in" on your way home for anything, you’ll be soaked;
• You are contributing to the traffic.
When I think of the grand scheme of life, I realize I/we are lucky to be able to commute, I/we are lucky to have a job, I/we are lucky to have a car to drive, and last, but definitely not least, I/we are lucky to wake up each day.
— Submitted by Celeste Delaney-Loughrey, a former resident of Northern Bay. She now resides in Ajax, Ont.