One of the inevitabilities in me accepting a full-time position in East Los Angeles while still living in the Inland Empire is a PRET-TY hefty daily commute. On a good day, it could be at most 2 hours to work and back. On a rough day, it could be as bad as 3.5 – 4 hours.
I’ve survived two weeks so far, and you know, I think I’m going to be okay. It all comes down to choice, my friends.
I could choose to be all “grumpy cat” about my daily commute, and let myself be irritable for the rest of the day.
Or I could choose peace and joy, accept my commuter status for the year, and try to make the most out of my time in the car as possible.
I choose the latter.
This is how I’ve been making my daily commute a productive and (more) joyful experience for the past two weeks:
Every Sunday evening, I print out half of a chapter of Proverbs in large print on a sheet of paper so that every morning, I can place the sheet of paper by the steering wheel and get some time in the Word and in prayer. Sometimes, I have my breakfast, but I ALWAYS have my coffee, just like in my times with God at home. And you know what, before I know it, I’m 15 minutes away from work with my day started off right!
…And then I turn on morning talk radio for my last 15 minutes. :) Carson Daly and Ryan Seacrest have been quite entertaining companions in the past two weeks!
On my commute home, there are a variety of ways to keep myself cheerful and entertained. I may call family or friends to chat, I may listen to podcasts of messages and sermons that I’ve uploaded onto my phone the previous evening, I may sing my heart out to some favorite songs while in traffic, I may pray through my list of people and things to pray for, or I may just sit in silence. It varies.
Of course, on my way home, I always have to say, “Sup, Ray!” to this mammoth that’s cheering me on from the side of the freeway on the final stretch home (he’s named Ray after the the guy in Everybody Loves Raymond, since he’s the voice of that mammoth in Ice Age…duh!).
And then of course I have to fist pump five times when I get off my exit and bypass local freeway traffic.
Every day, I want to come into work as a blessing to others, and every day, I want to arrive home feeling blessed. And choosing to let myself be irritable and frustrated over my daily commute is one surefire way to be a downer on my coworkers, on my supervisors, on my clients, on my husband, and on myself. And a year is far too long to choose to be a downer!
To my other commuting friends out there, let me know if you have any suggestions for passing a long commute by more joyfully! I would love to hear them! :)