Commuter Nightmares; When is enough, enough?

New York City Traffic

The different commutes times that people put up with amazes me. Everyone had a different level of tolerance level – what’s yours?

When you’re looking at accepting a job offer you can often overlook other elements … such as how a new location may affect your commute. As we all know, happiness is directly affected by commute time. Your proximity to work is certainly not the only factor but it can be considered a perk or a nightmare…

Short Commutes
5-15 minutes

I secretly hate these people (not really) – but it’s mostly because I’m jealous. They get more time with their families, have lower gas bills, less wear and tear on their cars and something to brag about at the water cooler – and brag they do!

You’ve also got the folks that live near public transportation which means they may not even own a vehicle! Short metro or bus rides … and for a lucky few, the ability to walk out their front door and down the street to the office. These folks get the added perk of exercise while commuting. It makes my FitBit challenges all the more brutal — I’m determined to keep up with these short commuters even though they have more “feet on the ground” time.  Challenge accepted!

On the flip side of that they may be more likely to be tapped to run early morning errands around the office for meetings and events. Not because they are special but because they can physically get these tasks done because they’re not tied up in traffic.

Middle of the road commutes
15-45 minutes

These folks have commutes that still fall within that “I have a great commute” pocket but once you get past the 30 minute mark it’s not so much a perk.

It also depends on the distance traveled because 45 minutes in bumper to bumper traffic is different than if you were moving along at a good clip.

Nightmare commuters
45 minutes – 2+ hours

This is the bucket that requires you to really love your job … I mean really LOVE your job. If you don’t, it will wear on you fast. Throw in a bit of wintery mix (thank you #WinterStormStella and you’ll find yourself hitting that 2+ hour mark)

It could be that you have no choice because you can’t afford housing closer in. Then you constantly think about moving, which leads to the need to make more money, which leads to job searches.  You can tackle this tendency with podcasts or your favorite tunes.

Tools To Combat Those Nightmare Commutes

Personally, I prefer audio books. I pick a series that I know I would never have the patience or bandwidth to read in book format. I’ve made it through Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth Series and it took about a year but it made the drive so much more bearable.  I’ve also tried books that I would never want to read if given the choice but have been curious about. This happens a lot with non-fiction — not a big fan. I like to escape when I read, so the more fictional the characters the better! If you have no interest in buying the audio books you can check them out from your local library in CD format or in eFormat. Check it out!

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Most importantly you need to have a comfortable, and dependable vehicle to commute in. My vehicle is fairly new so it has the bluetooth connections which make listings to tunes, podcasts and audio books fairly easy. If you have an older vehicle and don’t want to use CDs you’ll have to buy a device that will serve as the car
bluetooth to connect to your phone. It’s certainly cheaper to outfit your older car (or truck) with current technology than it would be to buy a new vehicle.

Take some stress off your long nightmare commute by making sure that you’re connected with your maps and people in the safest way possible. Sure it’s expense but check out the Navdy®, an augmented reality GPS, and “see the road like never before”. Their product is pretty darn cool! Take a look see!

The most important thing when using all of these gadgets is to keep your eye on the road! Pay attention and if you need to “rewind” a podcast or a chapter on an audio book because you missed it due to someone cutting you off and you were busy trying to keep your car on the road … do it!


You are responsible for your attitude

Attitude is the driving force behind the success and failures of almost all activities.

You are only in control of yourself. Be responsible and stop trying to change other people. Realize that you are the only one in control of how you react to situations and other people.

When you get angry at others stop and think for a moment. Why are you letting that person control your emotions? Take a step back and analyze the situation – what about it causes you to become angry and make a conscious decision to not rise to the occasion.

Remove yourself from the negative environment

One thing that I find works well for me is to make a conscious choice to just walk away from the anger. Simply put … choose to not be angry. Choose to be a positive influencer for not only yourself but also your peers.