Making Drive Time Your Time
From coast to coast and off madly in all directions, the suburbs continue to radiate out from our city centers, sprawling across snapped up farmlands and engulfing once distant towns. Since real estate and housing costs increase the closer we are to any metropolitan nexus, we move back farther and farther away, then drive farther and farther back in to work. Consequently, workday commuters can now find themselves behind the wheel for anywhere between 2 and 4 hours a day. That’s a lot of time staring blankly ahead squinting at bumper stickers or waiting your turn in the drive thru. But you are not necessarily held captive doing ‘hard time’ in isolation. Your drive time should not be viewed as ‘serving time’. It’s your time. Claim it. Own it. Use it. Your daily trek provides the ideal opportunity to exercise the mind and take up new interests. Audio books are ideal. Machiavelli’s’ The Prince is a pretty good primer for aspiring business managers, as is Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is timeless and will keep you thinking for a few hundred thousand hours. If audio books make you sleepy, consider vocal lessons. If you drive around with a vocal coach in the passenger seat you get to use the carpool lane while singing from your diaphragm. It’s win-win. Or learn a second, third or fourth language hands-free without the need for flipping through books with titles such as How to Speak Old School Sumerian From The Comfort of Your Home. Now you can learn any number of dead languages from the comfort of the driver’s seat.
“What’s the point of all this?”
The point is: take control over this modern fact of working life. Don’t let this time suck all the life and soul from you. Make it work for you, although you may need to be creative finding things to do as there are obviously limitations to what you can pull off while motoring down the highways bi-ways.
Commuting No Nos
• Knitting, crocheting or extreme origami
• Arc Welding or any type of welding, including soldering
• Teaching yourself archery / javelin / (and the sort)
• Interpretative jazz dancing