Archives for posts with tag: commute

I posed a question on my Facebook page the other day. I was thinking out loud (which usually gets me in trouble) about all the people on Facebook and Twitter throwing BP under the bus over this explosion and subsequent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I only have a small bit of understanding – certainly not enough to make any true comment on the situation. I’m a musician and a writer, not an expert on oil. But I’ll bet that most of the people who are throwing BP under the bus have about the same amount of understanding as I do.

Getting to the point, the underlying thought I came up with all the Facebooking and Twittering was this:

How many of these people drive their cars… A LOT?

I had an idea of something we all could do now about the demand in the U. S. for cheap gasoline, and that was to drop one day per week of driving. I received some challenging comments about driving 6-days a week and the BP situation, so the answer in that area is up in the air, even in my opinion. But I started to take the thought further, on an emotional and stress reducing level.

Can you imagine how much stress would leave your body and mind if you took 24-hours to not drive?

I get such a kick in so many ways out of riding my bicycle to work. I was thinking over my plans and being bummed that I might not be able to this week. But you don’t have to ride a bike to not drive.

I’ll be moving to St. Louis next year and while browsing areas to live, being on the Metrolink line is very important in where my family will choose our next home. You can see so much of an area by train, whether it’s long distance or in town.

You could also choose a day off to not drive and all, and God forbid, you could stay at home and enjoy whatever it is you have there. We always seem to forget that we spend more time at work than at home, yet they say “Home is where the heart is.” The next time you take a day off, try actually taking a day off – from everything.

All this is coming down to is that such a simple idea can turn into yet another source of enjoyment out of life. It tells me that by taking simple steps such as leaving the car in the drive way for one day per week, it is truly possible to enjoy life all the time. I really believe that you can enjoy every moment of life, or I wouldn’t have started this blog. Don’t be over-radical in your life, just drive a little less, and find out what good things can enter into your day.

Always Enjoy Life

Zach Ellerbrook

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The worst part about my route to work is that it’s a straight shot.  It’s nice that it’s only 7.5 miles long, but because it’s almost directly north of my home, there is only one feasable route I can take.

I love to break the monotony of driving the same way to all of my regular destinations.  I especially enjoy the back roads, simply because there is less traffic.  If there is anything that can stress me out and ruin my entire day, it’s a commute… anywhere, by car at least.

This Lent, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in 24-hour Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Fridays.  This is a new Lenten commitment for me, and has renewed part of my spirit and religious practice.  It may be crazy, but I chose the 1am-2am “shift” to make sure there is always someone in our chapel during Adoration. 

Last Friday was very rainy, not like a thunderstorm, but the kind that’s slow, steady, and cold for hours.  I came to church on my usual route of back roads, but on the way home, decided to take the main roads.  What a difference the time of day makes in traveling around town!  I had never been so at peace on these particular roads.  It’s amazing how adding a few cars on a road can add so much time and frustration to our commute.  Even with the rain, driving the main roads at 2am was such a joy.

So if you are frusturated with your drive, especially your everyday drive to work, try taking a route with less traffic.  Look at your surroundings a little (but don’t take your concentration from the road).  Admire your new surroundings and when they start to get old, then switch back to your old route.  It’s done wonders for my stress level.  Not only did I enjoy my surroundings during my drive, I also enjoyed my surroundings at work.

Always Enjoy Life

Zach Ellerbrook

p. s.  You might also want to try to reduce your speed about 5mph.  That helps too.