The gift of a commute? Isn’t that an oxymoron you say?
After 4 years of having an over a 45 minute commute one way to work, I started to evaluate more closely how I spent that time, and ultimately my time in general. I’m hoping this post will inspire you to consider how you spend your otherwise previously thought of “wasted” time as well.
In my work, I talk a lot about the concept of “Radical Acceptance”- derived from DBT therapist creator Marsha Linehan. The long and short of it is, that if there’s something you can’t change, the sooner you come to accept it and stop stewing about it one way or another, the sooner your suffering ends.
Sounds simple… but believe it or not, we waste a TON of time stressing about things we can’t control or that we know isn’t going to change. You might be thinking “Yeah, but you CAN control your commute… you could get a different job”. True… but after considering the situation, the PROs far outweighed the CONs, so in essence the only thing left to do was ACCEPT that my commute was part of the equation for now. I no longer allowed myself to spend precious mindspace worrying about it.
How often do you stress about something you know you can’t change?
How often do you worry about something that you can’t control?
If I had a nickle for every time I told someone I drive from Smithville to Lee’s Summit everyday and hearing their exhausted sigh, I’d be rich! But in the back of my mind I’m thinking…. You don’t know what you’re missing!!
My 45 minute (often 50-55 min) commute used to be an extremely significant source of suffering for me. I’d worry about the miles I was putting on my car. I’d worry about spending nearly 2 extra hours on the road away from home. I’d stress about what needed to be done and how this was only wasting my time. The list goes on and on. However, when I embraced the fact that I absolutely LOVED my job including being able to start my day early long before the kids are even up and home by 345, my husband being minutes from work, and living a couple miles from my in laws, we decided it was a no brainer!!
Immediately after I decided to simply accept it and not look at it as a bad thing….POOF… It no longer was a bad thing! I had all this extra time that I was no longer stressing about this burden. This so called “problem” suddenly became a gift and became “my time”. You mommies know what I mean. That’s pretty limited in my world!
I started looking forward to my commute each day.
I signed up for podcasts and audiobook programs and listened to books I’d been wanting to read.
Crank music and sing my little heart out to all my favorite tunes or make phone calls to all those folks I’ve been meaning to call or to just chat and have a laugh with a friend.
Or sit in complete silence where I can think, pray, dream, be mindful, and reflect.
What’s something in your life that you consider a source of suffering… that if looked at differently could possibly be experienced in a new way?
How could you invite more quiet/ reflective time into your day ?
I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Till next time DIVA…. Thanks for being here 🙂