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L.A.’s Shortest Commute is… [Stay-at-Home Nerd][Best of FaN]

Did I really write a piece about wanting, needing, liking a morning commute?

Six steps.  That’s how long it takes to walk from my side of the bed to the baby monitor.  No alarm clocks, roosters, or cell phone ringers – just the sounds of a baby boy waking up to a brand new day.  It takes less than 3 seconds to clock in.  I turn off the monitor, hit the bathroom, and free my son from the confines of his crib.  I change his diaper, put him in a new outfit, feed him breakfast (which sometimes entails another outfit change), and get him his milk.  By the time this is done I’ve already logged over an hour on the job.  No shit.

I’ve had horrible commutes in my life, especially in Los Angeles.  Try to get from Los Feliz to Westwood in less than an hour during peak traffic times if you don’t believe me.

I’ve seen road rage, car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bikers hit, crazy people standing in the middle of the road, lanes closed, roads closed, flat tires, rain, hail, fog, photo shoots, tv shoots, film shoots, celebrity sightings, paparazzi, tourists, old drivers, young drivers, new drivers.  You name it, I’ve seen it on the streets of LA and so have you.

The difference is that I miss it.  Unlike other jobs being a stay-at-home parent is a seemingly never-ending endeavor.  I’m my own boss, I guess, but I don’t set my own hours.  I get breaks.  I don’t take breaks.  And even if I’m not “working”, I’m always on call.

What I miss most about commuting is that it was my time.  I’m driving my car to my job with my thoughts running through my head.  My most productive writing occurred when I was able to spend an hour (or two, let’s be honest) in my car thinking about whatever I wanted to think about.  I liken it to the epiphanies we all have in the shower.  As a writer I feel that this silent, solitary time is the most valuable, most crucial, most critical asset we have because in order to write we need time to ourselves.  It’s a selfish endeavor and what better place to be selfish than the comfort of your own car.

So the next time traffic has you down, I urge you to appreciate your time.  I’m jealous of the opportunity you have to listen to your talk radio, to let your mind run, to jot down your notes, to transition between your home self and you work self.  For it is when these two areas become so intertwined as to be unrecognizable that we find ourselves unable to differentiate between who we are and where we are going.

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featured image credit: dtietze1