Beloved morning commute – for most people this headline would be a contradiction. Not so for me. You know that every situation in life, every challenge, is subject to your mind’s interpretation of the event.'We deem those happy who from the experience of life have learned to bear its ills without being overcome by them' - JuvenalClick To Tweet
When it comes to commuting by car, I may have a little advantage, though, seeing that driving is my number 2 passion in life.
Two days ago I found myself sitting in heavy traffic driving into San Francisco with a big smile on my face. What made this terrible situation so enjoyable? Well, actually it was an entire series of things that put me in a great mood that morning.
First, the day had started with nice crisp air, a clear view, and sunshine. Perfect! Not to mention that your car is about the only place you have absolute control over the perfect climate for you. Unlike an office environment, or all too often even your own home, which you are sharing with other family members, where you have no control or limited voting power.
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts – Courage & Clarity – where life-loving, inspiring women share about their entrepreneurial journey and give actionable advice (Thank you, Steph Crowder!). What better way is there to raise optimism, get inspired, and grow, all while commuting to work in the morning?
And then it got even better! To my right, I spotted a classic Ford pickup truck, that simply took my breath away.
It was in perfect condition, sporting a powder-green coat and shiny hubcaps. To understand why something that simple can put a huge smile on my face you have to know a few things about me. Above you learned that I love to drive, so hand-in-hand with that passion goes a general love for cars. I have visited quite a few auto-shows in my life, including classic car shows. I used to be able to name most of the makes and models around me (no longer, today’s automobile offerings are just too boring). I owned a Ford F150 pickup truck for nearly a decade, the only car I owned that I never got tired off. It literally had to blow up (radiator blew, damaging the engine in the process) for me to give up on this car. This was now 12 years ago, and I still miss it dearly every day. Crazy, huh?
Notice, that I noticed! I think this is the most important part of this story. Most of you will be surrounded by beautiful things while you are commuting to work – a beautiful skyline, a tiny child with a huge backpack headed to Kindergarten, someone walking a happy little dog, a barista smiling and calling you out by name, a hard-working grocer setting up produce in front of the store, a rising sun, etc. – and also most of you will never notice. The difference is that I was present in that moment, not just seeing it as a means to an end to get where I needed to go, but simply enjoying the present moment, no matter what it brings. That is the choice I am making.'Within you is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.' - Hermann HesseClick To Tweet
These days, most of us cannot avoid commuting to and from work, but we can avoid making it a dreadful experience. Think about what could make your commute more pleasant (safely, of course), and start making it a part of your day and your life that you might actually look forward to.