Monday, April 29, 2013

You Live Where?: My life changing commute

For years in Cincinnati, I drove a minimum of 50 minutes to work, one way. And that was if I left before 7AM and I got lucky. On a bad day, I would spend an hour just going door to door between work and home. When you add up all that time, it's mind boggling to realize that in three and a half years, I spent 150+ hours sitting in my car, drinking coffee, cursing the idiot drivers that plagued me on a daily basis.

When we moved to Fayetteville, everyone insisted that we had to live on the east side so that I would be close to work. Driving more than five minutes to work was universally discussed as a hardship. That's right - 5 minutes. So when we bought a house on the west side, a whole TEN minutes from the office, there was some sympathetic head shaking and a few quizzical looks.

Of course, here's the thing - resigned to an hourish commute for as long as I'd been doing it, ten minutes was shocking. Not even long enough to finish my coffee, much less catch a full hour of Mike & Mike. Over the last 23 months, I've come to appreciate that a commute that lasts less time than a Sportscenter commercial break is the single biggest reason that I have an incredible balance in my life right now. I've been given the gift of two more hours in every day, and I do my best to make the most of them.

Today, though, I voluntarily returned to a long commute - a whopping 30 minutes. Not so that I could sit on I-540 and listen to morning radio drivel; no, I opted for a longer commute because for the first time in my life, I rode my bike to work today.

Think about it - I live close enough to ride my bicycle to the office. And it only took me 30 minutes. And I took the bike trail almost the entire way. When I transpose that idea onto my life in Cincinnati, it's laughable in the best Webster-sense of the word.

I hope to make the bike commute a semi-regular occurrence now that the weather is improving. But no matter my mode of transportation, I love Arkansas because it gave me time back. And that, truly, is life changing.


  1. When I went to work for my current employer, I went from a 4 mile commute to almost 40 miles one way. I'm so happy you've got more of your life back.

  2. that is SO awesome!!! I'd like to walk to work but not sure about biking. I take the train in even though the commute time is about the same as a I can read instead of spending the time screaming at stupid drivers.