Monday, August 27, 2018

The Key to a Great Morning Commute

UGH!  It's time to get up and go to work so you can continue to have the life you have.  It can be a chore.  But, it can be something special too.

For me currently, each day I get up early to have some quiet time and slowly wake up before the household gets a bit more active.

My commute consists of getting out of bed, using the rest room, getting a glass of tea or cup of coffee and walking outside on my patio to watch the world go by on I-44 and observe the world.  That's it.  But, don't misunderstand me I've had commutes of 30-40 minutes on interstates before.  I even lived in Nashville for a time in the 1990s when I had to commute from one side of the city to the other; talk about intense, yikes!

Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to say 'hey, look at me I have it so easy right now.'  No, not at all.  My current situation was not my doing but I'm making the best of it so that is what I do as far as a routine in the am.

The key is finding ways during your morning routine and commute to lift your own spirits and those of others.  It can be anything.

I find small ways to brighten mine and others days.  I put a note on my loved ones vehicle; get a cupcake ready to give to someone and just let them find it or sending a happy emoji to someone.

Even if you have a two-hour drive into DFW or OKC you have this time to do something nice for others and to be observant yourself so that you see the world in a new light.  

  • Let me give you a couple of examples:  If you have voice command send a text message to a friend you haven't talked to in a while and just say "I was thinking about you," it will make their day
  • If you see an animal on side of the road and you have voice command in your vehicle, ask the car (for me it's google) an inquisitive question about what you saw, for example:  does a raccoon migrate?  
  • If you watch a freight train go by next to your road why not make a mental note to investigate the nearest Amtrak station and find out if taking your loved one on a ride might by fun?
  • There's all sorts of things you can do to find out more information and peak a curiosity inside yourself about things around you.

As I sit on the patio on I-44 I've noticed some very interesting things.

For instance, I never realized people exercise at 330a.  One person was jogging around the apartment complex.  Another, was picked up by what appeared to be a friend (I didn't ask, felt it would be rude).

Another thing I'm very observant about is nature as I sit on the patio.  When the noise of the interstate perpetually goes quiet (it's not overly busy since we are a terminus and not a through-way interstate).  I hear the sounds of nature.

Often, I hear the coyotes.  In the summer they rarely howl but in winter when temperatures are down to near freezing or lower they will run in packs and howl together.  It's a creepy yet beautiful sound to hear as I sit in my chair.

One time there was a thunderstorm a few hours before and it was early morning before sunrise and I could smell the scent of sage on the air.  Come to find out the thunderstorm had worked up the cells of the sage and spread it out so those around could smell it.

The other thing that just can't be ignored when looking out over I-44 is the pattern of car activity.  Very interesting.

So my advice is to take advantage of the morning commute; but not to endanger yourself or anyone else by playing with email, or text, or general work while you are driving.  It just doesn't work.  But look around, see the world around you, make a mental note of things for further investigation later.  The problems at work will always be there but seeing a pair of baby ducklings cross the road may be a moment that never happens again and you'd never forget.

Open your eyes friends and enjoy!

Bryan W. Rupp