1 hour, 13 min to work. All lanes blocked on I-110 southbound. Accident on I-10 West, take an alternate route. 1 hour, 26 minutes to home.
We all receive the traffic alerts that pop up on our phone screens constantly throughout the day and even worse, right before we walk out of the door in the morning or right before we leave our jobs in the afternoon. As exciting as back to school time is for everyone, back to school time also unveils the uncertainty of how long it will take to get anywhere in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas due to the traffic.
The constant uncertainty of the time it will take to get from point A to point B already drives me crazy as a person that would consider herself very prepared and organized. However, the worst part of it all is realizing how much time out of my day, or even my week, has been spent inside of a vehicle. Any given week I am averaging around 2 hours, 15 minutes a day or 11 hours, 15 minutes a week in my car. It may not seem like a lot to some of my other fellow traffic warriors out there or it may seem like a lifetime to those peaceful commuters out there who only have a 10 to 15-minute commute. Notice I said “peaceful” commuters because those people who have short commutes really are nicer, more pleasant and just happier because their time is spent doing other things than sitting at a standstill with no control. I am here to tell you that the struggle is real when it comes to keeping your sanity in traffic and not lashing out at the first person who speaks to you when you get out of your car at work or at your husband or dog when you get home. As a person who battles the traffic uncertainty and battle war every day, I have a few tips to hopefully help you maintain your sanity in traffic.
I use my time in traffic to catch up with friends and family. As a first-time mom, I’m still
learning how to juggle it all including those relationships and friendships that I had
before the baby was born. I have found that talking on the phone (via Bluetooth of course,
BE SAFE PEOPLE – otherwise, you may be the cause of another accident on the streets)
makes such good use of my time in the car. I have friends and family all across the
state and in different states and I am able to stay in touch with them by talking to them
on my way to work after the baby is dropped off, or on my way home before the baby is picked up. I have scheduled calls with friends specifically during the week at certain times/days just to talk. I have grown to look forward to our scheduled phone calls because it soaks up so much time that I would otherwise spend looking at the clock.
This is a given but take this time to listen to a new album, your favorite playlist, maybe a
new artist, or even a podcast. Every day I find a new artist, playlist, podcast reviewing
the latest episode of my favorite TV show, a soundtrack from my favorite TV show,
etc. that I never heard of before. I absolutely love to listen to playlists from the shows and movies I watch because it’s such a variety of music that someone else put together for me. Right now I’m listening to the Euphoria soundtrack playlist and the Big Little Lies playlist. I think music is amazing and it amazes me every time I turn on Spotify or Amazon Music or Pandora at the number of artists that I have never heard of. Also, if you think of anything and google it, I’m pretty sure there is a podcast out there for it. Take advantage of someone else who talks for an hour or more. Technology and our phones have made the possibilities endless so find your favorite tune or podcast and listen up. Time will pass much quicker this way.
This one is a hard one for me but sometimes it is very gratifying to just turn the radio off
and not talk to anyone. A friend of mine told me one day that sometimes she gets in her
car and does not turn the radio on or has the volume all the way down and does not
even realize it. I thought she was crazy when she told me that until one day I was driving
home and realized that nothing was on in my car; however, I never noticed because my
thoughts inside my head were enough noise to keep my brain occupied on the commute
home. It sounds crazy but I hope that all of you can enjoy a ride, or several rides, home
in silence because let’s face it … it may be the only time of the day where we may get
some silence and time to ourselves. So enjoy it!
Sing (… and occasionally dance it out)
This may be my favorite tip of all time but singing in the car is the best way to pass time. I always say that I am the best singer in my car, not the shower, but in my car. It can be
Lizzo, Drake, Halsey, Lady Gaga, Tina Turner, etc. when I am in my car. Or better yet, I AM Lizzo, Drake, Halsey, Lady Gaga and Tina Turner when I am in my car! I absolutely love singing in my car but I really enjoy dancing in my car (or anywhere honestly). I am typically dancing out my excitement for a 50-minute car ride versus an hour and 10-minute car ride on the few occasions a shorter than normal commute happens. Or I am dancing it out to avoid crying at the fact that time is moving but my car is not.
Here’s to singing and dancing in the car when you can’t do anything else because let’s
face it … the only thing that is moving when we are all stuck in traffic is the time.