10 Things I’ve Learned from My Commute

New York Typographic Wall Art Decor "New York" Typography Poster (From Etsy.com)
  1. Highway 85 is a beast. It gets really bad around Gaffney, when the roads get all busted up, and so do your tires. Not only that, but 85 is mostly 2 lanes and is full of tractor trailer trucks. Not fun.
  2. QT is my shining light in the darkness. The best of all gas stations, QT really is my beacon. Well-lit pumps, ready for me to refuel at 6:00 AM. Clean floors with nice signage if they’ve just mopped or if it’s rainy. Always-clean bathrooms and perfectly lukewarm water in the hands free sink when I wash my hands. Excellent customer service that makes me actually believe that they can’t wait until my next visit. Oh, and I can’t forget their tea bar, stocked with sugar free green tea and black tea with natural flavors in a massive cup for less than $1.00….. QT, I love you.
  3. I think I’ve become a lifetime Gold Card member at Starbucks. I don’t know that this is possible, but I’ve definitely already gotten the 30 stars needed in a year in order to maintain Gold Card status. Mind you, I don’t buy $5.00 coffees. My jam is a venti unsweetened iced green tea with no water. I also occasionally enjoy a spinach feta wrap for brekky, and their oatmeal with blueberries is perfection. I don’t care what the haters say. Starbucks is consistent and also a shining star on a long commute.
  4. Sometimes I spend the entire 2 hours belting out a musical/soundtrack/favorite album from start to finish. This is a great way to pass time on the road. Plus, since I am alone in my car for 2 hours, I can really hone in on my shaky high notes and develop my singing voice with no fear of seeing wincing from the side seat passenger. Would you be surprised if I told you that the last 2 weeks’ soundtrack has been the entire score for Frozen? (“For the first time in forever………….”)

  5. Podcasts are my life. Seriously, I don’t know how I would have made it through the last year on the road without podcasts. There are so many of them out there, with so much great (and free!) content. I can choose from so many options, depending on my mood: Jay Mohr if I’m feeling funny, KROQ if I want to hear classic/awesome/funny/smart ass DJs from LA, workout podcasts, podcasts about music, podcasts featuring comedians, podcasts about meditation and yoga (not great for sleepy mornings), back episodes of NPR’s “Wait Wait”….the list goes on. By the way, if you haven’t heard of Adam Carolla’s epic battle with the patent troll who is trying to put an end to podcasting, you can read about it and even give him a hand by visiting: http://fundanything.com/patenttroll?locale=en#sthash.8kFQiWlZ.dpuf.

  6. Being a road warrior wreaks havoc on the condition of my car’s interior. Already poor at keeping my car tidy, practically living in my car does not help the situation. If you ever want to go to lunch with me or need a ride somewhere, you better bet that I will probably ask you to drive or say that I’m low on gas….because my car is a wreck. Lately I’ve actually made somewhat of an effort about keeping it decently “kept”, but fail miserably most of the time. The bright side is that I will always have clean Starbucks napkins in case of spills, and an extra pair of shoes (or 2) in case of bad weather or need of wardrobe change. I’m like that woman who always overpacks for vacation and pisses off her family, only to save the day by having something on hand that someone needs in a pinch and prove everyone’s smart ass comments wrong.

    This is not my car......

    This is not my car……

  7. Not a newsflash: There are a lot of bad drivers out there. Distracted driver? 10 and 2, eyes on the road at all times? A Speedy Gonzales bully who tails everyone until they move out of your lane? Granny-like driver who chills out in the middle or fast lane and is actually more dangerous than Speedy Gonzales? You better believe that I am a defensive driver, thanks to all the crazies on the road. The highway would be a much better place if everyone was just a little more considerate and paid a little more attention to other people.
  8. If it’s raining or dark outside, turn on your freaking lights. I once heard a story in high school (that I’m pretty sure was true) about a gang that used to kill people for flashing their lights at them. Or that it was a signal for something….or something that eventually lead to the one-who-flashed-their-lights’ gruesome demise. What I’m saying is, this story always freaked me out and made me weird about flashing my lights at people who are completely oblivious to the fact that their black car is invisible at nighttime without their headlights on. Still, I did flash them today and immediately checked my rearview mirror to make sure a gangster wasn’t creeping up behind me. Also, there was not a hook stuck on my door when I got out in my garage.
  9. Always keep your car halfway filled up with gas. My grandfather taught me this before I even learned how to drive. He always said that if your tank is half full, you never have to worry about running out or getting low on gas if you’re in a hurry or in a remote area. He was so right, and I still do this, 20 years later. Thanks, Pop!
  10. Don’t be an asshole. Listen, most of us are decent drivers. Most of us do not have road rage or cut people off or text while driving at 80 MPH….right? Listen, I get it. Some people should probably have their license revoked. But it doesn’t help the situation to flick them off, ride people’s bumpers, lay on your horn instead of just honking it, or cursing aloud at someone while shaking your fist as you pass them. I’m certainly not an angel in this department, but I find that when I feed the occasional road rage that rears its head after a particularly long day, I can be scary, and it really affects my mood for the rest of the morning/night. Plus, why put all that negative energy out there? This is also very important if you have passengers in the car….. Trust me, if you do this, it makes everyone in the car uncomfortable when you lash out.

The good news is…..I’m hopeful that my commute is soon going to come to an end. I can only dream of only needing 10 minutes to get to my office, and not having to have a death grip on the steering wheel when huge semi trucks blow past me at only 6 inches away from my car in the pouring rain. Yes, I do kind of enjoy the solitude of the commute after a long ass day. And I will definitely miss finding a good showtune to sing along with all the way home at the top of my lungs. But what I will be able to do with that extra time…..! And gas money!



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