Tag Archives: commuting

things i’ve learned from my life on the rails

uh, so i haven’t had a life on the rails, really. i’ve been riding the san diego trolley to work for two weeks. it’s normally a 10-ish minute walk to the trolley stop, a bit of waiting, a 10 minute ride to the third stop, and a 10-ish minute walk on the other end. takes me about 30 – 45 minutes each way.

here’s what i’ve learned and noticed:

– i’m seriously surprised by how much i’m enjoying it. i’m enjoying the ‘notion’ of not having a car (i mean, i have access to the one our family owns, but jeannie has it every day). i’m enjoying the walks. i’m enjoying the short train ride.

– i had only thought about what an inconvenience this was going to be in my schedule. i hadn’t predicted what a gift it would be. i am forced to slow down and walk. i am forced to sit and wait for the train to arrive. i am forced to sit on the train with nothing to do. twice a day. wow – here’s the weird thing: i’ve actually missed it when i’ve had a ride.

– 30 – 45 minutes of slow pace with nothing to do but walk or ride is a great time to pray in the morning, and a great time to process the day and decompress on the way home.

– when i get home, i’m not frazzled from rushing out the door at work and driving home like a madman. i’m calm.

– people really seem to think that if you push those little crosswalk buttons over and over and over and over again, they will change to green. funny. people do that on elevators also.

– there’s something really unique and cool about walking with noise canceling headphones on and good music playing. the music can shape my mood like almost no other time.

i don’t know yet if i’ll keep doing this. we’re toying with me getting a scooter instead of another car. and, if ys moves our office next year like we’re trying to do, this will be more of a challenge (the same trolley line goes near where we’re looking — just a couple stops farther than i go now — so it might still work). this is all a spiritual issue for me, as we’re trying to simplify our lives a bit, be less driven by ‘things’ and what we ‘must have’; i’m trying to lower my impact on the environment; and i’m trying to slow down where i can, as i am convinced god is very easy to miss when i’m in perpetual fast motion.