I have a list of things I wish I would do (or do more often), not unlike many people. It’s a fairly simple list:
- Date Scarlett Johannsen;
- Demand recognition of my rightful claim to the Polish monarchy; and
- Devote more time to thinking and reflecting.
The first one got screwed up by the allegedly dreamy Ryan Reynolds and on the second one, I just need to figure out how to recreate the Winged Hussars. Boy, I get me some of those bad boys, it’s game over.
On the third one, I used to find myself often lamenting, “Every time I spend some quite time to myself just sort of thinking over life and whatever pops into my deranged noggin, I really enjoy it, get some good ideas and generally feel a lot more relaxed.” But you know what? I would almost never do it. Genius, I know.
So in around November of last year, I was getting myself ready for my morning commute which usually runs me between 20 and 30 minutes and for some reason, I decided I would do it with no music or radio. The result? The quiet drive, something I have done pretty much every morning commute since. And as you can tell from the photo below… my morning commute is not exactly an eye-popping visual treat (at least not during your typical gray New England winter day).
Generally I am a morning person and so some time to think things over before the hectic rush of the day swept over me was ideal. The commute home is just decompressing from the day and music then is ideal. But first thing in the morning? Not so much.
The end result of this new practice is I feel like I am making really good use of my commute time, much more so than I have at any other point in my life. It does help that my commute is actually longer than it used to be at my old job (since that was 7 minutes door-to-door) and I can actually allow my brain to wander a bit. I might use the voice memo feature in Evernote on my Droid to record some random thought or get down what I want to do as a blog post. Whatever it may be, I feel like it’s almost a form of mental stretching or warm-up before the work day begins.
If you have a commute that is 15 minutes or longer, I highly recommend giving it a try. At first it can be odd without the constant distractions you have become accustomed to of music or talk radio… but after a few days, it becomes a great fit like a perfectly broken in pair of jeans.
And maybe… just maybe… it will be the solution to my Winged Hussar dilemma. Seriously, I need me a Polish cavalry to wreak some serious havoc, people. CRY HAVOC AND LET LOOSE THE DOGS OF WAR!
8 Replies to “The Quiet Drive”
Quality time to reflect is so rarely achieved nowadays. Salud to the “quiet drive.”
It is so rarely achieved, Lisa. The funny part is how we often lament not having that time, but take so many other conflicting actions that prevent us from having it. I have been very guilty of this for sure.
If only you could come up with a recipe for the “quiet drive” with two kids in the backseat. Of course I often compound the problem by adding the radio to the mix.
Yours is definitely a situation I wonder about in terms of finding some moments of quiet. It’s easily 10X more difficult for those with young kids. If I come up with an epiphany, I will be sure to write about it. I think there may be a couple of folks out there interested in it.
Kevin, that’s absolutely right.
I have begun to find running at night quite effective (although FRIGID in the beginning of the run) as opposed to going to the gym, fighting for a treadmill, blasting my ipod, and being distracted by the TV, spandex outfits, etc. When you’re out there running in the dark and there’s no traffic, no noise, and nothing but the sound of your breath, it’s a great way to get back to basics. The workout is way better, too.
That’s a good one too! I have been so much of a music while training kind of guy that now I am curious as to how it would be if done in silence. Who wants to do some silent Prowler pushes with me???