To Commute or Not Commute

Last year, I took a position with a company where I had to drive 55 miles one way from home to work. Many people had suggested to me that I should move or look for a job closer to where I’m living. I didn’t want to do that because it would take me away from my family and fiancee, which are the most important things to me. Plus, I was excited about the job so I wasn’t even putting attention to the negatives that the position had. More importantly… the drive.

The first couple of weeks, everything was fine. The traffic and long drive was not bothering me, but I did notice that I would get home late every night, and wouldn’t have time to do anything else because I had to get some sleep, to wake up early, to get to work on time the next day. And so the cycle began.

After the first month, I noticed my energy level being less and less. I wasn’t eating healthy and I started to loose weight. I have always been thin, but I had a healthy body weight. My face looked thinner and in general, I just looked skinnier. I have always been into sports. The moment I took this job, I basically said goodbye to them. I didn’t have the energy to go and work out or to play a pickup game of basketball. I started to see my friends less and less and my overall happyness began to go down.

My relationship with my fiancee was starting to strain. Before I took this position, I was seeing her and spending some qualitiy time, 3-4 days of the week. After taking this position, I was lucky to see her more than once a week. When I did see her, I was always tired and not up to doing anything. It almost felt like the commute was sucking the energy out of me.

By the third month, I really felt unhappy. No matter what, I was working a minimum of 12 hours (9 at work and 3 commuting). I didn’t have time to exercise, see my family, or even to sit down and read a book. I felt zombie like. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore so I decided to let my boss know that the moment a position opened up closer to home, I would be interested it in taking in it. I knew that there was a possibility that I would have to take a paycut but I was willing to do it in exchange for more social time, more energy, and less stress.

Luckily, on February a positioned opened up about 4 miles from my house and I was given the offer to take it. I think I didn’t even let my boss finish the sentence with me already saying yes. The good thing, was that I kept my salary so the loss of income was not something I had to worry about. In the end, it was the best decision I could of made. I’m saving over $200 on gas a month, spending 10-12 hours extra a week at home, I’m starting to work out again, and more importantly, my fiancee and I are spending much more time together (yest that’s a good thing).

While writing this post, I found an article in The Washington Post talking about the consequences long commutes can cause to your body and mind. I highly suggest taking a look at it specially if you are thinking about doing a commute longer than an hour.

So what are your thoughts on commuting to work? I’m specially interested in hearing your experiences with it and how you dealt with it or are currently dealing with it .


1 comment so far

  1. […] was also kind enough to include my previous post:  To Commute or Not Commute.  I discuss how commuting can affect your pocket book, your health, and your personal […]

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