There’s only a few people I know who enjoy their commute.   For most of us, the commute involves sitting in traffic with a bunch of  miserable drivers on some major highway like I-95 and dodging street repairs and building construction. It can get depressing.

My commute starts off okay.  I usually get to cruise past the traffic in the Naugatuck Valley and then along most of RT 34.  By the time I get to downtown New Haven it all changes and the quality of my drive plummets.  Some jerk might cut me off, the road could be backed up due to construction, or a pedestrian will dart in front of traffic and nearly cause an accident.  Typical events like these could easily set a bad tone for the day.

There’s a few ways I stay positive during the drive into work:

  • Music (lately it’s been The Beatles, Vampire Weekend, or Franz Ferdinand… played loudly)
  • Coffee
  • Fresh Air (always drive with the windows down)

Still, once I get downtown, my mood can easily change for the worse no matter what I do to prevent it.  And then I think about how it’s quite possible that I could be doing this for decades to come.  Some days I wish I could ditch the car and walk to work, or at least take alternate routes. Unfortunately, it just isn’t possible for the time being.  Any tips from my fellow commuters on how to improve this unfortunate part of the day?

Update: Some responses I received from my twitter followers below the cut:

  • @chobson – Avoid highways, take local roads whenever
    possible. It’ll be a few extra minutes, but it’s much less agitation.
  • @mindymunizaga – I enjoy my morning solo performances way more than I probably should…you can call me and we’ll do a duet.  Speakerphone ftw!
  • @criana – podcasts are good if your driving or audiobooks. Map out alternatives around heavy traffic.


Written by Sean Henri