Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Timing is everything

Columbus Ohio is getting to be a big city. The population of Columbus and its surrounding suburbs is close to 1,500,000 as of 2000 according to a few minutes of census Googling. The office building I work in is 32 floors with a 7 floor parking garage. The drive from my house is approximately 17 miles, most of which becomes congested with traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours.

At 34 years old, I have all the grey hair I want for awhile. Working 9 to 5 would be nothing short of a nightmare for me. My day would consist of dodging other people in the house to make breakfast, competing for shower time, getting stuck in traffic, waiting in the garage for people in front of me to find parking spots, being aggressively hustled past as they attempt to save a minute or two going into the main building, pushing my way into an elevator and watching it stop on every floor on the way up to mine, and doing it all in reverse at the end of the work day. By the time I got home I'd have murder on the brain and no love to give to my family. And it would repeat, day after day after day, until it broke me.

Fortunately, I'm a morning person, following the sage advice of my grandmother of getting the worm, and becoming healthy, wealthy, and wise all with the simple chore of going to bed and getting up early.

I'm the only adult I know who falls asleep at 9pm, but it works out perfectly for me. I roll out of bed at 5am, having slept a full 8 hours. No one else in the house is awake, and I have an hour and a half to make breakfast, check email, watch a little TV, and take a shower. An hour and a half of "me time" every day, uninterrupted, first thing in the morning. Nothing does more to keep me sane.

The ride to work is usually pretty calm, but at 6:30am some of the roads are already getting full. One particular bottleneck through some freeway construction can make you stop and wait to merge onto the freeway even that early. After that one bad spot, it's just me and my audiobook of the week, and clear sailing. After work, the book is eagerly waiting for me to listen to more of it, and I get home just before rush hour gets going.

Because of all this, I'm happier, have more love to give the family, and more energy both at work and home since less of it is being sapped by waiting in traffic. By the way, listen to these audiobooks (ranked by my preference, links take you to the Westerville Ohio public library catalog):

Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
Faster, James Gleick
Hegemony or survival, Noam Chomsky
The Minority Report and other stories, Philip K Dick
The Neil Gaiman audio collection
Between Good and Evil, Roger Depue
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Electric Universe, David Bodanis
Matchstick Men, Eric Garcia
Edenborn, Nick Sagan
Hearts in Atlantis, Stephen King

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