Tag: slow commute

We are about to move. From one part of Austin to another. While I’m not thrilled about the move itself, I am thrilled that our world is about to shrink. Significantly.

Between the 5 of us currently we are commuting a collective 8 hours of drive time. Some of that is on the city bus. Some of that is in the car. Some on foot. While we live central, and I work from home, our schools are north and south and so we travel to all of it. That’s a lot of time spent getting to and from where we need to be. And that’s on a normal day. That’s not a day when there’s a back to school night or booster meeting or any such thing. That’s just daily drive time. And in growing Austin, daily drive time seems to compound monthly.

So, as I said, we’re moving. And where we’re going we’ll all be walking or biking to where we need to be. In fact, the youngest’s commute from our back gate will be shorter than it currently is to walk from where we park to his classroom. The older 3 will bike just over a mile to their respective schools. And I’ll be standing in the yard waving goodbye.

Here’s what I think I’m going to gain…

  1. More sleep each morning
  2. Less road angst
  3. Less arguing about who gets shot-gun
  4. Less chance of car accident
  5. More time in general
  6. More ease
  7. Less crankiness

What’s funny is this schedule we’re on now was fine for us. Until it wasn’t. Which leads me back to one of the basic tenets of Slow Family Living, the question, “Is this working for us?” It was. Then it wasn’t. And when it wasn’t? We made a change.

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Slow Life

Things in our house have been a little bit nuttier than usual as of late. There have been applications to process for both middle school and high school. There’s after school stuff going on for the two in school. I’ve been working downtown, we’ve had out of town guests and my nephew has been living with us for the past few months. It’s felt fun but also like a lot.

Ordinarily I bike to work and am able to get downtown in a matter of minutes. I love being able to scoot down there so easily on my bike. No parking issues to deal with, no traffic and I get some fresh air too. For the past few weeks however even the biking has felt a little rushed. So I had to find a way to slow it down a bit.

Enter, the slow commute. As introduced by a co-worker.

And I love it! It takes me about 35-40 minutes tops at a rather pedestrian pace. I get to walk across the river and I can pause to check out the birds or boats or other on-the-water action. I walk past lots of cool little shops and get to peek in at the window displays which are fun to peruse. As I get downtown I get to enjoy the urban hike and have even gotten to “know” a few regulars on my path. Our hellos have become more familiar just in the few weeks I’ve been doing this and even the faceless homeless have gained a face because I see them longer and more often.

I love the way my mind wanders when I walk. I love the extra time I get to think about life, love, family and the pursuit of happiness.  And I love the way I feel when I get to the office where I’ll spend a good portion of the day in front of the computer. I feel fresh, strong and happier. Truly happier. And when I walk back home at day’s end, I get to carry that happiness into the house with me where it is really quite imperative at that time of day.

I have to allow a little more time on the days I do my slow commute. But really only 20 or so minutes more. I get home 20 minutes later too. But the way I feel during my walk and the way I feel when I get to my destination is nothing short of amazing.

If you can possibly fit it in here or there,even if you can’t really walk to work because of proximity restraints, even once a week or so, I highly recommend it. Walk at lunch. Walk around the parking lot before you get in your car. Walk around the halls of your office. Whatever it is, just slow it down at some point during the day and make the process of walking the total mission. Nothing else.

I think you’ll be amazed at what you realize about this life of ours. And the ideas that might pop into your mind.

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