I really don’t have much to say these days. I feel a little like parched ground waiting for the rain (which is a funny thing to say since Oregon just had the fourth-wettest year on record and I really should feel half-drowned). I’m tired, but it isn’t just a physical tiredness. It’s a tiredness of the heart and of the muses. I have creative thoughts, but I haven’t had the energy to put them into existence. By the time I get home from my work day, my brain just wants to shut off.
I figure I work 8 hours a day. Add an hour for lunch and that’s nine hours. Add an hour on either end of my day for the commute, and that’s 11 hours. Some days more, some days a little less. The commute is stressful. My job uses a part of my brain and personality that is not my greatest strength: math, and a lot of it.
So, for 8 hours a day, I operate on the Left-Brain. Then I have to drive which is probably a Left-Brain operation because in order to drive safely and wisely, you have to actually think critically: how much room should I leave between myself and the other cars? Do I have room to make a lane change? How fast is the car on my left shoulder coming and can I change lanes in front of him safely or should I wait? (not to mention: Why do people get on the Freeway if they can’t drive the speed limit? If it says the speed limit is 65 and there are no external complications, then drive the freaking speed limit! Don’t drive 55!)
Sorry, A little road rage spilled over into my blog.
A little? You want road rage? How about drivers in silver cars who think that the rule about turning on headlights in rain/fog/dusk light does not apply to them? SILVER cars that blend in with the silver rain/fog/dusk. When I used to drive an F-250 Super-cab, those people turned their headlights on in a hurry when I needed to make a lane change and I couldn’t see them. Nothing like having a really big truck turn on a blinker that says “I’m coming over!” to wake them up.
Oh, speaking of blinkers. How about those people I call “drifters”? They usually drive something huge, like a Yukon or an Expedition, but sometimes they come in very small packages, like a KIA Optima. You get the first hint that they’re making a lane change when they sort of “drift” toward the line between lanes. Before you know it, they have “drifted” into your lane. No turn signal (what would be the use of that, I ask you? It’s so inconveniently located ON YOUR STEERING COLUMN where you can flip it on with a finger and never lose control of your car.).
Everyone makes a mistake or two when driving, but you can spot the habitual offenders over the “ooops! I really did not see you!” drivers. First, they show no remorse.
There are the habitual tail-gaters. They really can’t figure out why you keep suddenly braking in front of them. Oh, forget that: they’re texting! See the damn phone in their hand? or, if you are behind them: their brake lights keep going on. Um, hey: you wouldn’t have to keep tapping your brakes if you’d BACK OFF a little. Like give the person in front of you a couple seconds? A car length for every ten miles an hour?
Wait, let’s not overdo that. Ever get stuck behind someone who is so terrified of being a tail-gater that he drives a half mile behind traffic and about five miles under the speed limit? Worse, have one in both lanes, so you cannot get around either one but you can see the taillights of traffic traveling at the speed limit in front of you fading into the distance?
The merge-at-the-last-second people. They know their exit is coming up, but they’re so focused on getting ahead of everyone else by just one-more-car that they nearly cause a wreck when they suddenly veer to the right to catch the exit, in that little space between Tailgater#2 and Tailgater #1. Everyone brakes and the bubble of braking flows back for miles until no one knows why they are braking suddenly.
I could go on. This is my brain on work. I get in my car and concentrate for the nearly 1-hour commute north, hoping to avoid a collision with someone who is not paying attention and who doesn’t have a health fear of a collision while swearing at the drivers who putter along at 55 in a 65mph zone. Then I work for four hours on math problems which I can do, but which are not the greatest use of my talents.
I take an hour for lunch. I read a book, work a crossword puzzle, meditate or take a nap. Anything to relax my mind and utilize my natural talents.
Then four hours of more math and linear thinking. And a longer commute home because, somehow, that 22 miles has gotten longer at 5PM. And more dangerous.
By the time I get home, my right-brained self is totally drained and exhausted. I can’t think.