Now that I live on the edge of the Earth (OK, exaggeratory. But it feels like it), I endure an almost 2 hour door to door commute each day. 15-20 minutes in the car, 10-15 minutes in the park and ride lot waiting for the bus, about 1 hour on the bus, and 15-20 minutes in the subway. In order to guarantee I can park my car in the lot and not at the A&P a mile down the road, I leave the house around 5:35 am, catch the 6 am express to Port Authority and arrive at work by 7:25 am at the latest. While this commute is not all bad all the time, there are some very definite downsides to being up and arriving to work so early.
1. I have to shower at night. I guess I don’t HAVE to, but I’m not getting up any earlier than I already do, so the night shower wins out. While some people actually prefer this, I am not one of those people. When done in the evening, showering feels like a chore instead of a nice fresh start to the day. Even though I know I’m clean, it doesn’t FEEL like I am as clean as I COULD be. On days(nights) when I wash my hair, I go to bed with a wet head, which doesn’t quite work for us curly haired ladies (flat on this side, puffy on that side). As a result, I have been wearing a lot of ponytails and buns. Boring! And while we are on the subject of my hair…
2. On the days I do get it to look decent, my hair is inevitably ruined by an hour leaned against a weird bus seat. Think further flattened curls, fuzzy ponytails and frizzy ends. Picture the Magic School Bus’s Ms. Frizzle, just with brown hair, a coach bus and a normally printed dress…Uy. Plus, I’m short and the weird angle of the headrest makes my neck hurt.
3. I am existing in a permanent state of hunger. Getting up at 5 am means I’m famished by 8 am. Eating breakfast at 8 am means I am starving, again, by 11 am. 11 am is TOO early to eat lunch, especially because I have always liked to eat lunch late to help break up the day. So, I can manage to push lunch to 12 noon, but then I start rumbling on the bus ride home. Once I finally get home, I can’t do anything until I eat. This full stomach means no workout, which is obviously leading nowhere pretty. Having eaten so early in the evening, I am, again, ridiculously hungry the next morning. It’s a vicious cycle, you see!
4. I look like a slacker at work. Not just because I am always daydreaming about a far away place or quickly googling a country I might visit, but because my “late afternoon lull” comes before my co-workers’. While normal people start to slack off around 3:30 or 4 and just try to make it to the end of the day, I hit the point of diminishing returns around 2pm, when everyone else is still going strong. Clearly, I am at work working while they are probably still sleeping, but I’m sure they don’t take that into account when I start getting up to walk around and randomly clicking things in my email or on Facebook.
5. I am too tired, way too early at night. If you want to get in touch with me via phone, you have a maximum of one hour after your free minutes kick in before all hope is lost. Once I get into bed, even if I am just watching a movie, I am not answering my phone for nothing. This makes keeping up with friends tough, especially because they aren’t trying to talk to me at 6:30 am when I am awake and unoccupied. Also, feeling genuinely tired at 9:30 pm makes me feel old and I don’t like it.
Bottom line: I am constantly looking crazy, feeling crazy (hungry) and/or acting crazy these days. Remind me of why am I doing this to myself again? Oh, right- It better be worth it!
Side note: I have recently created a Facebook page as a companion to this blog where I post pictures and other travel and world culture related stuff. Check it out: facebook.com/solejourner. If you “like” feel free to share!