Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

This week’s photo challenge was to post a picture of something we are thankful for. Now, I’m thankful for a lot of things…but on this Saturday morning, I am most thankful that THIS is over:

My friends…I give you the dark and ugly side of life in California. Norwood and I went to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving with family and decided that Friday night would be a good time to head home to San Diego so we could still have the whole weekend to do boring things like clean the apartment and do laundry and other boring things like that. Had I known that the normally 2 hour drive was going to take nearly 4 hours, well…I certainly might have re-thought the decision to uninstall myself from the couch at Norwood’s parents’ house where I was watching many episodes of Doctor Who under a blanket and take the trek home. I did, however, get to stop for a ridiculously good meal of Thai food in Dana Point, so that’s a plus.

When I look at this photo, however, I am thankful. I’ll tell you why…

I used to deal with things like this on a daily basis. It was maddening. Just getting to and from work every day was once like this. At some point I decided I wasn’t going to do it any more and vowed to work close to home for the rest of my life. I searched for, and found, a job that was very close to home. All my jobs since then have been within a 5 mile radius of home, and it has made an incredible difference in my quality of life. Situations like last night’s ridiculous drive are not the norm for me any more, and life is fantastic as a result.

For those of you who might still be stuck doing a daily commute like this, I would like to give you some words of advice:

Stop doing this.

It isn’t healthy. It’s miserable. Just stop.

If you love your job, move closer to it. If your job is in an area where it is expensive to live, get a smaller place. You really don’t need that big house out in the suburbs. Personally, I love living in my little apartment by the ocean and wouldn’t give that up for the biggest house imaginable out in the suburbs. I just wouldn’t do it. I love being able to go out the door and go to the beach….on foot. I love the little downtown area with all the coffee shops and places to eat. Most of all, I love that I have the choice between a 30 minute walk and a 5 minute drive to get to work in the morning.

If you hate your job, find a new one in your neighborhood. Yes, it’s a tough economy right now…but since you’re currently employed it will take the pressure off finding something NOW. Take your time…really look for something you’ll like in your neighborhood.

If you hate your job AND your neighborhood…well, look for a job in a neighborhood you’d like to live in. Once you find it, move there.

Life is too short to be stuck in traffic, or stuck doing something you hate. It may not be immediately achievable due to whatever your circumstances are, but if you keep trying and remain persistant, you CAN craft a life you love.

My next goal? Become a vagabond yoga instructor-artist-hippie. That’s the advanced level. Right now, living by the beach and working close to home isn’t too bad :)

…and whatever your situation, find things to be thankful about.


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6 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

  1. You are so right, Heather! I did a 1 1/2 hour commute each way to work when I lived in northern Virginia and worked in Washington. Car>walk>metro with change of trains>walk more. Then for a year in Korea, I did another 1 1/2 hour commute which involved walk>bus>waiting at non-climate controlled bus station>bus>walk. It absolutely does make your life a living hell. Great advice you have here. :-)

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