When I told people I’d found a new job in Battersea London, people recoiled in horror ‘oh my god that commute is going to be awful‘, they’d say, ‘how ever will you stand it? How ever will you cope?‘ *all the pity*
And even now, people that I meet through work look at me with deepest sympathy and mostly confusion at my content to take myself an hour and a half into London every morning and an hour and a half back home.
And I must admit, I had my concerns before I started the job. What if I just couldn’t stand the smell of people’s armpits on the tube? What if I could never be one of those serial nappers on the train? How would I adjust to not singing along to the radio in my car in the morning, my ultimate wake up remedy?
And then I started the commute, in the depths of winter; the worst time to be a commuter. And guess what? The sky didn’t fall in and I’m still very much alive and just as awake and perky as ever I’ll have you know.
People say I’m seeing it through rose tinted glasses because it’s still early days. Well it’s been 3 months now and I’ve just worked a 7 day 70 hour week from Crufts and I’m on a train feeling absolutely dandy.
You often get blog posts listing all the ridiculously silly and rubbish things that happen on a commute. This, my friends, is a post championing a commute. Here are all the things people don’t tell you about commuting:
It’s the ultimate place for life admin. I’m the type of lady that’s super efficient at work and then a total fail at life admin. Y’know, like sending that thing off to the bank or ordering those tickets for that thing or sending catch up messages to friends. It’s like that part of my brain refuses to function outside of work. Lemme tell you summin’; my 35 minute overground train journey is a fab place to blitz the shit out of life admin. Top tip – don’t spend that 35 mins scrolling Insta wondering what filter your fave blogger uses on her photos. Use it to y’know, do all the important stuff that you forget to do when you’re chilling at home (fill out forms, renew your car insurance, text your nan).
It’s the perfect place to grow your mind and read a book. One of the things I’ve been a bit sad about in recent years is my decline in reading. I’ve missed that buzz of being totally absorbed in a book in a ‘oh my gosh I can’t put this down because will Harry Potter defeat the dark lord‘ kinda way. When I was younger I would lay on my bed for hours reading endless stories until I had a headache and I literally couldn’t read the words any more. At uni I adored the types of books where I could consume all the knowledge, sapping out all the interesting facts and expanding my breadth of knowledge. So it’s been a proper pleasure finally having a space to read again. Even if it is on a smelly train surrounded by people who don’t know the meaning of personal hygiene or personal space boundaries. Swings and roundabouts.
Get some mindfulness. At work we’ve started having ‘mindfulness Thursdays’ where we listen to the Headspace app for 10 minutes during lunch. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Don’t worry, neither did I when it was first suggested to me. So Headspace is an app that you listen to and it helps you empty your mind and feel calm. The train is a perfecto place to sit and do this because um ‘hello’, zero distractions. I’m really, really pants at just sitting and doing nothing. So I have to praise my commute for this; it really does mean for a set time a day I can’t rush around and busy my mind. It gives me space and time to think and mull things over. I used to say some of my best ideas came when I was having a shower, but now I’m finding that my commute is a really great thinking space for generating ideas.
The most productive blogging environment. This post is a prime example of what I get up to on my commute. I generate so much writing content whilst I’m making my way into London. So much so that I think I might be getting repetitive strain injury in my thumb from typing away on my phone. Yah, need to keep a little eye on that lols. So yeah, 95% of my content is written or edited sandwiched between people at 8am in the morning – true story.
Awesome time to do some high intensity exercise. I use the escalators, stairs and pavements as my gym every morning and every evening. I attempt to run up every escalator and power walk all the routes I take between stations because gal gotta find some way to stay trim, right? Plus it shaves off super amounts of time on my commute whilst keeping my hiney in shape. It’s a no brainer. By the time I get to work I feel like Rocky Balboa and I’m totally ready to smash the day.
The people watching is top notch. Today I watched a lady with wild hair and HP glasses knit half a blanket on the way into London. She looked like she had a story to tell. Probably a murderer. Last week I watched as two people attempted to bring teddy bears larger than themselves onto a stuffed tube. I found it amusing, the rest of the tube did not. I sat next to a lady a few weeks ago that sung quietly under her breath for the whole journey. My commute is a reminder that the world is full of millions of weird and wonderful people, all with great stories to tell I’m sure. And there’s never a dull moment on your commute if you take the time to look up from your phone.
Sleep. Duh. A little bit more shut eye can only ever be a good thing right? I haven’t quite mastered the whole sleeping thing yet, mainly because I worry that I’ll fall off my seat mid slumber and I just don’t know how I would recover from that embarrassment. Also, I know sometimes I’m a snore monster and I don’t want to be that person on the train.
And when all else fails, there’s always online shopping and wedding Pinteresting. It’s easy to convince yourself over an hour and a half journey that you 100% need that new Zara bag and the rest of the items in your ASOS basket are also necessities in life. And don’t get me started on the wedding Pinteresting; my board is OUT OF CONTROL.
What I guess I’m angling at is that a commute is what you make of it. As with most things in life. If you’re determined to hate it and spend the time scowling at everyone that elbows you by accident then perhaps it’s not for you. And I guess if I was doing this everyday to drag my butt to a workplace that I despised then yeah okay, maybe it wouldn’t be so fun. I guess it helps that I know there’s a dog waiting for me in the office every morning, saying with its eyes ‘HEY JADE, WHATS ON THE TO-DO-LIST TODAY AND BY THE WAY CAN I HAVE A TUMMY RUB?’
Happy Hump Day all. Hope your Wednesday is full of smiles (and oh my gosh all the sun, because it’s basically Spring today)