In the fall of 2008, After six long, horrifying months of commuting via public transit, I bought my first-ever car. That car was a Toyota Yaris. I quickly dubbed it the “blue Jellybean” for its smurf-blue colour and squat, almost cartooney shape.
The blue jellybean shortened my 95 minute commute into a mere 55 minutes. I was in heaven.
For about 2 days.
That’s how long it took me to completely forget the months of long cold waits at the bus stop and even longer stuffy rides to and from home. The rage I would feel every day while my bus was pulling up to my transfer stop just as my next bus was pulling away without me, was a thing of the past.
Because I now spent my commute struggling to stay awake while crawling along the 403 at 5 kilometres an hour in the mornings, and defending myself against all the self-proclaimed James Bonds and Batmans that weaved, tailgated, and slingshot their way through evening rush hour traffic.
More than five years later, making the same drive in the same car, I still have to constantly remind myself that I have graduated from worse times in order to renew my gratitude.
Because it’s not all bad. At least I have a car. At least I have my own space and can listen to my own music. And at least I have a job to be commuting to. Besides, sometimes it’s healthy to be locked in a vehicle for an hour with nothing but your thoughts.
It was in the blue jellybean that I came up with the thought, “I should blog about work-life balance!”
It’s laughable right? Where do I get off thinking I’m qualified to blog about balance when I spent 11-12 hours a day either getting to, being at, and coming home from a high-stress job?
But, that’s the point.
It is here I will document my attempts to maintain a balanced life of family, friends, health, and work, despite the hours I clock in on the jellybean express.