Missing The Commute

 It's been over two years since I last commuted an office.  Before the pandemic took over my world in March 2020 I drove approximately 12 miles in the morning and the same 12 miles back home at night.  There was ALWAYS traffic and almost always some sort of construction.  It should have been a 30 minute ride each way, but it rarely ever was.  There were plenty of times where the highway was backed up and I took back roads, which were always incredibly crowded.  There were times when it took me over an hour to my destination (be it work or home; although if I recall correctly traffic issues were usually worse on the ride home).  The commute was a pain in the neck.  But I did it every day because that's what I did.

Although on occasion, I did work from home, I couldn't imagine NOT commuting on a regular basis. I had always commuted and all of the jobs that I've held down in my lifetime were within a 15 mile radius of my home.  I wouldn't look at a job that was further away.  I didn't want to deal with that kind of commute.

I could not have imagined NOT commuting.  But here we are, over two years later; I've been working from home and, for the most part, doing pretty well with it.  Commuting back to the office where I worked from June 2016 to March 12, 2020 is no longer an option; that office space no longer exists.  As I've written about (https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2022/04/out-of-zone-again.html), there's a new office I will (reluctantly) be going to.  That commute is going to look very different than the one I used to do as it require (from my perspective) public transportation.  I'm not looking forward to that.  

Even though I commuted on a daily basis, I was never really fond of it.  (Are there people out there who are?  I'm sure there must be.)  There WAS one aspect of it that I DO miss.  One that I never really thought about until recently.  For the most part, during every drive to or from the office, I would call and talk to my mom.  (Hands free!)

We didn't talk about anything important. (At least that I can recall.)  It was a check in because my parents were getting older.  It was a catch up.  It was complaining about the traffic.  It was talking about my son.  It was hearing about what my parents were up to.  If it was during the warmer months, I could bet on the conversation being about meals out with friends and (sailing) races on the bay.  Sometimes the calls lasted the entire commute; sometimes they were briefer.  Monday through Friday sometime between 7:15 and 9 and 4:30 and 6 (depending on how my day was going), I would talk to my mom.

I didn't realize at the time how important that was.  

During these two years of Covid-19, I still have talked to my mom.  Usually only in the morning though.  I'd do a quick check in.  Our conversations have been shorter.  I would call later.  My mother would sleep in more (especially if the weather was overcast).  My calls that were always before 8, now started afterwards.  

My mom has been having some health issues.  Issues that have made our regular conversations difficult.  My mom, who always had something to say, doesn't have that much to say anymore.  I talk, and she (I hope) listens.  I don't always know what to say. I don't know what to talk about.  So the phone calls are short, but they still are a regular "thing."  I hope that counts.

As I write this, my mom is back in the hospital.  I haven't talked to her since Tuesday.  That's not a long time, but it is.  In those two years since I've stopped commuting, things have changed.  I didn't realize how much.  I didn't realize how much I would miss those long phone calls (even when they irritated me).  I never gave them much thought.  Now I do.

When I talk to my mom again (and I don't know exactly when that might be), I'm going to bring up those calls.  I'm going to tell her how much they meant to me.  I'm going to emphasize how much she means to me.  And I'm going to end the conversation, as I almost always (but probably not always) did:  "I love you."  Because I do.


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