herald

Monday 24 September 2018

my life in the fast lane isn't saving me time or money

I'M not a morning person. No. I never have been.

My mother is a morning person. She rises early but then finds herself nodding off during the nine o' clock news. I, on the other hand, stay up late. I often realise that it's past midnight and the only people still chatting on Facebook are my friends in America. This isn't good, as I rise at 6.30am. Yes, an ungodly hour to wake up, in my opinion, but it's necessary.

Walking

Up until recently, I used not to drive. I would walk or get the bus everywhere. I used to wonder about people who would drive to the gym in traffic in order to run on the spot for half-an-hour. Walking everywhere kept me fit and meant I got fresh air every day.

I didn't mind getting the bus or the train to places, as I like to read or simply look out the window. Naturally, I would avoid taking public transport during rush hour as I have a real dislike of standing on buses or trams with my nose in somebody else's armpit.

I especially don't enjoy using transport when it's raining, with people's wet umbrellas pressed into me, or witnessing people sneezing into their hands and then grabbing the hand rail. But whenever I'd travel during non-rush hour, I found it okay.

I even learned to zone out when people shouted into their mobile phones or turned up the volume of their headphones so that all the other commuters felt they were in a nightclub.

But everybody said I needed a car. So in the end I got one. They said it would make life easier. I'm still in two minds about that one.

It certainly has made life a lot costlier. I seem to spend my life at petrol stations pumping more money into it. And when I'm not at a petrol station, I'm at a repair garage or a car wash. Or I'm stuck in traffic.

Frustrating

I used to shake my head about people who complained about traffic. Gosh, some people have little to do, I thought. Who cares if you have to wait a bit to get from A to B. Wasn't patience a virtue?

At least in your own car you could listen to your music of choice instead of your fellow commuters'. And you were warm, instead of freezing at a bus stop as you watched three full buses pass.

But of course, then I realised that there is nothing in life quite so frustrating as sitting in the middle of the road and not being able to budge.

It's awful knowing you're wasting fuel going nowhere, and looking out the window to see pedestrians and cyclists passing. So then a light bulb went off in my head.

I decided to get up early. I now leave home in the pitch black. There are still an awful lot of cars on the road, but very little traffic.

Is it a killer? Well, yes, kind of. But I'm way more organised. I get a lot more done. And on Fridays, because the morning traffic always seems a lot lighter, I give myself a little lie-in and set the alarm for 7.05am. A treat.

www.marisamackle.ie

Promoted articles

Entertainment News