Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why I Value a Short Commute

Yesterday some guys from my church came over.  It was probably 7:30 and because my husband wasn't home and my kids had been impossible to round up we were just having dinner.  It was mac and cheese and hot dogs.  I try to justify that by telling myself it was Annies and Applegates but honestly it was one of those throw away meals I put together when J isn't home because there is only so much complaining you can take about real meals when you are the only one there to enjoy it.  I didn't let them in but instead just chatted with them in the doorway.  I'm sure they thought that it was because I felt weird about them coming over when my husband wasn't home.  That actually had zero to do with it.  Instead I just didn't want them in my living room.  The kids have been really into Wipe Out recently and had turned the living room into a Wipe Out course, which is to say my house looked like trash.  They tried to get to know us a bit.  Turns out I am the new teacher for one of their sons in primary.  At some point they found out that I'm am sort of the way stop for my sister when she goes home or my family as they go to her.  They were teasing me about people sleeping at the house but not ever staying to visit and then I mentioned we have been looking at this house on a lot of property and I had told my sister that if we bought it everyone could come to my place for Christmas and she had basically told me "Fat Chance".  When they heard the town we are looking to buy in it got really awkward because they started telling me all the bad things about this town we are looking at.  See right now I live in a bedroom community.  It has one elementary school and then has to ship the kids off for high school and junior high.  It has two gas stations, one dance studio, two let yourself in with a key gyms, maybe four restaurants and one store that sells lumber and close to date food.  There are definitely some poor people in town but not many.  I like to joke that the town was once 50 farms, 10 trailers, and 1 hundred year old house but for the most part all the growth is three car garage middle class homes, mostly white people looking for cheaper housing and concerned with schools.  On the flip side the town J works in is much larger, has a lot more apartments and trailer homes, has a lot more older homes and oh yeah has a ton more hispanic people.  It also is growing with new three car garage middle class homes but it's schools are not known for being as good and it has a lot more of the problems brought by poverty.  We know this already.  I can't tell you how many people have tried to tell me about the high hispanic population in veiled ways.  Considering I'm hispanic it has been difficult.  I hear you though people.  I understand, more hispanics, more poverty, more crime, worse schools.  I get it.  But the thing is it is significantly closer to my husbands work and good commute is extremely important to us.

One of the guys last night was telling me about how he teaches in a town half an hour away and that he doesn't mind his commute.  I tried to explain to him why this is not ideal for us.  I don't know that he got it but here is why we hate commutes.  My husband works seven days on seven days off (although as soon as he finishes taking his ped boards in October he is planning to up his work days so we can get our student loans paid off faster and start college funds for the kids).  So for seven days of the week he is guy covering the ICU and the regular floor at his hospital.  He does not have to stay over night because there is a night hospitalist there to cover any emergencies that happen but anyone who comes into the hospital between seven am and seven pm and has to be admitted, discharged, or have a plan of care put together, well that is on him.  On good days the service is light and there are few admits and he leaves here at 6:30am and gets back at 8 or 8:30pm.  That was the first three days of his week.  On bad days the services is super full, there are lots of discharges to write, he gets three admits at 6:00 that he has to coordinate their care for before he leaves and he doesn't get home until midnight.  That was the last four days of the week.  For four days the only time I saw my husband was when I woke up to his alarm at 5:30 and asked him if he was going to get up for work.  Those days are hard.  Those days are when living three miles from the hospital would pay off.  He'd be able to sleep in a little later.  He'd be able to get home a little faster.  I'd be more easily able to just drop by to eat lunch with him.  It would be easier on Holidays (because remember he works those) to just drop by and see him.  And oh yeah on the those days "off" that he has when he has to run in two or three days for meetings, those meetings wouldn't be accompanied with an hour of driving time. My husband worked 104 hours this week.  It seems pretty obvious that with work hours like that an hour commute time is more of a hassle than a decompression time.  If I could live across the street from the hospital I would.  I can't but it should seem obvious why as much as I like this bedroom community I don't love it enough that I'm not looking to move closer!


  1. If no commute is better for you, go with it! Less worry about Dr. J driving while half asleep, too.

  2. I don't blame you. Diversity is fun. I love that we have Hispanics in my area. I see them at the park every night walking the track and playing soccer or volleyball. Andrew often comments on how family-oriented they are.

    And short commutes sound much better for your family. I hope you are able to get the new house!

  3. I agree, a short commute is just divine! I am willing to give up a lot to get a short commute. Like live in a 2bd apt in the center (6 minute bike ride to work!) when we could have got a much bigger/nicer place farther out. I don't know, people's priorities are different, but the thing about a commute is that it never goes away, not ever. It's twice a day, every day, always. So your reasoning sounds pretty smart to me!

  4. Honestly Chandler and I each have an hour commute and it seriously sucks. It makes it super difficult to have time together. I can definitely see why it would be nicer to live closer to work.

  5. Honestly Chandler and I each have an hour commute and it seriously sucks. It makes it super difficult to have time together. I can definitely see why it would be nicer to live closer to work.

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