Friday, December 24, 2010

Goodbye to the good commute

Never wanted to work in Salt Lake.
Never wanted to drive that infernal commute on a daily basis.
So as I say goodbye to full-time work at The Deseret News and the people there, it's with a mixture of deep sorrow and utter, pure joy!
No more hoping to clear Point of the Mountain before it A. ices over, B. backs up, or C. fogs in.
No more holding in my breath until I pass 106th South — which is the great bottleneck on I-15.
No more sitting in traffic whiling away the time because there's a fender bender three exits ahead.
Getting out from under
No more reading the electronic sign warning me it will take 47 minutes to reach downtown Salt Lake and bargaining in my mind with the reality that it won't really take that long. It just won't be. (The sign's behind the times and all that jazz.)
No more getting so acquainted with the backend of the car ahead of me that I have the license plate memorized, the funny bumper stickers imbedded into my brain and I've figured out every little stick figure member of the family and what he or she does for a hobby.
Of all the things I've had to do in my life as a news reporter over the past 35 years, the commute was the least fun.
It's so routine and yet so unpredictable.
And one is so powerless to do anything about it.
Sometimes, amazingly, one can whizz right from Utah County into inner Salt Lake City in 30-40 minutes, tooling along listening to Yanni and feeling good about life.
But most days, it's painful beyond belief.
Standand transmission cars are not designed to be happy going 5 miles an hour and neither am I. Gas tanks drain before your very eyes. Meeting starts and story deadlines have to be missed. Tears flow.
So as life changes and I move to becoming a freelance writer — meaning I can stay home and write e-mails and make phone calls to do my work — it's with a bubbly sense of release, a euphoric float.
Thank goodness for silver linings.

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