I’ve felt more permutations of opinion towards my now not-so-new commute than I’d care to admit. Before moving on to my new hospital I lived less than a mile down the road from the hospital, and it was good. I could, under pressure, be bed-to-ward in fifteen minutes.
Now it’s more like an hour and fifteen minutes. Initially, in the heady days of summer and with a new car to drive my motivation I rather enjoyed the journey – a 45 minute drive, followed by a fifteen minute walk through dappled sunlight; off road, quiet. I read books as I walk and I’d get through a book or so a week. My job was easy, and overstaffed (summertime makes respiratory a lot easier) and so sometimes I’d get to come home early. I listened to a radio full of topical discussions or a playlist full of my currently-favoured music and feel that the drive had benefited me in some way.
As time has gone by I have become less enamoured of my commute. Its gaping jaws swallow two hours of my day. I walk under spitting skies with my yearning for books frustrated by their hydrophilia. In the evening the way is shut and I walk home in the dark, by road, in areas I do not fully trust. I am alert and scour the darkened streets for inconsistencies in behaviour, unusual sounds. I do not read. I do not use headphones. In the car I tire of music that I cannot refresh quickly enough to keep interesting and of hearing about Islamic state, political conferences and failures, yet another mass killing in yet another country. I leave home in the dark, walk for 15 minutes in the daylight and then drive home in the dark. In the evenings I lack the will to go out, exercise, work. I’m a drone, a shell, a jobbing drudge with 2 and a half more years of being railroaded by one training programme before being railroaded into the next, being fleeced for mandatory exams to the tune of, literally, thousands of pounds. Bring on the summer again, please.