Monday, April 19, 2010

One day a week

The other night I was extremely exhausted, lying in bed and desperately wanting to fall asleep, but for some reason, despite the fatigue, my brain just would not turn off and let me slip into a blissful, stressless sleep.  This was, of course, because I've been so stressed out about my job and the insane hours I've been working recently.  So, instead of letting me rest my weary body, my brain insisted on thinking of everything adding to my current misery (therefore stressing me out more and preventing me from sleeping for even longer).

So, what, you may ask, did my brain decide to think about while I was lying there in the dark next to my snoring husband and praying for sleep?  Well, it decided it would be extremely fun to calculate the number of hours I spend per week on public transportation.  And what was the grand total?  24!!!!!

Yes, this is correct, my brain did very precise calculations when my body would have much preferred to be dreaming.  I spend 24 long, unpaid hours on public transportation per week.  Now mind you, 10 of these hours are going to or from work.  But the other 14 are going from company to company for my job, and they are completely unpaid (unless you consider the fact that my company reimburses 100% of my Navigo instead of only 50% to be payment enough for that much of my time).  This thought alone is enough to add to my recent depression.

But no, my brain wouldn't rest there.  Its next realization was that 24 hours is one day.  Yes, this may seem obvious to most, but 24 hours a week doesn't sound nearly as bad as 1 day out of 7.  When my brain realized that my body reacted immediately with an increased amount of stress and depression, further hindering my ability to drift off to sleep.

But this was still not enough for my brain, which then of course had to take the calculation further.  Not enough that I am losing one day a week to the dreaded RATP.  No, the calculations continued:  one day a week...52 days a year (more the double the amount of vacation I eventually will get)...but even worse, this effectively means that if I continue this job for 7 years and my schedule continues to be this ridiculous and spread out that I will actually lose 1 year of my life every 7 years to the RATP!!!  And this is the point where I realized I would never fall asleep and that depression was almost inevitable.  I can't even imagine losing a year of my life every seven years to public transportation.  The thought alone makes me feel sick.  I am really starting to wonder if I can really spend the rest of my life living in this city...

And so, I ask, how much of your life is lost to transportation???


  1. I lost 12-15 hrs/wk when I was taking public transport before I bought my car. Lille is designed really strangely with two metro lines spanning one direction of the city (for the sake of the explanation we'll say North-South) and two tramways spanning the other direction (we'll say east-west) so let's imagine I live in the north west of Lille (which I do) and I worked in the north (which I did) it was necessary to take a bus all the way into the city in order to get the metro or the tramway to go back out of it. Took me nearly two hours a day.
    Here's what really gets me though: I got a car. Ten minute drive. WTF.
    And then I quit that job, because it's not worth it.

    I'm losing sleep right now to conjugations. I've been writing pages and pages about english grammar (a total snooze fest) and now I can't even sleep because I dream about it. Horrible.

    I hope that this sunshine and warmer weather will help to bring you out of your funk, and in the mean time, if I were you, i'd be checking the job adverts and/or taking some sick days off. It sounds like you need a real, honest to god rest. I hope you'll start feeling better soon.. it's no fun to be down in the dumps :(

  2. Ohhh, that's a lot of time, chica. I am really feeling for you!! Maybe to look on the good side, 100% Pass Navigo ain't nothing to sneeze at, though, because if you had to cover that on your own it would be a small fortune. Also, public transportation is also good in that you can read a book or do another activity when going, so there is that...

    I used to have an average commute in the States -- a couple of hours in the car each day on weekdays then three hours every Friday night to go and get my son from his dad's. Then another two hours on Sunday to drop him back off (rush hour added the extra hour every Friday). Still several hours shy of your commute, but then I had to focus on the driving part, too. I listened to a lot of music back then. :)

    When you do the breakdown like you do in the post, it seems pretty insane, huh, but then there are a lot of insane things that go on like this in life, aren't there. Like the time we spend sleeping. Or doing other stupid stuff like toilet cleaning. In fact, when it gets right down to it, stupid kind of seemingly useless stuff takes up a lot of time that could be spent doing other things!!

    Here's what I think. I think we are the makers of our dreams and our lives, and it sounds like you are figuring out more and more about what you want your life to be like! It sounds like being in the city is not one of those things. This is good information to have, you know? It helps you narrow in on what it is that you really want and are looking for. It's a crummy experience to feel bound in like this, though. But not unlike the caterpillar in the cocoon, the squishing eventually leads to the transformation, doesn't it.

    I read your reply to the previous post and whenever you want to get in touch I am here! :) I think it would be really nice to get in touch, so just let me know. :)

    Hang in there!!