Human beings are creatures of habit. You stick to a daily routine because it’s comfortable, it’s what you’re used to, and it’s what feels “normal.” For the past year, it was “normal” for me to spend two hours a day in my car, stuck in traffic, driving to and from work.
It’s what had to be done — or at least this is what I kept telling myself for 20 months.
The short version of the story goes like this:
- My girlfriend Cassie was diagnosed with cancer.
- I was at risk of losing my day job.
- In order to make ends meet while my girlfriend focused on her health, I accepted another job in another town.
- We never considered moving because it wasn’t a priority to us.
It wasn’t a priority to us because it wasn’t an option. Or at least it wasn’t an option we considered. We only “woke up” to the possibility of moving closer to my job after Cassie was cured, and found a teaching position in the same area where I work.
Things happened quickly. We turned in our month’s notice to end our current lease and shopped around for a new place. We slowly moved our belongings to our new home each day, packing our cars full the night before and stopping by to unload them after work.
It’s done. We’ve moved.
Consequently, what used to be a stressful, hour-long endeavor traveling 30 miles in bumper-to-bumper traffic is now a quick 10-minute commute. I’ve reclaimed 2 hours of my workday. That’s 10 hours a week, or over 500 hours a year — or how I like to look at it, nearly 65 days of “vacation.”
All of that time that was previously being lost to rush hour can now be spent doing more fulfilling things, like hobbies! Piano! Writing! Exercising? Whatever the case may be, I’m definitely excited about my new Free Time!
Have you ever made a small change in your routine that gave you more Free Time? Please share your tips and stories in the comments.
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