Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Musings from a long commute


Snow on the roof.

Snow on the roof.

It’s still winter here.  You’ve probably heard that, and it’s probably still winter where you are too.  Snow, snow, snow.  And it’s cold.  After awhile it begins to wear a person down.  Add to that stress in the form of employment, or lack of employment, depending on your situation, and it’s hard to stay motivated.

I was on my slow snowy commute this morning and thinking about the other people in the cars surrounding me, all of us creeping on slick roads toward cubicles where we’ll do some sort of work for several hours and then creep home again.  It all seemed overwhelmingly sad.   Then I remembered  the Christmas concert CD I haven’t heard yet.  Yes I know, I’m a bit behind.  We played that concert the 16th of December and I’ve been too distracted since to listen to it.

Who says you can’t enjoy Christmas music in January?  Stuck in traffic I turned off the radio full of grim news, forecasts of frigid cold and more snow, long reports of traffic snarls, and began to hum along with holiday music.  I let it take me away, could see the music in my mind, felt my fingers playing a phantom clarinet.  And then there were tears sliding now my cheeks as the sweet gentle tones of “The Holly and the Ivy” filled the car.  I don’t know why.  If I had to guess I’d say it was the stress of work in combination with a grueling commute coming to a head.  The emotion caught me by surprise.  But shortly I had to smile, because right after “Holly” was “March of the Toys” which reminded me that life marches on.  So I wiped my face, grinned a bit, pulled into the parking lot and marched myself right into work.  And it turned out not to be such a bad day after all.

The commute home was worse than the one going in.  More snow.  Icy roads.  Slow.  Sometimes tense.  I was letting myself get stressed all over again.  Then a few miles from home I came up behind a jeep.  The license plate was GD2BME.   It got me smiling again, and realizing that it’s true for me and for most of us.  Even during a long winter filled with snow and traffic jams and below zero temperatures and long commutes and frustrating work.

Even with all that… it is GD2BME.   Hope it’s GD2BYOU too.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

17 thoughts on “Musings from a long commute

  1. It is GD2BEME, but seriously some days are gooder than others. The last few years I worked I had many times of wondering how long I could continue doing such a demanding, high-stress job that required so many hours of my life. I never answered that question really, but I managed to survive as long as I had to. So will you. And then you’ll have those wonderful days to do what you want on your own time and schedule.


    • You are correct, some days are WAY gooder than others. I am hoping to manage to survive as long as I have to and even ore hoping that it’s shorter than I think I have to.


  2. How I admire your composition about the thoughts, daily stories taking away our peace of mind and how you tried to still grin and wipe your tears because you want to see a brighter day tomorrow. Its a wonderful thing that you don’t want to stay with the same frustrations cribbing over & over, rather try to change your mind by listening to music and wondering about better things. I feel good to know that you want to stay happy irrespective of frustrations at work… Its really an emotional challenge some times… hows Katie? convey my “hello”…. have a good day dearie 🙂


  3. My job is so stressful now, with all the emphasis on testing and the possibility that I could be fired if my kids don’t score high enough. Sometimes, I feel as though it’s sucking the life out of me. But, I do try and keep things in perspective and remember how lucky I really am. If I get fired, I can always open up a doggie daycare! Right?

    Life is good.


    • I’m sorry it’s so stressful now Sara…teachers all over aren’t being allowed to teach in ways that benefit children as they are held accountable to tests. But sure…a doggie day care sounds great!


  4. You know – there are days when I miss so much not being able to work…I miss just saying hi to people or having the occasional chat. I miss that human contact and the feeling that I am not alone in the world. Basically if I don’t go to the store I can go days without talking to anyone but hubby and the dogs and yet I also stop and think how lucky I am because I don’t have all the stresses working folks have on them – and I do remember them only to well. I guess I have my own health stresses these days but they somehow don’t seem as bad. The funny thing is – music is my out too – from feeling alone 🙂


  5. A few years ago I heard on NPR about a poll that had asked people what part of their work day was the best. The commute won. Sad but true. However, I bet they didn’t poll Northerners in the middle of Winter! Stay safe .


    • I used to kind of like the commute..time alone..time to decompress…but lately the commute is just full of tension and snow….so I’m looking forward to a shorter one.


  6. It is GD2BME, but sometimes I forget that. We’re coming up on the worst part of winter, when it’s so very cold and, in your part of the world, it seems like the snow never goes away. February was always, always my worst month. So short, yet seeming to stretch on forever. It will be interesting to see if it is different here. Stay warm, stay safe, and keep the Christmas music handy. 🙂


  7. These cold, hard–to-deal-with winter days can make it easy to forget the business of living. I’m glad you were able to make a good day of it, and be reminded after along commute that life is still good. As Carol said, some days are better than others, but at least we’ve got some good ones. (And I sometimes listen to Christmas music in the summer, so do whatever cheers you!) Hugs, and here’s hoping you’re getting some of this sunshine!


    • No sunshine lately…just more snow. Keep reminding myself to think of the joy we all feel at the first snow each year. Cause it is pretty. Just so over it all.


  8. This has been the winter that won’t quit, hasn’t it? I think you found that we all have to grab a piece of happiness wherever we can find it. And music certainly can be uplifting! Glad you turned off the drudgery noise and inserted some happy Christmas music. Think Spring!


  9. It’s so early in the winter season to be finished…but I wish we were!


  10. I smiled reading this. A couple of small miracles in the midst of an icy snowy work-filled day. Those “ordinary” joys that take us out of the small world and into the larger one. This gives me faith. Stay safe on those icy roads, Dawn.


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