19 for 2019: #8 Bright Ideas on Buses

Like many people all over, I commute an hour each way to and from work every day. It can easily get to be a soul-crushing grind if you don’t actively work to leverage the time in a way that’s meaningful or useful, especially in the exhausting face of crime and poverty that turns to our transit systems as a captive audience or a social services agency. Or even just the crush of other zombie commuters. Not being in a position in which I must operate a vehicle leaves quite a bit of flexibility in options of how to spend these two plus hours every day of my work life. Most of the time, I’m standing, so that can narrow the options, and I change it up, depending on my mood or whatever is happening in the moment. There’s checking email, scanning my calendar, decluttering inboxes, reading articles and newsletters, listening to podcasts, reading books, scrolling facebook, plotting world domination, or zoning out, what I consider to be as close to meditation as I get these days. There’s even yarn crafting if you can get a seat. Let’s be real, though, I’m talking BART during the commute hour–I’m usually pretty stoked if I can grab that certain corner that I prefer to stand in and I’m not being molested by someone’s backpack, yarn crafting only typically happens if I’m travelling off hours.

One cool and dark afternoon around this time last year, probably while using my commute time to ponder my 19 for 2019, a light bulb of sorts dawned. To be clear, I’ve not actively followed up on this particular bright idea I had somewhere on E. 14th Street heading home on the ACTransit line 10. I still think it’s an intriguing idea, one that combines a few of my skills and interests in a way that has potential for side hustle, and I think I’m going to keep it on the DL until I figure out if/how I might really do something with it. Probably not a direct rollover to next year’s list, though I think it might move over to the Mojo List. In the meantime, I have a renewed appreciation for the fatigue of my daily commute.

Tomorrow: how a goal to knit something nearly took over my life.

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