Years ago, one of my friends worked in a record store for the summer. It was by our standards quite far away, and he was required to take the bus there and back.
I remember remarking that it would be a pain in the ass to have to do that.
He replied that this commute (no more than about 20 min each way, which one would seem quite churlish to complain about, my adult self now realises) was the only time he had to himself all day, and that he relished it.
Now that I am myself a parent, I finally realise what he meant.
I have always enjoyed commuting anyway, as long as it’s not by car. It’s nice to have 20 min, or maybe half an hour, in which to swap over from work mode to home mode.
But since I started work again after having Bolle, it’s more than that.
The commute is, in fact, the only time in the day where I have my mind all to myself.
As soon as I get home, my mum or very lovely boyfriend will be bombarding me with information about Bolle’s progress while I was away (she’s filled x diapers with x colour poo, she’s rolled over from her back and got stuck on the baby activity mat, that kind of thing), which is of course lovely, but it is rather mind-crowding.
And Bolle herself will inevitably demand a feed, as she has figured out that milk straight from the tap tastes a lot fresher than that from the fridge, or even worse, freezer, which positively makes her retch and refuse the bottle.
I am not complaining about all this, as there is nothing better than coming home to a baby whose huge smile and arms outstretched are 100% genuine (one wonders if the others torture her all day).
But having that half-hour to myself, cycling along a lake, listening to music or just to the gravel spluttering from underneath the bike, is really a sanity saver.
We just bought a house, and I have made sure it’s a suitable distance from work…