New York City 160 300x225 POSITIVE PARENTING   LONG RIDESI was thinking the other day about how much traveling I do. In any given week I could spend 10 hours just getting to and from work. This trip involves taking a bus and the minimum of 2 trains. The train ride can vary because sometimes The NYC Transit Authority finds it necessary to repair the tracks and the stations that I travel through. This can cause me to have to reroute my trip which may increase the number of trains I have to take to get to my destination. I have no ill will feelings about them making repairs. The trains in The NYC Transit Authority run 24 hours a day and I have to say that 95% of the time the system is very reliable.

When I first started this job 27 years ago, I found the trip very stressful. I just could not relax. I leave very early in the morning and timing is everything.  I have a certain window of time that I need to leave to make sure that I get to work on time. The earlier I leave the harder it is to make connections. The system (both the busses and trains) run on a slower, sporadic schedule between midnight and 6 AM. This meant that I’m usually rushing to get ready so I could make all my connections.

The stress was so strong that by the time I got to work, I was exhausted. By 10 AM I needed to take a nap.

It wasn’t until about ten years ago that I felt that I had enough of the stress. I was determined to change the way I looked at my trip. There had to be a way for me to relieve the stress and make this an enjoyable trip.

The first thing I did was to examine my travel window. I found out that I had a ½ hour. This meant that I didn’t have to leave at the first available time. I could leave during this ½ hour and still get to work on time.

The other thing I began to do was to find and follow the travel schedule. The buses and the trains run at certain times and all I had to do was get the schedule for those lines that I used and is aware of the times when these lines moved.

The third thing I did was to get something to listen to as I ride. In the beginning I had a cassette player with a few cassettes filled with my favorite music. As the technology advanced I tried to stay up to date. From the cassette player I went to an MP3 player. Now I have all I want to listen to is on my smart phone.

These three things along with my attitude have changed a stressed filled ride into a pleasurable trip. Now I look forward to my ride to work. I look forward to seeing all those who, along with me, are on their way to school or to work. It’s a pleasure to spend time conversing with my fellow travelers and learning new things as I ride to work.

There are times when I’m riding with one of my kids. Since I have removed the stress, I can include them in this form of enjoyment.  Sometimes we talk about pressing issues. There are other times when we are simply rehashing the events of last night’s game.

When you see pictures of NYC they are usually images of a street that’s full of people and cars. If you look closely you probably can see the steam that’s escaping the ground as a result of all that is going on at that crowded intersection.

For a period of time I was in one of those cars that may have been photographed. The only thing about the scene that I described in the previous paragraph is that most streets in NYC are not that congested.

Driving back and forth to work is the ultimate pleasure. The car ride only takes ½ hour as opposed to the hour/ hour and 1/2 it takes by public transportation. There are rare occasions when traffic does come to a standstill.

I remember one time when my significant other, our baby and I were in the car just about to get on the Ed Koch Queensboro bridge. We were moving at a pretty good pace when all of a sudden everything came to a stop. One of the cars of The Roosevelt Island Tramway stopped working.

Since 9/11/2001 every major event is treated very seriously. The police stopped all traffic in both directions. This means that no one was going to Queens and all those in Queens were stopped from entering Manhattan. 

It took over an hour to drive over the bridge. It usually takes only the 5 minutes. During the whole time we stayed stress free and accepted our powerlessness. In fact we were involved in a very nice conversation that made the wait enjoyable.

It really doesn’t matter if I’m traveling by car or using mass transit. I’ve learned that the long ride can be made easier with good conversation and/or good music.

By the way since we are talking about long rides I want you to listen a collection of music by Kasim Keto called “Long Car Rides” to be released 11/19/2013.

I’m the guy whose glass is always ½ full.


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