First world problems (and solutions)

Today was my first day back at work.  My first day at work without a car to my sole use, to shuttle me in 20 minutes for the calm streets of the inner city, to a small satellite city 20mins drive away.

I awoke at the same time as usual (5.45am) and figured I’d get to work when I did – rather than adjusting my wake up time any earlier to accommodate the new misfortune of no (wholly and solely free) car.  I left home at 6.15am, rather than 6.40am, but I was OK.  I didn’t feel rushed or put out.

I arrived at the train platform close to work at 6.57am.  There goes my previous start time of 7am, as it’s a 10-15 minute up hill walk.  Seeing the bright side, I walked to the cafe (where I’m well known for stopping in the driving days), and took the hill with pride.  Look at me – all this incidental fitness, before mere mortals (like the BF) have even stirred from their sleep.

The trains of Sydney source:
The trains of Sydney

Arriving at work, I had blisters on my heels.  Thinking nothing of it, I swore to change to my ‘comfy’ boots under my desk.  Then I embarked on trying to enter the fortress known as my work.  Despite having the security clearance, there was no way to access the property on the three closest sides (one being a train line, the other two, both locked with keys safely stored in my desk, since relinquishing my car).  Still – more exercise, and arrived at my desk before the logical new start time of 7.30am.

Alas, the homeward bound journey was almost as fruitful (escape as difficult as entry again!)  I left work at about 4.15pm, a touch more than was required of me (and duly noted, as I have to accrue one day off a month in the new role, by documenting what I did beyond standard hours).  I walked to the train station, caught a train, arrived at my home platform at 5.03pm and was home by 5.20pm.

All in all, I worked (and travelled to/from) for 11 hours.  I used to manage 9.5 hours.  Losing another 1.5 hours makes me think about a lot of things:

+ I’m getting about 45-50 minutes more incidental exercise

+ I’m using public transport which I support from an environmental standpoint

+ I’m saving money – buying a car would be far more than my $1200 annual train ticket.  Even adding a daily coffee, I think I’m till ahead.

+ I get to see more of the ‘magic’ hours of the day – sunrise and sunset

Cairns at 5.45am: I promise to share more about my holidays when I learn to liberate the photos
Cairns at 5.45am: I promise to share more about my holidays when I learn to liberate the photos

– I have less time for running and fitness like before

– I’m getting hot and sweaty in my work uniform – more washing than before 🙁 (But I was thinking of Dar in the snow and freezing conditions)

– I get blisters

– I have less hours to myself each day, which might result in less sleep

Come find me stalkers source:
Come find me stalkers

My promotion is temporary until the new structure is formalised, and there’s strong encouragement for me to apply for the management team.  With that, there’s every chance of a novated lease arrangement with a car, as part and parcel of the role.  So there’s no point rushing to buy a car until at least June 30 2014.

The negatives can be optimised.

I can travel in ‘free’ clothes rather than my uniform.  I could even travel in work out clothes and runners, which don’t cause blisters, and tack a park session onto my homebound journey.  Have I mentioned my ‘home’ station is spitting distance from the BF’s work? Probably not – this would mean we could meet and walk home together after my work out.  All I need to facilitate is getting washed and ironed clothes to work, and change there each morning.  I could even make a ‘clothing run’ once a week or fortnight by car, which is still better than a daily or more regular journey.

Well from what could have been a whinging post, I think I’ve found some valid solutions from normal days…

12 Replies to “First world problems (and solutions)”

  1. Congrats on your new work! Are you planning to apply for the permanent job? It's great that they have the (deserved) confidence in you. When you did the 6 weeks in management previously, was it at the home station?

    Although I have celebrated not having to commute any more, there were some good things about it. Rom and I drove together which gave us 90 minutes a day to chat. Especially on the way home, it gave us time to decompress and talk through work before we even got in the door. It was convenient being on the same schedule. Now, Rom has up to a 90 minute bus journey each way (he chooses not to take his own car), and he likes being able to read or listen to podcasts on the bus.

    Meanwhile since I have much more free time, I tend to take over the meals and house tasks more – whether that's good or not! But I don't want to get to the point where Rom has nothing to do on weekdays and all of the tasks are mine 🙂

    1. I tell you what – in this first week in battle, I am so tempted to run screaming from the promotion. But then I remember my 6 weeks in management had a week from hell, so who knows, I might settle into it better soon? All the jobs I've done have been at the same location, it's the loss of the car that's impacted me most, and would have no matter which role I have… But as a permanent appointment to a higher role (management or what I'm doing now) *may* come with a car in some way.

      Oh yes, house tasks! I must get the BF taking on ever more if I'm to cope. We both work, and we have spare hours at different parts of the day, but not everything is that time sensitive (like washing tasks…) We'll see how that floats – so far this evening I've stripped and made the bed, put on sheets, taken out trash and walked compost to the communal bins, and prepped half of dinner! WOO! Thankfully, I had a meeting close to home, so got home earlier than I might have otherwise.

  2. Sounds like a good routine with plenty of incidental exercise.

    And Cairns sunrise looks divine. So not a case of red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning?

    1. Who knows – it did rain on the days following though? Perhaps… Actually the phone makes it seem redder than it was on the day, but still pretty nice!

  3. It would be nice if you could walk home with the boyfriend! Having to walk is great exercise, but I know I would miss having the option to drive in case of inclement weather. Less sleep isn't optimal, but I'm sure you'll get settled into a routine. Being able to watch the sun rise and set is always a nice bonus!

    1. It would be lovely to walk home with him. Actually it was rainy this morning, so I trudged with an umbrella and my blisters. I was not a happy camper let me tell you, but I ate my b'fast on the train, so that might ekk out some more time in bed/at home, or at least less hours away from home.

  4. Sounds like you found some practical solutions! I change to/from my workout clothes at work and have gotten nothing but positive feedback about it, so I hope it works for you 🙂

    1. Ah well that's WONDERFUL. Once my blisters heal on my heel (ha!) I'll get into a routine of work out gear for the journey and uniforms at work!

  5. I love that even though it is less convenient without a car you are soldiering through. You are awesome! Cool pictures too- is that an adult playground?

    1. Ah Katie, there's no point resisting change, so I do try to embrace it!

      The pictures are of an 'outdoor gym' They are pretty popular in Australia, and there's many varieties. It's great for me, as I have weak wrists, to find places with rails for using for push ups!

  6. My goodness, what a saga! I think you are right in saying that you will settle into the new routine after a period of transition. I love how you problem-solve and "look on the bright side". I've always like the idea of being able to read and daydream on public transport! And the extra incidental exercise is good too.

    1. Yes a little saga-esque (and it continued the following day!)

      I do try to keep thinks upbeat on my blog. As such, if I want to blog about something, I have to make it positive, which really helps me turn my frown upside down! I'm wizzing through the bible readings (one of my 12 in 2 goals) which I'd been letting languish. I'm surprised the train has been nicer than when I've been trying to read it in a quiet home. And I haven't yet nodded off for a nap on the train yet – there's still hope though!

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