I have a commute to and from work everyday, about 40 minutes each way. Usually this time is filled with phone calls that are both work and personal, eating, and listening to the radio. I tend to listen to the local NPR affiliate, mostly because of the hyperlocal weather and traffic info that I get while driving through the actual raindrops they are reporting about, behind the actual pokey schoolbus that holds up commuters on 1A that they complain about. Kidding about that last part, but just barely. Sometimes I switch over to one of the CDs that the baby likes, either one of the Music Together CDs, Let’s Go Everywhere from Medeski, Martin & Wood, or something from Elizabeth Mitchell.
Today though, I did something a little different. Did you know that some factory-installed car stereos have an anti-theft feature that gets activated when the power source is cut, for example when you get your battery replaced? When the radio is reconnected, it requires a code to be punched in for the radio to work again. Guess who doesn’t have that code? Of course, I first have to recognize how amazing it is that on my 2001 Honda CRV, this is the first time I have had to replace the battery. Now, I can complain about how inconvenient it is to go about getting this code. I need to get the serial number from the radio (which means a trip back to the auto repair shop, where they graciously offered to help out in solving this problem if needed), and enter it along with the VIN onto a website that is not available during a lot of evening hours. That hasn’t happened yet.
But today, I took advantage of the situation. Instead of the radio and my ringing personal phone and my buzzing work Blackberry vying for my attention along with my morning coffee, I commuted in silence. The baby cooperated by falling asleep on both legs of the drive, and I was alone with my thoughts. I noticed that without the noise (both literal and figurative) of the radio, my other senses got more attention. I noticed things along my drive that had escaped me before, like a dog boarding facility nearby that might come in handy someday soon. I was more attuned to sipping my coffee and eating my danish, when usually both are consumed without me even remembering it by the time I get to work.
The fabulous thing though, was having that time to work through some things in my head. I find often these days that my attention is so divided that I sometimes don’t have the time to think a thought all the way through. I end up going through the same problem-solving loops over and over again, having to revisit things as they become imminently relevant again instead of approaching them proactively and planfully. Today, I got to work with my game face on, plan of attack for the day firmly in mind. I got home after having made the switch from work mindset to home mindset, and was able to be fully present for my husband and son. Even the dog got a little more love than usual. It made such a difference, having that time to readjust and reset.
I’m not really in a hurry to get the radio working again, but even when I do I think I’ll try to do this from time to time.
So, Fabulous Thing #33: Creating my own mobile meditation unit.