A great deal of my workday is spent driving to my patients’ homes. As a visiting nurse, driving is an inescapable part of my business. I drive in all kinds of Canadian weather: freezing rain, snow, unexpected whiteouts, downpours, high humidity. Living in a large city means traffic congestion, road closures and repairs, fast highways. On top of that, there’s the high price of gasoline. It’s all in a day’s work. Instead of complaining about my daily commute, I’ve decided to embrace it and find the good in it.
The best thing about the drive is the quiet. When the car windows are rolled up, most of the surrounding noise is blocked out. As a habit, I don’t turn on the radio or put on CDs. I enjoy the sense of peace. It’s the only time in my day when I am surrounded by silence. I can actually hear myself think.
In the silence, and because I have time, I say my prayers. There’s no excuse not to. There’s no one else with me so why not talk to the One who loves me the most? We are each other’s captive audience.
It’s a bonus to be able to pick up the groceries or do some other shopping during the work day and not have to account for my time to anyone. As long as I get to a client at the agreed time, it’s all good. No one needs to know that there’s bags of food in the car.
My car is my office. Everything I need to do my job is in there. Stashed in the glove compartment is a box of granola bars – the kind that’s coated in chocolate – for those days when I get hungry while driving (and that happens often). It’s all pretty comfortable and relatively clean. I like it.
There are so many cars on the road, and so many people on the streets, I often wonder where everyone’s headed and why are so many people in a rush? It’s fun to people-watch when I’m stopped at a light or stop sign.
The people at the bus stops are the most interesting. Most of them look sombre in the morning; everyone looks miserable in bad weather. I quietly cheer for commuters running to catch the bus in high heels, with kids in tow, carrying overloaded backpacks, sprinting across 4 lanes of traffic just to get on that bus. In my head, I give a little “yay” when they make it. You don’t want to know what I say when the bus driver doesn’t give them a break.
Although I’m used to the driving and accept it as part of my day, I don’t hesitate to let someone else do the driving when I’m not working. My husband loves driving. Trouble is, we don’t have the same driving style. I’m a much more conservative, cautious driver and he’s not……although he has mellowed over the years. I sometimes manage to hold my tongue when he does something I wouldn’t do, especially if he’s driving my car. I’m very protective of my office/vehicle.
Driving is a necessary part of my day. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to have my nursing foot care business. For that reason alone, I am thankful.