My home and my office are roughly 30 miles apart. If I leave work at just the right time, run into very little traffic and drive a bit faster than the posted speed limit I can get home in roughly an hour. If I leave too late, run into a standstill on the beltway or heaven forbid an accident, it can take me upwards of two hours.
The entire time I was in North Carolina I drove less than three times per week. In fact, on one particularly beautiful morning I decided to drive to the store, not because I needed something, but rather because I desperately wanted to drive the jeep.
On my first day back to work my GPS alerted me of a significant amount of traffic on the beltway. Rather than idling on the asphalt for over an hour I decided to head home through the city. I set my GPS to route around traffic and headed for what I hoped would be a shorter ride home.
In retrospect I could not have made a worse decision. I avoided getting stuck on the beltway, but I wound up behind every city bus, slow driver and confused tourist in the greater DC area. I forgot just how many left turns were needed to get home and I spent the greater part of 30 minutes just waiting for my chance to turn onto one side street.
Needless to say nearly 1 hour and 45 minutes after I stepped out of the door at work, I came within two miles of home. Of course by that time I was grouchy, hungry and in a great deal of pain. (My shoulder and neck pain increase significantly after a long commute.)
I could not stand the thought of driving home and preparing dinner so I stopped at the worst place possible on my way home. That’s right I headed for the drive-thru at McDonald’s. I bought a two cheeseburger meal and a side of chicken nuggets just in case I was still hungry when I got home.
I’m embarrassed to say that I ate most of my dinner straight out of the paper bag. By the time I got home I dragged my laptop, purse and a bunch of other items from the car along with the nearly empty bag of food and of course a plastic cup half-filled with Coke.
On the way home I kept thinking “I must keep snacks in the car from this point forward.” I know that I have a long commute. I know that I tend to eat lunch rather early and leave work rather late. So how hard would it be to find some relatively healthy snacks that will stay fresh in the car?