Anything Lime

Mathematics of a Morning Commute

I, along with every other unfortunate person forced to drive on I-4 to work each morning, must ask myself, “How can it possibly take an hour to drive 20 miles?!”

Let’s get specific with these numbers to find out EXACTLY what the hell is going on.

Today it took me 62 minutes. No accidents. No sight-seeing. No bathroom breaks. Just 62 minutes of pure agony to drive 18.8 miles. This was an unusually slow day for me. It usually takes no more than 42 minutes. Even so, that’s 42 minutes each way, that’s 84 minutes each day, that’s 410 minutes each week I spend commuting to and from work. That’s almost seven hours. Hot damn.

Let’s examine this more closely, eh?

I enter the on-ramp at exit 72. My exit for work is exit 87. That means I spend 15 miles on the interstate crawling hopelessly toward my final destination. It takes me about four minutes to get to the I-4 ramp from the time I lock the door of my apartment. It takes me about nine and a half minutes to get to my office after I exit the interstate, which consists of slow stop-and-go traffic and four stop lights (which are always red).

That means I spend, every day of my life, 28.5 minutes on the interstate driving 15 miles. Let me help you understand…this means my average speed on I-4 is 31.6 miles per hour. 31.6 fricken miles per hour. Children run in the streets at that speed.

Ok, so if I spend 410 minutes each week commuting, in a year I’ll have wasted 355 hours of my life sitting in traffic. That’s 14 days. That’s two weeks. Two weeks out of every year I am sitting in my car, putting on mascara, listening to the radio, wishing I had the ability to teleport. (Which, if you know me, you’d know this has always been the thing I want more than anything else.)

So this little exploration into my morning commute has inspired me to think of other things I do daily that are just as good at wasting precious minutes of my life.

Every single day, I bring a grapefruit to work to eat after my instant oatmeal. A breakfast encore, if you will. Anyway, rather than cutting it at home, on a cutting board, with a knife that works, I insist on bringing an in-tact grapefruit to work each morning. Why? Who knows. I must subconsciously enjoy using only an inch of counter space in the ant-infested community kitchen at work to perform this operation. And for utensils? I use the most worthless pieces of crap plastic knives that are about as useful as using my left forearm to cut through the grapefruit. Anyway, it takes me about 11 minutes to get it all cut up the way I like. It takes me about half the time if I do it at home. That’s almost an hour a week I spend frustratingly jabbing grapefruit.

Every night before bed I read a book. Usually a cheesy mystery novel of sorts. I notice when I’m falling asleep, but I continue reading anyway. I read until I am not even holding the book upright anymore. Then the next night, I locate my bookmark and open up to the page, and I’m absolutely lost. I spend the next three and a half minutes looking for where I left off, rereading the last page I coherently read, and finally continuing forward. That’s three and a half minutes every night. That’s 24.5 minutes I spend each week looking for my page in my book. Why do I even use a bookmark?

And, while I’m doing the math for you, I might as well point out that you’ve just wasted three minutes of your life reading this blog post.


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