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Up until now my commute to work was on foot. I was able to make it door-to-door in roughly 20 minutes. I knew exactly what time I had to leave the house to be early, on time, orrrrr “I better walk super fast/almost jog to make sure I clock in.” That kind of knowledge was quite nice.

However there were downsides. Most notably: weather.

Me walking to work in blizzard

Bitter cold, extreme heat, blizzards, hurricanes I’ve walked through them all.

Now I’ve joined the masses on the interstate. Never ending traffic lights, incompetent drivers, oblivious pedestrians, lost out-of-towners, I’ve driven with them all.

My patience runs thin during these times. I know there’s no point in getting upset. I know there’s nothing I can do to change the fact that Lombard Street is at a standstill. Yet still I find myself frustrated.

So I decided I needed a strategy. Something to distract me from staring down that red light and wondering why it hasn’t turned green yet.

My solution: Ellen.

WHY AUDIOBOOKS ARE A LIFESAVER

While I’ve dabbled in audiobooks before (I HIGHLY recommend Tiny Fey’s Bossy Pants) I am now completely addicted. Here’s why:

  • They are the perfect diversion that provides something else to focus on while driving.
  • They last for a while.
  • No commercials or hearing the same songs over and over and over on the radio.
  • They can make you laugh.
  • They can teach you something.

For me I can’t just do ANY book. It has to be something light-hearted and funny, not serious or full of details I must pay close attention to.

My first pick upon starting my new commute:

Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

Ellen herself narrates it which means it basically ended up being chapter after chapter of her stand-up. The book is an autobiography of sorts where she shares experiences, life lessons, etc in the classic “Ellen way”.

LIFE LESSONS FROM ELLEN

On technology…

“What’s not so great is that all this technology is destroying our social skills. Not only have we given up on writing letters to each other, we barely even talk to each other. People have become so accustomed to texting that they’re actually startled when the phone rings. It’s like we suddenly all have Batphones. If it rings, there must be danger.

Now we answer, “What happened? Is someone tied up in the old sawmill?”

“No, it’s Becky. I just called to say hi.”

“Well you scared me half to death. You can’t just pick up the phone and try to talk to me like that. Don’t the tips of your fingers work?”
Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously… I’m Kidding

On biology…

“Now, I’m no scientist,but I know what endorphins are. They’re tiny little magical elves that swim through your blood stream and tell funny jokes to each other. When they reach your brain,you hear what they’re saying and that boosts your health and happiness. “Knock Knock… Who’s There?.. Little endorphin… Little endorphin who?… Little Endorphin Annie.” And then the endorphins laugh and then you laugh. See? Its Science.”
Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously… I’m Kidding

On being unique…

“Who’s to say what’s better or worse anyway? Who’s to even say what’s normal or average? We’re all different people and we’re allowed to be different from on another. If someone ever says you’re weird, say thank you. And then curtsy. No, don’t curtsy. That might be too weird. Bow. And tip your imaginary hat. That’ll show them.”
Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously… I’m Kidding

OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS

I’m two books down and closing in on the end of a third. This is where I need YOUR help. Recommendations please!

I spent a good amount of time last night on Good Reads last night browsing through different genres to be inspiration. If you’re not already on that site it’s a way for you to keep track of what books you’ve read, give them a rating, and based off of that the site will give you recommendations. You can also add your friends and see what they’re currently reading and which books were their favorites.

Go to the site, find/friend me, and then tell me all the fun books I should read…or listen to as the case may be.

I want to know…

Do you have a strategy for dealing with rush hour traffic?

What are YOU currently reading?

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