We are amazing creatures of habit aren't we? I am a very jittery traveller. I check, double check the trifecta of essentials - phone, wallet, id card. I check the platform on every available wide screen disbursing that information. I keep an ear on the announcements for the next station in the train. I do not sleep lest I miss my station. I go to great lengths to awaken if I am groggy. The first day of travel I was going through all these motions with the an undercurrent of panic. I didn't like being anxious because it was exhausting. But I couldn't help it. Not only was I on the edge regarding my travel, I was anxious about the state at home too.
In a day I was 'seasoned'. The next day I was way calmer. The process of letting go had also kicked in and I was not pestering Mil with updates about the kids. The third time around I was on auto pilot. It was unbelievable that I looked at the wide screen displaying information at the entrance of the station only. I did not check it 7 times before getting on the train. In fact I started recognising some regulars. I even labelled a seat as my favourite. On the onward journey, till the first leg I was so engrossed in the book and some other random stuff on the phone, that I realised I was about to reach the station only after I saw a few passengers getting ready to alight. The second leg of the journey I even risked a little nap. The journey was 90 minutes long and I of course had an alarm set. During the return journey, I did not even look at the platform information. I knew which platform I had to get to!
My colleagues think I have a very long commute and I spend a lot on it too - a little less than 1/4th of my earnings. But I feel I get to have a job and contribute and maybe have a chance at a long running career. Some friends feel its strenuous and I should maybe opt to stay in Leeds. That way I would get some rest and also a much needed time away from home chores. But I feel, the days I travel, I do nothing at home absolutely. Even if it's 4 times a month, it's a lot for a mom with two kids under 6. I remember travelling with Chiyaa and Pumpki. On all occasions I noticed the travellers without kids. Ladies sipping gin and tonic in the flight or people unencumbered by numerous luggage making the platform changes with a phone in one hand and a coffee in other. I would wistfully think - I would just want to travel without kids. Being far from them, away from them - is not something I would ever want. But just the travel.... I wouldn't mind. I would rather like it. As I always believe be careful what you wish for. In a strange way it has come true for me. I have travel time, away from kids. I am so tired that even a good night's sleep does not recharge me. I feel sluggish till mid morning the next day. But snuggling next to the two brats on other days, I just sigh. Its all worth it.