How to Spend Time in Traffic

Today I did something I haven’t done in 10 years: I downloaded an audiobook. The last time I listened to a “book on tape” was when my family used to play the Harry Potter book series during longer car rides. I had loved to stare out the window & let the words read aloud take shape within my imagination as I took in the passing scenery. It was such a peaceful way to spend a car ride.

I will be spending a lot of time in the car this summer, this time in the driver’s seat. With a few long drives on the horizon, I thought it would be nice to rekindle this childhood peacefulness by downloading an audiobook onto my iPod. I also felt like if I’m going to be on the road so much, I might as well make it time semi-well-spent, right?

After much deliberation, I decided to download The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho– & I am so glad that I did! My latest 2-hour drive was so much more enjoyable. As I navigated the treacherous highway, I felt a strange sense of peace. When I would normally get tense or stressed sitting in traffic, I could now relax & simply become further enthralled in the story. What a relief! Of course, in those truly tense driving moments it was difficult to stay engaged in the story, but most of the time it was a really great way to stay alert & calm.

I was a little worried to listen to The Alchemist because it has been on my “must read” list for quite some time. I didn’t want to miss any awesome insights or well-crafted phrases because I wasn’t physically reading the text! Thankfully, so far not having pages to earmark or reread hasn’t been an issue. I have still been able to pick out those cherishable tidbits just as easily as if I were reading the book. Here’s one of my favorite quotes so far:

“We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions or our property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.”

Ugh, it’s just so good! So, if you’re also bummed about having to spend a good chunk of a gorgeous summer day on the road, I definitely recommend trying out an audiobook or a podcast. Not only is it super-relaxing, I have found that it’s also a great way to feel like you’re learning/being somewhat intellectual while driving. Listening to an inspiring text like The Alchemist also really set me up for a positive day– another huge plus.

I’m now looking forward to my long drives ahead. That is, of course, as long as they include a lot of quality inspirational & intellectual listening time as well.


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