It’s a very real struggle for me – a daily tug-o-war in my mind. The 40 minute drive to work (18 minutes if I’m blessed with all green lights) is spent mostly debating with myself about where I am going to park my car.
There’s a few factors which influence the debate within. They are:
Time – what is the actual time? How long will it take me to walk from the various parking spots to the office?
Distance – where is the actual parking spot? Is it close to the office?
Emotions – how am I feeling today? Could I be bothered with a long walk?
Health – where am I on my frump-o-meter?
Finances – could I afford to pay for parking today?
Weather – is it likely to rain? Do I have my umbrella? Does it matter if I don’t have one and it does rain since an umbrella doesn’t actually keep you dry? Should I buy a waterproof poncho and use it with my umbrella?
More or less, the debate is simply time versus distance – Do I have time to drive past the prime spots to see if there is a parking spot close to the office, which would get me to the office before 9am instead of quarter past, and then I could earn some flex time?
Normally, I get to the first round-about and make a hasty decision to either go straight ahead or turn right. It’s always a last-second-dire-and-sweaty decision with nail biting included! Whichever way I decide to go, I often wonder if the drivers behind me are scratching their heads, cursing me, or are oblivious to the fact that they didn’t use their blinker either.
Over the Christmas and New Year period, I had been spoilt in being able to park in the prime spots close to the office. Prime being that they are also free parking spots! (Other prime spots include those next to a tree in hot weather, no matter how far away they are from the office). My usual parking places would see me walking 10 mins or more to the office from my car, but the prime spots would see me get to the office within a couple of minutes from my car. A big difference! Lots of people being on holidays at the same time meant there were plenty to choose from.
Since school resuming at the end of January, the prime spots have reverted back to the ones who always get to work at 5am in order to secure their spot. If you get there after 8:30am, you have buckley’s in getting a prime spot. But on the off chance that there would be a spot available, I have been driving past there before heading to the farther places. My chances have paid off for 2 out of the 5 days each week.
This last week gone, my frump-o-meter has been in the yellow. Now, I know I’m not fat, and that isn’t what I mean. I’ve been feeling bleh – like I need to do exercise and eat better (aarrgghh). Hence, I feel frump.
So, when I reached the first round-about on Monday, I turned right – none of the daily debate within. Well, actually, that’s not totally true. There were inner words telling me to ignore the debate going on. But I turned right. And I parked in a far away parking spot. It took me almost 15 minutes to walk to the office from that spot. And I tried to ignore the colourful thoughts telling me I should have driven past the prime spot because “look there was one!” as I walked by.
Tuesday, my far away parking spot was even more far away than Monday’s spot. Also, it rained! The umbrella didn’t disappoint – didn’t keep me any drier than expected.
The daily debate within about where to park my car has been wearing. It has worn out my motivation to be active, encouraging laziness and a I-couldn’t-be-bothered attitude. My health was worn down, encouraging negative emotions, negative thoughts, and overall feeling of wellbeing both physically and mentally.
This week I am reminding myself of the benefits of parking in a far away spot. I want to Detox those negatives out of my system which have been slowly poisoning me for the past couple of months. Even if there are no measureable results, walking from and to my car helps keep my frump-o-meter in the green because for me, it is much more about my mental health than my physical health.