In the manner of time in my life, Low Impact Week snuck up on me. I guess that's appropriate in a way, it keeps me from making this week easier by doing extra work last week to prepare for it.
I have been meaning to ride the bus to work from my local park-n-ride, I have the coupons and everything. And for the last week my cat has been waking me up about 5. So this morning I grabbed the opportunity and headed out of the house with a full lunch bag and no delays to check the schedule. My bus left about 5 minutes after I got to the plaza, I had a lovely 20 minute ride through farms and great vistas (and I got to enjoy them since I wasn't driving), and then a 30 min. walk. All kinds of things I've been wanting more of in my life.
I even got to chat with a friend who was on her way to work.
I went to a commuter college for my bachelors and spent those years riding the bus and walking a lot. There's a part of me that knows *most* of the time, the weather's going to be fine. The walking part isn't too far. If I need more food than I have, I can find it. But in spite of all kinds of really positive, self-sufficient experiences with bus-aided mobility, when I get away from it for a while, shadows creep in. I think, "I can't take the bus today... it might rain/snow/be too hot." And yet I've taken the bus in those conditions, and learned that the really uncomfortable times are out at the margins.
There is a pocket of my poverty consciousness that gets triggered when I ride the bus. I did it because I was broke so much of the time, and now when I get on, I often feel broke in spite of the richness in my life.
I also feel a kind of defensiveness. I feel like people I know would only take the bus if they didn't have gas money, a friend to ride with, or if their cars were in the shop. So the joy in chatting with my friend today was that none of those questions came up. It seemed completely normal that I was walking to work. I would like more of those experiences.
And then there's the quote that was in my inbox when I fired up my computer:
Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming.I love that Richard Branson, who in many ways represents a "cool" I find appealing, knows about buses, and knows about them with a familiarity that gives him a point of grounding when it comes to the business game. It certainly challenges my poverty trigger.-- Richard Branson (Virgin Founder)
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is sponsoring their 2nd Annual Dump the Pump day on June 21. It's an invitation to pick a day to go without using gas (or diesel); but also a day to try public transportation. Look for events near you.