One of the nice things about my current research project is that it gets me out of the office and onto the road to meet with participants in various parts of the state. Granted, it’s also very tiring, and I’m putting hundreds of miles on my tired little car, but it’s still nice to get away.
I used to love driving before all my back issues hit. There was something very freeing about slipping in behind the wheel and heading down the road. Growing up in the country, driving distances was just a way of life; we couldn’t get anywhere in less than 20 minutes, so spending long lengths of time in the car wasn’t really optional. I didn’t always like it, of course, but once I conquered my car sickness and could read in the back seat, it was all good.
When you’re the driver, reading isn’t really an option so, anytime I had a long road trip, I loaded up on new music before I started out. With cell phones added into the mix, I’d catch up on my phone calls from the road, too.
When driving, much less riding, became painful, I started doing my best to avoid the car. When I first moved to PRU, I drove the 11+ hours back and forth to Home State twice a year; I haven’t done that in three years, I think. Even the two-hour drive to Big City was too much; I’d rather stay home than have to deal with back spasms and crippling leg pains.
So, one more benefit of my now-non-bendable back is that I can get back in the car. I have to remember to stop every few hours and stretch (although an increasingly smaller bladder helps with that) but that’s a small price to pay.
Today’s drive was 1.5 hours. The drive isn’t very interesting – mostly interstate – but it’s very familiar by now, and it’s a sunny day with blue skies. I haven’t updated my music in a while so I enjoyed familiar tunes while doing some syllabus planning for the London program in my head. Now, I’m sitting in a local cafe, waiting for my person to make her way here; I’m early but that just means time to catch up on various tasks.
Not a bad way to spend a Friday, I think.