Commuting and the wandering mind

I have a very long commute. By the standards of the region I live in, perhaps only slightly longer than most, but long enough. Like anyone (I assume) who spends 65 miles each way alone in the car, my mind wanders while I’m driving. And like everyone doing a repetitive task, I have very little memory of the actual drive itself. Sometimes, though, I do recall what I was thinking.

This morning is already lost – I think it probably had something to do with the music I was listening to, and what I still wanted to add to my phone’s music library, and I’m sure I solved several major world issues – because that’s what I usually do while driving. Oh, and I know I figured out the next chapter in my NaNo novella since I wrote it during my lunch hour.

On the ride home, though, I found myself, in between bouts of frustration with the other drivers & the two huge traffic jams I got caught in, thinking about people from the past.

I do that sometimes now – probably having something to do with being a woman of ‘a certain age’. I did connect with a couple of old friends courtesy of Facebook. I even located a couple of people, on Facebook, from even further back that I decided to not reach out to – honestly, after several decades and a lot of real life, it seemed silly. But today I thought back even further to my very first childhood friends. Neither of whom have been in my life since my family moved the million miles from New York City to the Jersey shore when I was in 2nd grade.  I cannot imagine how their lives turned out, or where they ended up. Odd how I can remember their names, when the names of so many other people have touched my life over the years are now buried under many other memories.

I also thought, quite a bit, about one of my closest ‘childhood through adolescence’ friends. We became fast, firm friends when I first moved to New Jersey at 7. I moved several times, and she went to college in another state, but the friendship remained. We drifted far apart as young adults, though, and I sometimes find myself wondering how she, and her children, turned out. We probably have more in common now than we did at 25, but I stopped short in my search to reconnect. There’s that small bit of me that fears the potential for both rejection and acceptance. No one likes rejection, but it might even be worse to be accepted and find that we really don’t like who the other has become.

So I pushed that line of thinking aside, got irritated at yet another traffic jam, and at yet another soul who fails to understand that the left lane is for passing other cars, sang a few songs, and finally figured out my heroine. So I had another chapter partially formed in my head.

Tomorrow I can probably return to solving the world’s problems, but now I must stop procrastinating, and return to fiction.


3 thoughts on “Commuting and the wandering mind”

  1. It seems to get more complex every day. I find the workings of the human brain to be almost endlessly fascinating. And I often wonder why it is that I can so clearly recall some names, but others, like people I worked with for years at previous jobs, are lost somewhere in the abyss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I often wonder about childhood friends, sometimes ones I can’t even clearly remember the names of. I think about how we moved apart and wonder, like you, what their lives are like now. I find it endlessly fascinating how we all move in and out of each other’s lives, sometimes touching each other in ways we don’t even realise at the time.

    Human life is complex.

    Liked by 1 person

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