Young Professionals Weigh-In: Tips for Tahoe commuters
As any Tahoe resident knows, driving more than 20 minutes to get to any location, be it work, the grocery store or the beach, is considered an eternity. Our skin itches, pulse quickens and eyes bulge, trapped in a car while the palpable beauty of nature presses in upon the windshield that divides us. Why, then, do I drive 45 minutes each day to and from work? Is it merely the love of molding the minds of our youth as they eagerly await the knowledge I may impart them that day?
While I do love my job teaching English at Carson Valley Middle School in Gardnerville, the 45 minutes it takes for me to cruise down the mountain from South Lake Tahoe can be taxing. The 45- or more minutes spent trudging back up the hill to Tahoe? Excruciating. Slogging behind a family looking slack-jawed out the window of their minivan while accelerating to a whopping 35 mph, the best you can do is take a deep breath, decelerate to stop tailgating (the struggle is real) and take in the surrounding beauty. It’s easier said than done, but I have a few strategies for keeping my blood pressure at a healthy level on my commute.
Curmudgeon (n): an irritable and complaining person (Webster’s); also a fun word to say. Don’t be a curmudgeon on your commute.
Put on your favorite jams. There’s no better way to improve your mood quickly than with music. I could have a horrible day at school; a student might have kicked a trashcan at the door and cursed at me as he/she as stomped out of the classroom, but I snap out of it in a second by putting on some tunes. Don’t be scared to sing along either. It’s just you, some sweet beats and the road.
Bring snacks and drinks. Perhaps the best way to avoid turning into a crusty, crabby curmudgeon (oh yeah, alliteration) is to feed your face. If you’re like me, you turn into a 2-year-old when deprived of nourishment; tame that inner toddler with tasty treats and satiating beverages (alliteration fail).
Soak up the scenery. If your commute involves a flawless sapphire lake, emerald trees and breath-taking views, you probably shouldn’t be complaining in the first place. However, we forget this and all too often are trapped in our heads. Open your eyes to what surrounds you and appreciate the splendor of it all.
A 45-minute daily journey to work is well worth the undeniable magnificence of my Tahome and incredible company of my Tahomies; stress less and enjoy the world around you. The Tahoe Regional Young Professionals has helped elevate my image of Tahoe. Many of the people in this organization have become life-long friends.
Sarah Corder is a Spanish and English teacher at Carson Valley Middle School. She joined TRYP in 2011 when it first got its start and has since enjoyed the mixers, professional development seminars and outings that it offers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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