How I Wasted 15,336,000 Heart Beats Commuting

Posted on August 21, 2016


commuting to work is crazy

It was a year ago that I looked down at my odometer in my truck today while I was driving today and stared at an unbelievable number – 177, 529.  That is how many miles I have driven in only five years.  I racked up 222,439 miles on my previous truck before selling it to my daughter’s boyfriend.  Last I heard he had put another 6,000 miles on it before selling it to one of his buddies.  I drive trucks because they tend to hold their value they’re dependable and they have a lot of room to stretch out when my body starts getting fatigued by too much driving. 

I drive a lot of miles.  I wish I could say I accumulated those miles for something worthwhile such as driving cross country to see all fifty states, to see a baseball game in every stadium in the U.S. or to visit family members that I’hearve never met or tracking down lost loves that I let get away earlier in my life.   Unfortunately, I drove all of those miles for nothing more than a nine to five job. 

It’s not the miles though.  If I assume I drove an average of 50 miles an hour over the course of those miles, it means that I spent 3,550 hours in my truck in five years.  I had a total allotment of 43,800 hours of life given unto me these past five years. Assuming I got an average of eight hours of sleep every night, I spent 14,600 hours in bed in a restful state.  That leaves 29,200 hours to dole out as I saw fit, meaning that I spent 12% of my time spent in a confined compartment traveling the same boring routes to get to my employment.

And why did I drive so far to get to work?  Well to get to a better paying job of course, or actually more like jobs since I always seem to have more than just one.  Why did I need to make extra money above what I could have made just working locally where I live?  Well for one thing I needed extra money to pay for all of the gas I used driving those 177,529 miles and I needed to the money to purchase new vehicles at an accelerated rate as I drove every vehicle I owned for the past 22 years into the ground with all of the miles I put on them.

Ten years ago I spent six months driving two hours and twenty minutes each way to work twice a week.  That is four hours and forty minutes round trip.  I only worked three hours and twenty minutes more than I spent commuting to my job.  How insane is that?  I have another instance ten years ago where I drove six hours’ round trip to teach an eight-hour course at a technical college located on the other side of the state I lived in. 

We only get so much time on this earth, and the reason is because we only get so many heartbeats.  Once we use up our allocated number of heartbeats, our time is up.  Assuming my heart beats at an average of 72 beats per minute, I used up 25,920 of my precious heart beats, strapped into a chair in which I couldn’t freely move every day I drove to and from that school.  Looking at an even bigger picture, I expended 15,336,000 heart beats driving my current vehicle over the course of those 177,529 miles.

And it was that day a year ago, that I began to change my life.  Last month, I put roughly 1,500 miles on my vehicle.  Less miles, less fuel costs, less future maintenance, less fatigue, less back strain, and more importantly. . .

more heartbeats for the things I truly love.