In my opinion there are three levels of commutes. The first I call an easy commute because this involves a 30-to-40-minute drive one way.

The second level involves a  serious 1 hour to 1.5 hours of commuting one way. The third level is considered a super commuter who drives two-plus hours a day in one direction.

Let’s break down the numbers. The easy commuter (Level 1) spends approximately 2.5 to a little over 3 hours a week commuting.

The serious commuter (Level 2) spends 10 to 15 hours commuting. Keep in mind the serious commuter is more likely to sit behind an accident for an extra 1.5 to 2 hours in one direction

The super commuter (Level 3) spends 20-to-30-plus hours weekly on the road and has a high likelihood to sit behind an accident for up to two hours.

What does all this mean to a non-commuter? I usually hear, “That’s so crazy, stop the madness! I could not commute.”  As a commuter you have the same sentiment.

There is, however, a single motivating factor in play. Small town wages are many times lower, and larger valley cities are only a bit better.

In short, the wages paid along the 101 corridor are significantly higher than the valley. This means the commuters “quality of life” is based on the money earned in the commuting lifestyle.

One weighs the options and has to decide if this makes financial, mental and overall sense. Commuting does take a toll on the body and mind.

That said, what does a commuter’s day off look like? Let’s start with a laugh! If one has a simple commute, in the grand scheme it’s a piece of pie compared to the two other levels of commuters. This is not said in slight as other commuters secretly wish this was our commute.

Level 2 and 3 commuters constantly have to remind their loved ones and co-workers they also have the equivalent of a part-time job in commuting.

For this reason the level 2 and 3 commuters have to ask for a pass on cutting the grass, honey-do’s and rigorous weekend outings. Not all the time, but sometimes we just have to say “no” to rejuvenate and renew.

Let’s dive down deeper into a little perspective. As a level 2 or 3 commuter, everything most folks engage in after work like tasks and extra errands are out the window.

You may agree to stop at the grocery store, Walmart or Target, but it better be a fast in-and-out. Remember all that time spent on the road must be crammed into those two full off days.

Overall, the commuting lifestyle affords us a good living. We choose this lifestyle because we live in an optimal place to raise our families in the beauty of the Central Valley–a place of comfort and peace of mind, shielded from the expense of the 101 corridor.

Be well, my friends.