I feel like I am constantly running for trains. It hasn’t always been this way, though. I think I’ve steadily become more cocky about the amount of time needed to get to my locomotive. When I arrived I was advised to give myself at least 12 minutes to get to the train station from my house. It’s a half kilometer, uphill. I have a pretty decent fitness level, so I thought this was enough time, if not more than, to make it. For the first couple of months I stuck with this schedule, especially given the odds it was snowing and/or there were unfavorable weather conditions. Slowly I began to shave off more time. I could leave with only eleven, and eventually ten minutes to spare. I found that if I up-ed my pace I could book it there in 8 minutes. As the temperature began to increase I found I was arriving to the banhof a little out of sorts and usually sweaty. This is intensely distressing if I have just showered and am planning to go out with other humans. I then have to spend the ride cooling myself down, which involves airing out my underarms–gross. If I thought the Swiss looked at me funny sometimes before, then this sealed the deal. Only two weeks ago I hoofed it up the hill in 6 minutes. This is a personal record.
I don’t limit myself to running for trains up in my tiny town. This happens to me with regularity in Zürich as well. In order to get to and from town I have to take two trains, which connect in Wädenswil. The last train to that will get me back home leaves Wädenswil at 12:04. Therefore, the last train I can catch out of Zürich leaves at 11:38. In a nutshell, I have a curfew; something I haven’t hassled with for years. If I really want to extend my stay in town I can swing by my new favorite station, Enge, and pick up the train there at 11:44. I started having to do this because I missed my last train. Now I use it as a crutch. Not that I need to be up late as I stroll down to the kitchen at 7:00 the next morning, but just the restriction of a Cinderella-esque curfew makes me want to stay out all the more. I find that I am pushing it to the last minute and running to catch my train. There was one instance recently when I was running for my last train in a dress and flip-flops, previously having shed my cardigan from exertion. With approximately 30 seconds to spare I bolted across 4 lanes of traffic to tuck and roll onto the train. Just last night the tram doors shut in my face with the blinking lights on, signaling the tram is taking off and not allowing on any more passengers. The kind soul driving this tram graciously let me on and spared me the need of taking a 5:40 a.m. train back home. I have a love hate relationship with pubic transportation. While it’s convenient and efficient, I still struggle with not being the master of my time.
Completely Unrelated Bit: Whilst surfing blogs this morning I came across this quote on John Mayer’s and found it to be quite helpful for my current predicament. He often answers question posed to him by his fans (don’t worry, I’m not working on my own juicy inquiry) and shares them on his blog. This was part of his response to one (probably 13 year old) girl who asked, “What do you do when you have a bad day?” He said he “time travels” and continues to elaborate. Part of his answer reads:
You can’t travel through time, but you can send your thoughts and hopes into the future to camp out and wait for you to arrive there, where you’ll meet up and hug and decide that everything is alright again.
I like the way he put that. I’m probably not alone when I lament that I can find myself stuck in a rut, stewing in my own misfortune, as in these past two couple weeks. It becomes quite burdensome and usually leads to a downward spiral that leaves me want to call my mom–childish I know, but true. If I can imagine myself on the other side of the problem, removed from the situation at hand, I think it will help me recover. I don’t want to wax poetic on the matter but I just thought I’d share that tidbit of advice. For now, I am projecting myself to next Friday…