Relative Time

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

May 5, 2011


Categories: One a Day, Post a Day 2011

Michigan Blue Sky

Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

I find it interesting how time varies by distance.

The bus stop 3 blocks from my house: 4 minutes, I give it 6 walking. Whereas the bus stop one quarter mile (or about 8 blocks) I need 8 or 9 minutes but should budget for 15. I prefer the closer stop as I have greater flexibility.

Getting downtown, a five-mile trip, will take 14 minutes, maybe 20 with traffic. I budget 20 minutes. Work is 20 miles away. With no traffic, it takes 32 minutes to drive there. Traffic can add as much as 45 minutes to the drive, pending the route, making my longest trip home an hour and 15 minutes. I have chosen a route that is more consistent with the 45 minute trip, which means I don’t risk adding an extra half hour.

Sure, it makes sense, the further you go, the more room you have for additions. When in Michigan, we visit our family in the upper peninsula from downstate. The quickest trip can be done in 6 hours, when you add stops and the kid factor, well, it took us 11 hours on our way up! ELEVEN hours! We added FIVE hours!

I am more intrigued by this concept of time and distance, and then even more intrigued when we add the layers of accessibility, need, food, and work. What are we doing to our own security when, while we live in places originally designed for close comforts, we remove those access points? How does that affect how we define security throughout?

Good night.

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