The understanding and knowing that if I don’t get up and get moving in the morning to catch my vanpool ride, I will be stuck in grueling, nauseating traffic gridlock with people who should have never been issued a driver’s license for at least an hour longer than I should be had I just gotten to my vanpool in time.  Which would cause me to be off to a bad start in my day, and usually arriving with an agitated attitude and rushing, feeling like I am on a constant mode of “catch-up” all day, only to join the rat race once again when time to go home.  Then once I get home, the stress of the drive pretty much uses what ever energy I had left to desire to cook.  I rush through a meal in order to go to bed and start all over again, with the only peace coming from finally laying down and being still.

It took over a year to join the vanpool as I actually thought it would be inconvenient to not have my car to go where I needed to go, or get up and out of the house a mere 15minutes earlier than I normally did.

But it took only the first week to realize the stress relieving benefits of having someone else drive, catch a few more zzzz either on the way or return ride home, not having to park (and remember where I did park) or pay.  There is less maintenance and gas consumption on my part and no parking fees, which directly affects my financial bottom line.  I am not as tempted to stop off at a store or otherwise go shopping after work which is another cost savings, as well increasing the amount of quality time I have to spend at home with family as I get home earlier than driving myself would allow.

And last, but definitely not least, I have increased my personal UCLA community by getting to know others that ride the vanpool and feel confident I am beginning to do my part to help conserve resources and reduce emissions.  I wish everyone participated in the vanpools or alternative transportation options to reduce freeway congestion.

Green no longer stands for envy- but rather growth! Now if I could just find a more efficient way to get my work done once I get here- all would be right with the world.

-CS