Everybody has daily things that stress them out—whether it’s the child who insists on dressing like it’s Summer during January, the co-worker with annoying habits or that tag that scratches the back of your neck all day long! My daily stressor has to do with mass media and how much time I spend in my car. Between driving for work, caring for my aging Mom and my refusal to give up neither my dentist nor hairstylist in Illinois, I drive nearly 20,000 miles every year. THAT is a lot of time spent listening to radio sound bytes, or even light meals of news from NPR. After I’ve heard the same biased news reports over twice in the same day and weather reports that I don’t even care about, I get irritated. After that, I try some strong leaning talk show—argh! They’re usually more irritated than I am and I begin to think responsibly about my use of time. Being a classical musician, I could expand my listening knowledge and become familiar with more, lengthy works. But this is the one style of music that doesn’t work well in automobiles—between summers with the windows down or traffic or defrosters blaring, driving is just too noisy to hear the soft parts!
I open my car door ONE MORE TIME and wonder out of boredom what styles straight jackets actually come in. THEN it hits me! My Waterford Public Library. Audio books! That’s the answer! So I browse the audio books aisle, selecting usually two books at a time. This way, if I don’t like one, I’m not left stranded listening to mind-numbing radio in the car. While I like the old fashioned CD versions and rejoice that my car’s CD player retains the exact spot within a track (this is especially good during days of errand-running with just short stops), one of our librarians explained just how easy it is to get setup to use the MP3 books as well. Driving now feels like I’m on vacation….ahhh.
So, if you’re using a great deal of fossil fuels like me, check out the audio book aisle at the library! But beware, you might fall behind on some of the headliner news items or on your daily prayer time.