RT: 130+ mi. Time in car daily: 3.5 to 4 hours.
At that time in 2006, D was married (still is thankfully!!) and had an 8-year-old son and a daughter in kindergarten. Here are my notes of his typical day.
Up at 4 am—clothes prepped night before, car loaded up with laptop and gear. Shower at 4:15 am and out door by 5 (No one else up). At work by 7:15-7:30. Work campus is spread out so exercise = walking to meetings. Brings lunch, eats in office. Leaves around 6 pm waiting for traffic to thin out. Home around 8 pm. Kids go to bed at 8 so there are days he doesn’t see them (about 10-20% of the time). Family has already eaten. Can’t remember what he would have eaten for dinner--stuff from Trader Joe’s? Evening down time = 2 hours max. Tried to help wife make lunches for next day and do dishes, but she did most of that. Felt guilty. In bed by 10—slept about 6 hours—wanted to sleep more. Felt anxiety about needing to get on the road.
Near the end D says he felt he was “drifting away” from his family. But he eventually he found a job near Glendora, and after only a year and 3 months on this treadmill he got his life back. What happens to folks who don't?