I might have said this here before, but over recent months I have been finding commuting anger inducing. The very presence of other people, let alone being crammed onto packed tube trains, can be enough to raise my anger level several degrees.
I suspect I am not alone in this. I think in part it is weather-related, and in part I am just reflecting what other people feel as well, which is a sense of all not being well because of the current economic climate etc (and don’t even get me started on the way that the ConDem Government is systematically destroying this country, which they justify based on economic reasons, but in reality, it is for ideological ones).
I think a lot of it is also about not liking people invading my personal space. However, this is impossible to avoid if you travel on the tube during rush hour. I normally read a book on the tube and try and absorb myself in that to block out the world around me. I could probably achieve this more effectively by listening to music or a talking book, but actually I think this would have a more negative effect. The more I block out the world, when the world does then intrude it is likely to have a bigger impact – and perhaps a bigger reaction from me in response.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t shout at fellow commuters or trip them up on the escalator. I tend to turn it inwards and seethe inside instead. But this isn’t good. I also know that it is somewhat irrational. It is not my fellow commuters’ job to take care of my wellbeing. Often when people invade my or others’ space it isn’t deliberate or malicious, it is just part of the nature of travelling on a system that about 3 million others also use each day. But as much as I can rationalise it, it doesn’t make the feelings any less real or somehow magic them away.
On Friday, we are going to Lisbon for the weekend. I am hoping that getting away from London for a few days might calm my mood. But I suspect it will just be a brief respite.