You DO read blogs! If you read my blogs over the last three weeks, you know a lot about me already. I like scary stuff, I like to have fun and I like to share my life with people who do the same.
The best part about blogging is you can share what’s on your mind and (That’s likely wishful thinking on my part.) raise awareness for issues that need attention.
Our county has one of the worst commutes in the United States. Lauren Jost, Associate Regional Editor, Prince William County & Fredericksburg, wrote about it in May of 2012. The article she drew from was actually a big improvement from January of 2012, when Dale City was ranked the worst commute in the country.
Studies and reports are often skewed by who answers the survey. People change jobs, they move, the same people who answer one survey may not be the same in the next. No matter who has the worst commute, it’s a given fact that most PWC residents have less time than the average citizen.
We tend to focus on how many hours we spend commuting to and from jobs. Nearly 2/3 of our residents are commuting to positions outside Prince William County. PWC includes figures like that in satisfaction surveys. The surveys capture a lot of flak from some who think they are a waste of money. Apparently PWC agrees because the surveys are now done every two years instead of annually.
When I bemoan the lack of involvement by residents in our community, I temper my thoughts with the plight of the commuter. Not only do commuters travel an hour and a half each day, they have to deal with more traffic when they finally get home. I totally understand a mother who has driven in crazy traffic to her job, works 8-9 hours, commutes home, picks up the children from school or day care, fights traffic to get the oldest to soccer practice, and the youngest to ballet, still has to get dinner and doesn’t want or have time to get involved with PWC issues.
I’m so sorry that life is hectic and frustrating for so many people, but more sorrowful this lifestyle leaves no time to devote to issues that might actually improve the conditions that force you to live that way.
I totally understand you don’t have time to come to meetings every night and can’t take time off during the week to attend meetings that would benefit from your attendance. Yet, the fact remains, we need you. Schools need volunteers to read to children and help in the classrooms. Organizations like Neabsco Action Alliance need you to work toward changes in your community to reduce the pressure of commute, traffic and time.
We used the phrase, “Live, work and play in PWC” so much we got sick of hearing it. Moreover, we realized that’s an unlikely scenario and there aren’t enough jobs IN the county, nor enough hours left in our lives to do much “play”, either.
As a first step to defending yourself against living the rest of your life on the run, as well as awareness of the needs of your community, I’m going to ask you spend the little time you have left at the end of the day reading local.
The blogs you find on Patch run the gamut from politics to parenting. Just reading what others think will (hopefully) inspire you to dwell on issues other than the race to get dinner. Read local blogs like Al Alborn’s to get insight on topics pertinent to our community and presented in a respectful, but probing fashion. Blogs like The Derecho can lead you to the heart of issues and often focus on problems like budgets in short, simple, easy to understand posts. If you’re interested in schools, try Our Schools on Facebook. It’s not a traditional blog, it’s a conversation. Ask questions, get answers! There are another half dozen blogs I could describe for you that are at the heart of PWC, but chances are good if you read some of the blogs I posted above, you’ll find your way to the rest of the local blogosphere.
So, you’re excused from running to a meeting this week, but turn off The Walking Dead before you become one of them!