Will they ever stop drivin’ me?
Have they ever taken time to see
That I need some rest
if I’m to do my best?
Can I please stop workin’ so hard?
They just tell me gotta close it hard.
Got to think of my health.
Can I be by myself?
Oh, they tell me I’ll be home someday.
Well I doubt it if I continue this way,
`cause this hard life I’ve led
is makin’ me dead.
I think I’m done. Done with the reckless drivers and the impatient travelers. Done with the five hour waits at a shipper or receiver and never knowing what day I will make it home. Done with the never ending noise and the ever present crash of the truck on every pothole in the northeast. I need some rest if I’m to be my best.
I have spent the last 12 years or so living in and working from the front seat of a truck in the Northeast corridor of the US. If you ask any trucker that has been driving for 5 years or more, “Where’s the worst place to drive in the US” you will get the same answer from all. The Northeast! I have crossed the country many times but the majority of my time has been in the 5 most northeastern states. I have had enough.
Fortunately for me the company I drive for also has a “Local” position that never leaves the state of Maine and I can be home every night. This means I will have to rent again after all these years, but I don’t need much to satisfy me. In fact I have already found a room to rent in someones home that will provide all I need for the upcoming winter months. This position pays almost the same but without all the hassle associated with interstate travel. This should be the last week at least for the next year or so that I will be driving away from my home state.
My reasons for this change are many. Having a set schedule will help me complete all the work on my Jeep and trailer before spring so I can explore the wilds of Maine next summer. I am relocating closer to my mom so I can visit more often, and that alone is a great reason for the change.
I also think about what happened to another driver I know. He also had his elderly dog with him in the truck when sadly “Buddy” passed away one evening. It’s bad enough to wake up to your friends passing, but he was 1000 miles or more from home. He had no choice but to bury his best friend behind a dirty old truck stop. He told me recently that when he stops at that same truck stop he goes out to say hi to his old friend. I cant imagine how hard that must be, and I never want to find out.
You give up so much for this job, sometimes too much. I have not enjoyed a summer since I first set foot in a truck. All those years pounding down the roads so you can have all the things you need and want lining the shelves at you favorite store, just to be cut off and cursed by the same people that benefit the most from my efforts. Dirty truck stops, terrible food and no parking is the thanks we get most of the time. I used to be proud of what I do but time has taken it’s toll on me. I no longer feel the pull of the open road.
My health has gone downhill more that I am willing to accept anymore. I have gained 25 lbs, lost my endurance and muscle tone, and just feel crappy most of the time. I never get enough sleep during the work week, and oversleep when I get back. I worked on my Jeep during my last days off and hurt in every muscle the next day. I no longer care about making more money if it means sacrificing my health and well being. By spring I will have given up any material possessions that won’t fit in my Jeep and trailer. I will go into the summer next year living a true “Minimalist” lifestyle.
As I looked through all my belongings last week I found myself surprised at what I found. That just proves to me how much I don’t need most of those belongings. If I couldn’t even remember I had them what use are they? No, I will stick to my favorite saying…“What are you willing to give up to get what you want?” I have made my choice.