Dreading your next commute into work? It’s understandable — nobody likes being jolted awake by a blaring alarm, then racing to catch public transportation or sit in congested traffic.
But as they say, it’s all relative. Just ask 60-year-old Carolyn Cherry.
For the past 16 years, Cherry has been a clerical worker for the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller. And every day, she endures a 105 mile trek from her Hemet, Califorina home — a six-hour round trip.
It’s a good job, and one that she enjoys. That’s fortunate, because she’s typically at the office for nine hours each day, functioning on roughly four and a half hours of sleep per night.
Every single work day, Cherry wakes up at 2:45 a.m. About an hour later, she leaves to pick up a friend and catch the train at South Perris Station.
“I don’t use an alarm clock,” she tells media outlets. “I have a body clock that wakes me up, and I’ve never missed a day.”
She also insists that her lengthy train ride is never boring. She says she has a regular seat where she drinks her coffee, and gets to observe “people from all different walks of life.”
But why would anyone choose to endure such an exhausting commute, for so many consecutive years? Cherry chalks it up to one extremely motivating word: family.
“I chose to live this far away because I wanted my kids to have a better growing-up experience,” she tells news outlets.
“If I lived in LA County, the rent or cost of living would be exceeding my net worth,” she explains.
Cherry adds that she therefore wouldn’t be able to give her children the lifestyle they’ve come to know. She maintains that she also wouldn’t be able to help them attend college.
According to statistical figures, the median rent for a two-bedroom house in Los Angeles County is more than double the rent Cherry pays for her current two-bedroom residence in Hemet. Expenses like that can add up pretty quickly.
Cherry’s daughter Breeawn admits that when her mother arrives home at night, it’s usually late enough to limit their family time together.
“I understand the reasoning behind her doing it, though,” she’s quick to add, explaining that her mom’s choices have “always been for the betterment [of] me and my brother.”
And soon, this phase of Cherry’s life will begin to recede in the rear-view mirror. That’s because she plans to retire from her job in November of 2018.
Just thinking about the possibility of sleeping later and having her evenings free, Cherry concedes that she “can’t even imagine what it’s like.” But after sacrificing so much for her beloved kids, she also admits that “I’m looking forward to that.”
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