Sometimes you just have to write…
We drove for more than six hours yesterday, of which I did the actual driving for less than half the time.
When we arrived home, I was exhausted. So were my husband and son.
It makes sense, to some extent, that my husband and I would be tired. Driving may not count as a cardio-vascular workout, or really any sort of workout, but it does take constant focus and concentration.
To me it’s very similar to what it felt like in the first few years after I moved to Holland. Spending time in a group of people who were speaking Dutch took enormous mental energy. If it was just a one-hour meeting, for example, that wasn’t a problem. But if we had a full-day event such as an in-service day, I would get home and positively collapse.
Yesterday, though, my husband did more of the driving than I did. My son didn’t drive at all. Yet we all arrived exhausted. Why is that? How could it be so tiring just sitting still for a number of hours?
My son’s first guess when I brought this up was that it’s the motion that makes you tired. It can even put you to sleep. That works practically instantly with small children. It certainly worked for both of mine, except that my son would also wake up instantly whenever we stopped, even when he was a newborn. And I don’t just mean at the end of the trip. He would wake up at every single stoplight, falling back to sleep again as soon as we started up again.
It puts adults to sleep as well, though perhaps not as quickly. Both of us adults snoozed for a while when we were passengers yesterday. I hate doing this at my age, though. I always end up with a sore neck if I sleep sitting up.
And anyway, that doesn’t explain why we’re tired even after we’ve finished driving. We had all sorts of things we needed to do when we got home, but no energy to do anything but order a pizza and watch Sherlock on TV.
What is it about being a passenger for a long time that tires us so much? And, more importantly, does the fact that I was so tired mean that I burned some extra calories with all that exhausting passenger time?