Living The Fast Life

I really like to think that things haven’t changed that much since I was a kid. I like to think that we can still sit back as a culture and enjoy life at a mild pace and go through our daily lives savoring what we have and what our family, our friends, our life and our city has to offer.

But suddenly I find that theory of mine full of hogwash.

I realized that in order to make it to all the things I want to do, to enjoy our parks and pubs and rivers and trails, I have to hurry the hell up and do things fast. Get things done. Prioritize, speed through and generally hurry all in hopes of squeezing in some good times on the weekend.

I know it isn’t just me; my husband, all of my friends, people I just happen to meet, they all seem to be rushing around, rushing through their everyday lives to get to that ever elusive “free time” that is so easy to fill here in Portland.

But I guess what I’m wondering is who here stops to enjoy the everyday? Do you have fun when you’re walking down the city streets on your way to an errand? When you HAVE to eat something do you make sure that you take the time to eat something you really enjoy?

It seems to me that in Portland, even when we’re hurrying through the everyday, a lot of people seem to take pride and even revel in living in this city. Do you?

7 Comments so far

  1. McAngryPants (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

    I’ll have lots of free time…just as soon as I finish everything on my list!!!

    /me puts kids to bed then falls asleep at 9:30 :(

  2. natty (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 1:59 pm

    i do! everyday. check out my blog. its ALL about what i do before and after the working hours.

  3. Russ (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

    The more “to-do’s” we pack into our busy lives, and the greater the crowds pursuing the same to-do’s, the longer the waits. The longer the traffic. The longer the everything. The shorter our time is to play.

    The ultimate expression of this principle:

    One of the few truths in life, I have learned, is that you only get 168 hours in a week. That’s a hard and fast limit, like the speed of light and absolute zero. The earth is not scalable.

  4. Kai (unregistered) on July 17th, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

    I hear you Cami. Younger kids and a family really add a lot of stress and you feel like there’s never any energy left by the time everything settles down at night or on the weekends. One thing I’ve learned how to do is not overcommit myself. I end up burning out and am not much fun to be around.

    The good thing is that your child will eventually get older and start becoming independent and move out on their own. My son is ADHD and I have been a single mom since he was 6 and had to work full-time so I totally understand. He just turned 19 and is on his own and working full time so I have a lot more free time and less stress.

    You need to treat yourself to something that isn’t on your normal schedule and take a breather every once in a while. When I used to work at PSU I would walk down to the farmers market on Wednesday and check things out during my lunch break. It always seemed to help when I was feeling completely wrapped up and stressed. Of course you can always just smoke a lot of pot but that seems a little self-defeating.

    Just remember we’re only here on the planet for a certain amount of time so you might as well make the best of things and enjoy the moment. Sorry it sounds kind of new-age but it really is true. Hang in there!

  5. olivia (unregistered) on July 18th, 2007 @ 12:06 am

    We’ve chosen to live in Portland because we can enjoy doing the most mundane everyday things. One thing we are loving right now is our low-car diet:

    We are biking, walking, and taking transit, which gets us out chatting with neighbors, with fellow bus riders, and even with friends we meet along the bike lanes. Portland has a great transit system and I think it encourages us to get out and enjoy the city in an on-the-ground, real-life way.

  6. warner (unregistered) on July 18th, 2007 @ 9:02 am

    Kai made some great comments. Trust me, when the kids get older, you suddenly get a bunch of time given back to you.

    I work in an office full of cubicles downtown. One thing I’ve done in the last few years is to strive to get OUT of the office during lunch hour as much as possible, and just walk around. Most of the folks I work with seem to eat at thier desk. So, they never get away from work. I like to get out and see what’s happening in the world. It can be refreshing. And the city is still pretty fascinating.

  7. Cami (unregistered) on July 18th, 2007 @ 11:09 am

    Thanks for all the great feedback everyone!

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