Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hoofing It On The Homefront

Over the last couple of years I've been experimenting with *self-denial*.

Instead of my normal 5 pieces of about 3?

Instead of my normal brimming bowl of ice about two-thirds as much?

I've whittled down color TV viewing; replaced some golf rounds with practice sessions; skipped daily showers(!); and cut back sundry other little indulgences.

In particular, going to bed at night without the TV was hard - not to do, but to attempt to do. Not long ago I would shudder at the prospect of spending the night in someone's guest room that didn't have a cable hook-up. I'd often choose to sleep on the floor of the living room!

Realizing this intense dependence I actually became scared. Am I just an incipient set-in-their-ways 'old coot'? Surely this is how my father's queer unbreakable routines began.

So here's my latest idea. Try to spend one day a week either entirely at home or at least without using the car.

I gave it a go on Monday AND made it until 5:32pm before folding. I broke down and took the kids to the park at Nantasket Beach.

While I've more than once Marginalized those harried off-dropping parents, I've acknowledged that I too have a dependency on the combustion engine. I am dependent on rapidly eliminating physical distances at a whim. And that describes most of us non-urban dwellers anyway.

Now the last thing in the world I am is GREEN. Heck, I'll idle my 12 mpg Chevy Suburban all day long just to prove it. So this has nothing to do with *climate un-changed*, emissions, or the eco-pagan religion.

I just think that under the surface of all our dependencies and prosperity there lies some suffocated humanity, some unrealized potential. Eating less makes me appreciate food and taste more; hitting golf balls with only my left hand (no right hand bailout!) has improved my golf swing; and less color TV means more productive time web-surfing, blogging, and reading.

Mix it up a little. You're going to turn into a robotic 'old coot' or 'old bag' eventually....but resolve to fight the process as best as you can.

I'm going to try again to stay completely homebound one day next week. Hopefully this new ascetic endeavor will be more successful than my last one.

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