I was getting a bit ahead of myself in writing about streamlining my life. Let me explain the how and why of this Inconvenient Life thing.
The term only popped into my mind a few weeks ago, when I was trying to explain to an old friend how my life had changed since I moved to Hawaii over a decade ago. Some of the things I listed for him were:
- I never drove my car if I could walk, hop The Bus, or ride my bike.
- I never rode The Bus if I could walk or ride my bike.
- I never rode my bike if I could walk.
- When I walked anywhere, I took longer routes, which took me past interesting or beautiful places in the city.
- I carried my purchases in my arms, in a backpack, or a shoulder bag, rather than in a rolling cart, which are so prevalent my my city neighborhood.
Beyond locomotion, I told him how I tried to minimize convenience foods in my life.
- I go to the farmers market once or twice a week for fresh local food.
- I rarely eat pizza unless I started with flour and yeast.
- I stopped using canned stock and opted to make homemade stock from kitchen scraps.
- When I was still working the ships at the dock part time, I took homemade dishes to eat for night-lunch and stayed away from the conveniently provided snacks, left over dinner plates, and cold-cuts.
As I waxed on about how wonderful it was living the way I was living and how I didn’t feel nearly 59.5 years old, he said dryly, “What an inconvenient life!”
Well, he was right, and I love living an inconvenient life. Of course I am unbearably self-satisfied about it all.
The other day I was carrying a toilet seat, discretely stowed in a cardboard box down the sidewalk, when a deluge started. I had already walked two miles since leaving the hardware store, looking frequently at the black clouds that were rolling down the Manoa Valley. I couldn’t help grinning as I stomped past the 24hour Fitness and saw the line of people plodding away on treadmills, looking out on the rain swept street at a well past middle aged woman carrying a rapidly disintegrating cardboard box in front of them.
Yes, it was inconvenient that I was carrying a box so large that I couldn’t deploy my umbrella. Yes, I was cold. Yes, I was very wet. All I could think of at that moment was how glad I was that I wasn’t paying a gym fee to be trapped behind that glass where I couldn’t feel the rain and wind.