I couldn’t find my car this morning. I got up for my 5:30am workout, headed out to the parking garage, and my car was not where I normally park it. It was gone. I pressed the lock button a few times on the key fob and mildly scanned the level where I expected my car to be. It wasn’t there. My mind, still mostly asleep at 5:05 in the morning, started to pick up speed. ‘Oh, shit.’
That’s when I realized, I haven’t been in or even seen my car in over 60 hours.
I had come home later in the afternoon on Easter Sunday and decided to play it safe and park in the basement level of the garage. Sometimes the top level, reserved for residents in my building, gets full and you have to exit the garage and circle the block to try again. Not wanting to mess with that scenario, I went burrowing. I was initially confused, thinking my car was towed. But then I was thrilled. I realized that I never worry about my commute ever. I live downtown and I work downtown. I have a bunch of friends and coworkers that live downtown. I can shop, drink, eat, work, exercise, get accosted by bums, and everything else you would want to do. All within 15 blocks of my apartment.
The number one complaint I hear from my suburban dwelling compatriots is the commute to work. An hour each way. HOLY SHIT. If I spent 2 hours of my day in a car 5 days a week, I’d go crazy. Do you know how much more stuff you can get done with TWO EXTRA HOURS IN YOUR DAY? I can waltz home from work, make and eat dinner, and watch an episode of Psych on Netflix, and you’re still in your car. Driving.
If not for a handful of things, I could live without a car.
Living in an urban core is an adjustment at first. There are no yards. I do not have an entire house to myself. If I want to lay in the grass I have to seek it out. I don’t get the privilege of mowing my lawn, shoveling my driveway, cleaning my gutters, or yelling at neighborhood kids for riding their bikes on my lawn.
But then living downtown becomes ridiculously awesome. If you can focus on living your life all the time, instead of traveling from one place to the next, life changes pretty dramatically.
I realize that where you live is a highly personal and highly opinionated choice. You like lawns and minivans and the illusion of home ownership (the bank owns your house, btw). I hope you enjoy it! I’ll be downtown, spending $20 on gas a month, sitting at my rooftop pool, drinking a beer, never worrying about carpools or DD’s or traffic.
Plus, you should see these calves from my daily walk.