Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lubbock: Striving to Be a Suburban Urbanite

The Urban Tech events of the last few weeks have had me thinking.

"Suburban Urbanite." It kind of rolls off the tongue. Say it out loud and see how it fits.

We live in a place where it is easy to be fat and lazy. (And, yes, I resemble that remark.) When your car is parked very few feet from your kitchen and you can get a pretty good parking space at the grocery store, or the mall, or the superstore, or the doctor's office; and gasoline is pretty cheap... When it's freezing or roasting or dirt is blowing, but you have sealed windows plus central heat and air at home... When drive-thru-window burgers and tacos always come with fries and 32 ounce sodas, and they are cheaper than cooking healthy for yourself... When you can see the game so much better and in much more comfort from your couch than from the stadium... When your politicians can convince you that everything is alright in the world by starting statements with, "I am no scientist, but..."

I am very fortunate to live in the center of our town. Within a very small radius, one can find almost anything needed for daily life. As much as possible, I try to keep my travels close, to walk and ride the bicycle when I can. And I feel better when I do. And my weight has dropped a little. And my blood pressure has definitely dropped. And I find that my thoughts are healthier when I am moving than when I am sitting or driving. The dogs are healthier and less destructive when we walk them regularly. And the do-it-all smartphone is less of a temptation/distraction when I am in motion. And I am tired enough to sleep at night. And I am not a scientist, but I know that we are producing carbon monoxide much faster than our trees and ocean can absorb it, and it's deadly stuff. So the more I walk and ride and choose healthier, the less I am contributing to our decay.

So, here I am in the burbs striving to take advantage of some urban advantages without the downsides: the population, the pollution, the crime rates, the higher prices. And, to quote Mickey Rourke in The Barfly, "It's not that I don't like people, it's just that I feel better when they are not around, yeah..." And I am choosing to live healthier in the hopes that a few of you will too.

Another MH post about living in the middle of Lubbock: How far do you live from _______ ?