There’s a bar (where everybody knows my name) directly behind my apartment in Albany. It was in that bar that I have perpetually taken refuge from bad days and dates. Or on those days where I felt particularly overwhelmed by life and just couldn’t bring myself to a grocery store or to cook dinner, I’d slip inside of one of two restaurants and indulge in a burger and a beer. Or perhaps a scotch. I’d tell myself that I’d had a long day…I’d been traveling so much…I didn’t have any eggs…there were a host of reasons for why I turned to that which was most convenient. Why cook when there was a perfectly acceptable plate of french fries just around the corner?
My mother and I happen to work for the same organization and in our line of work we are lucky enough to enjoy the experience of travel. Frequent travel. I mean the kind of travel where, now, in the day of FourSquare, I was once the Mayor of a restaurant in Baltimore Washington International Airport. Now that’s some sad shit right there. But when I was younger, oh, how I coveted my mother’s job. She would let my younger brother and me join her at times. We’d stay in a suite in Manhattan and order room service. Someone brought food to our room on a tray with a flower in a mini-vase. Cloth napkins to boot! When I took my current job and realized the amount of travel it would require, I took advantage of the room service. It was just there and after a long day of trying to get members of congress to understand…just PLEASE understand…I much preferred to retire to my room, curl up in bed, and peruse the room service menu.
Why go out when the food could be brought to you while you sat in your jammies?
I think you can see where I’m headed with all of this: That I take indolence seriously. Ok, no. How about that I have thrived on convenience. I live in a city where the only way to get anywhere is by car. I get tired by day’s end and because I have no one else to cook for me, I do what’s easiest; I go out. I have drinks with my meals and french fries as a side. I order late-night room service after an evening of events and fundraisers because how can one be full off of such wee plates of ceviche? I say that I need my protein and my iron and order a thick cheeseburger. And, ok, throw in some wine. It’ll help relax me.
About a month ago I moved back to Washington, DC for a brief stint at a political organization. I live around the corner from Whole Foods. A few weeks ago I walked the mile or so to a restaurant because that was the most convenient. I went into my fridge today looking for something quick. There was stack of pineapple chunks, cantaloupe chunks, a pear, champagne mangos, and a banana. I couldn’t wait to use the mango and banana for a smoothie. What’s easiest for me right now is to pick up that fruit and to walk to my destination. To say that I’m much happier with this arrangement – one with an always-full fruit bowl – would be an understatement. Not that I was unhappy in Upstate NY, but more that I need for things not to be so readily accessible. Then again it’s all in how we approach these things. It’s no secret that we can all be drawn to that which is closer as opposed to that which is better. We gravitate to the closer because it’s just there. We like easy. And relying on the easy has left me feeling crappy and constantly bloated. It has left me with a perpetual feeling of UGH and then I rinse and repeat because…well…EASY.
As of right now I’m enjoying what I used to consider the difficult. The difficulty of walking to the grocery store twice a week has left me 10 pounds lighter and with a far better complexion. Who knew that harder could be so much better?
Heather Barmore writes about the hodgepodge of her life at No Pasa Nada and about politics at Poliogue: The Art of Political Dialogue. She started her personal blog as an early twenty-something with no idea of what she wanted to do in life. She is now a late twenty-something with the same problem! (Who knew?!) She started Poliogue because she loves politics more than anyone you’ve ever met and wanted to share that love (or obsession) with anyone and everyone. She now lives in her hometown of Albany, NY where she works in politics while writing (or as she says, ‘creatively whining’) on the side. You can read more from Heather on her blog, No Pasa Nada.