Go-Go-Go? No. Slow.

This past weekend, Tara and I did something very unusual.

Nothing.

This wasn’t our initial plan. We had lofty ideas that included pumpkin patches and corn mazes, but a sudden bout of illness (her), a pair of lackadaisical attitudes (Audrey and Rusty), and an abrupt shift in the weather (Mother Nature) all conspired to give us an unexpectedly laid-back weekend. To be fair, we didn’t really not do anything. There was a trip to the movies on Saturday afternoon to see “Looper,” which was excellent. We detailed our cars on Sunday, and went shopping. But for us, that constituted an unusually quiet weekend. In the six months that Tara has lived here, we’ve rarely done so little over the weekend. Usually we’ve got concerts to attend and beaches to visit and trails to hike and farmer’s markets to explore and campgrounds to pitch tents in. Not getting up early in order to rush off somewhere for a change felt weird.

Weird and good.  Lounging in bed until 8:00? Cooking a leisurely breakfast? Sipping hot coffee on the patio while thumbing through magazines? Actually clearing shows off the DVR rather than letting them pile up in great unwatched digital heaps? These all felt like little luxuries after months of go-go-go!

Don’t get me wrong. I like go-go-go. (I also like The Go-Go’s. “Our Lips Are Sealed” was one of my favorite songs from the 80s. But I digress). It’s just that, every once in a while, it’s nice to hit the pause button and relax instead.

Our friends are forever making comments about how we’re always doing something fun. I’ll admit, I was the busiest unemployed person in the history of unemployment. I never let a little thing like no money stop me from embarking upon one adventure after another, and when Tara moved here in April, she adopted the same philosophy. We had two and a half months to play together, and play we did. I can’t help that our exploits were plastered all over Facebook, usually accompanied by photographic evidence of all the places we had been. We just like to share snippets of our lives and keep our friends in the loop! Still, once we both landed jobs, more than one person remarked, “Great – now you guys will be too busy working to get out and do amazing things all the time!”

Comments like those made me wonder if we truly are unique in the way we maximize our spare time. I thought everybody went out and did things, taking advantage of the local and regional offerings, but maybe I was wrong. I had one friend who never ventured into Portland because he hated “dealing with the hassle of it all.” The “hassle” involves driving across a single bridge. Portland is literally ten minutes away. I have another friend, and I’m sorry if he’s reading this and recognizes himself, but he is constantly dropping hints about me taking him to Voodoo Doughnut, because he’s never been. First of all, that’s unconscionable. VD is awesome! (Err…you know what I mean). Second, it’s just a quick drive downtown. Why rely on somebody else to do something fun? Go out and make your own happiness! I was on my own for five years, and I never let that stop me from going to the movies or grabbing a bite to eat from a food truck downtown or making a trip to the coast or, hell, driving to DAYTON FREAKIN’ OHIO and back. Would I rather have had somebody wonderful like Tara to share those adventures with? Of course! But I didn’t stop living just because I was alone. Besides, that’s why they invented prostitutes.

Oh, relax. I’m kidding.

When I think of all the things I would have missed out on if I’d decided it was “too much hassle” to leave the house, I cringe. I’d have never experienced the sweet deliciousness of freshly picked huckleberries, or hiked across the pumice plain of an active volcano to get a close-up shot of the waterfall spilling from its crater, or roamed the blue-and-yellow rooms of a museum devoted entirely to canned lunchmeat in a tiny Minnesota town few people have ever heard of. And, I’d have never eaten a maple bacon bar. My life would be far less rich for the lack of experience, that’s for sure.

So, yeah. An occasional relaxing weekend is fine and dandy, but I wouldn’t want to do it all the time. I couldn’t do it all the time. Which is why in the next month we’re planning to conquer the Fruit Loop in Hood River, and spend a weekend next to the ocean, and watch a favorite band play live, and take another trip to Seattle.

Life’s just far too short not to do those things, you know?

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Categories: Daily Life

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13 replies

  1. You have just reminded me of what I use to be like before university took over my life…I miss exploring my surroundings. Life is too short not to do all that stuff!

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  2. Our life on earth is fleeting. I love the fact that you and Tara experience all that you can. While I can relate to “Why go through all the hassle?”… Why wouldn’t you? Laziness…that’s why!

    I’m lazy!

    Doesn’t mean I’m always going to be though.

    There are tons of stuff I want to see. I need to be more like you and Tara. Just go-go-go!!

    Awesome post, Mark!! Thanks!!

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  3. This weekend needs to be 200 hours long. It is science project time for 2 granddaughters and guess who…

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  4. Ok, I would go to Voodoo Donut everyday – with or without someone – if I lived 10 minutes away. I’d start up Voodoo Donut Day and buy maple bacon bars for everyone!

    But seriously, while Joe and I did have our weekend getaway, I’ve otherwise been a bit of a sloth. Work has me totally exhausted and it’s impacted my writing, when I hang out with friends, and even when I could be hiking or taking photos or anything myself. I’ve admitted to myself I’m totally in a rut. Keeping it on the D.L., but I’m looking for another job. One that doesn’t make me quite so miserable and exhausted. I’m glad I read today’s post. Kind of the kick in pants to own my free time and spend it how I want to that I needed. Thanks, Mark. Appreciate your free spirit attitude!

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    • I’m a firm believer in finding a job that doesn’t sap every ounce of your strength and energy – you gotta have time to play! Good luck to you, Jess! BTW, the book arrived in the mail – thanks again. BOOM!

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  5. “Why rely on somebody else to do something fun? Go out and make your own happiness!”

    Amen! I’m single and have never relied on someone else to have fun. If I want to do something (like go to NYC for the day) I’ll just do it on my own. Honestly, I truly enjoy my own company. I too know many people who won’t do something if they have to do it alone, and I can’t understand that. I can even eat at a restaurant alone.

    “It’s just that, every once in a while, it’s nice to hit the pause button and relax instead.”

    Exactly! I enjoy doing stuff, but sometimes (if the mood strikes me) I’ll stay inside all day and just CHILL. That’s one of the things I love about the winter months because it feels so cozy to “nest” on a cold, gray day.

    I enjoy both. Doing stuff, but also doing nothing.

    Love the video clip of the Go-Go’s, Mark! Brought back a TON of great memories!

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