Thursday, April 12, 2007
Beige Suburb Blues
A while ago, I felt like I was drowning a beige death in the suburbs. How many possible shades of beige can houses be painted? Sometimes the suburbs really drag me down. Everyone is the same. Everyone in their big houses and small yards and mini vans and SUVs and fences the exact height that the homeowners' association dictates. Adam said that maybe I need to make more friends...get involved in more groups. NO! I need to be a part of FEWER things. I want to be just a little bit different. I want to be unique and less like these blander than dry toast suburbs. That's when I think I lost him. I don't completely get it myself. I grew up in very rural Nevada and while it does my soul so much good to go there periodically and look at the uninterrupted horizons and the enormous sky, I really don't want to go back there permanently. Costco and Target and the library and the doctors and dentists are just so very convenient here!
On the other hand, I am not ready to move to the city. I like the relative safety of the 'burbs and being able to send my kids out to play and know that they're safe. It's nice and quiet here on my street.
So what IS it I want? I don't know. At the pinnacle of this I'm-going-crazy-because-of-the-suburbs crisis, (and it was really less crisis and more inner whining), we were driving as a family through downtown Seattle and Adam, who is always much better at spontaneity than I am, decided to stop and have us wander through Freeway Park which is a park downtown that is built over the freeway--hence the name. There were all sorts of zany characters in the park and they looked at us with the same curiosity that we looked at them. Why are those school-age kids not in school? Where did that kid with the red curly hair get all of that energy? Why are their parents ambling along holding hands in the middle of the day? I felt like I could breathe again.
I think I've come to the conclusion that occasionally--regularly-- I need to step off the hamster wheel that is my life and take time to do things like write an old friend a long email, or make sugar cookies with my kids or do something creative. The never ending cycles of laundry, home-schooling, cooking, cleaning, cub scouts, piano lessons and flossing my teeth every day can not be what my life is about--who I am. If they are then I will always have this silent whining going on in my head.
So I am not the sum total of my to-do list (or more accurately what I didn't get done on my to-do list). I am someone with children, a husband and friends. I can make my house look fairly presentable if given about 15 minutes, I am really good at making brownies and finding good deals at the grocery store. We have a pathetic little yard and a beige house in the suburbs where we are safe and comfortable and usually pretty happy. And that's a rather impressive resume.
Posted by Thelma at 10:08 AM