We've been spoiled it seems to have lived in the urban center of San Diego the past 2 1/2 years (minus the 6 months we were on Road Pickle). A week ago, Sash and I moved into our 3rd digs in the past 4 months, and our 4th home in San Diego overall, though not counting the two motels we spent 3 weeks in.
But this new place is located outside of the city center, further out into the suburban perimeter in the land of master-planned communities, where curvy, meandering Spanish-named parkways replace the grid pattern of Broadways and numbered streets. It's where you find tract homes, HOAs, and three-car garages. It's where dads burn firewood in their driveways and where moms host Princess House parties.
It's also the place where the nearest store and restaurant requires a two mile trek past homes and condominiums, requiring you to take a vehicle to get there. Sash and I were used to living in the city where you can walk to a store and crawl back home from the bar.
In the city, there's an energy of vibrance that fills the air, and somehow it just isn't here in the 'burbs.
But it's not to say that I don't like living here. On the contrary, I've spent many years in neighborhoods like this. It's just a different environment.
Everyone here is all about their personal lives, about decompressing and getting away from the madness of the city. By living several miles from their place of work, they've drawn a distinct boundary between their career and family. But in the city, people blend both business and personal together. There isn't a moment when they only work or only play, they do it all concurrently and they live life at a faster pace.
So when our minds were running full steam on a conference call in the comfy comfines of our downtown abode, it's like culture shock to be plucked into the air and dropped in between a Little League tryout and a lemonade stand. Suddenly, the sight of brace-faced kids in minivans and white button-down Mormons on bicycles, just doesn't make synapse with our neurons. It's as if the neighborhood is telling us to slow down and smell the caramel Frappuccino.
Sash put together a drawing board of our weekly work schedule, just to remind us that we still have work to do. Yeah, somehow, the slower pace of the suburbs has me forgetting about work in lieu of standing on our balcony to gaze at the lovely swimming pool and spa. In trying to acclimate ourselves to the land of tract homes and complexes, we find the slower, quieter pace to have a calming effect on our mood. We've made good use of the spa 3 times in the past 7 days, each with beer in hand, something we didn't do while living in the city.
And that's not so bad if your work ends on a specific time of day and can you drive several miles away from your office. But Sash and I work out of our home. And in the stuccoed environs of bedroom suburbia, the vibrant energy that used to power our fast-paced lifestyle is not there anymore.
So we're tasked with finding tools to help us get back on track. We're trying to define hours when we work and play.
Technically, we don't have to work in our home, we can always find a coffee shop nearby. But here in the suburbs, chatty teenagers make too much noise to concentrate.
But one can only afford the high-priced rent of the city for so long, unless you're willing to live in apartments of urine-stained sidewalks and iron-barred windows. But because we're not, it's back to the propinquity of Home Depots, Applebees, and the gentle music of ice cream trucks.