Thursday, January 05, 2012

The secret to walking more and getting out of your car

That's me above by the way, I've turned into a 30 something model walking to work (where, is that Guggenheim behind her? or a space station?) in high heels.

Anyway, this secret I'm about to tell you reminds me of a secret a friend of mine with a 35-year plus marriage once imparted.  She gestured to me to lean close and said, "do you want to know the secret to a long-lasting marriage?"

I did.  So I moved close.

"Don't get divorced."

Equally true is the secret to walking more and getting out of your car:  don't have one.

How do I know?  For years we have been in violation of California state law by being a middle-class family of 4 with only one car.  We can get away with this because we live in downtown Sacramento about 12 blocks from our places of work.  So we commute to work by foot or bike and then we use the car to schlepp the kids and groceries around and everything else.  This is further facilitated by living in a cohousing community where we can easily borrow a second car when we need to.

This all changed recently when my mother, whose principle residence is in San Diego, took (re)possession of an ancient Volvo of hers that my brother had been driving for years.  She now leaves it up here by her Davis house.  I took it upon myself to "borrow" it for a week or two.

That was several months ago.  It has now become our second car on an indefinite basis.  And here's where the real truth sets in.  It turns out that if you have a second car, it becomes practically impossible not to think up reasons to use it.  Suddenly I'm scheduling appointments that are so close to the time I have to be out of work that I "can't" walk or bike home first and get a car at  home, I "can't" coordinate with my husband and so I have to drive to work.  This further complicated by the fact that my employer pays for parking so I don't have a financial hit when I do this.  If I did, I would definitely not do it.

I actually think I've put on like 5 pounds just from 2 months of occasional driving.  I'm still only driving to work once or twice a week, but I can feel the pull.  This week it looks like I'll drive 3 times.

The car has got to go.

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