This week has been an anomoly; Mike has been traveling, Sammy is back with her mom, so it’s just been me and the pup. As I mentioned in an earlier post, when it’s just me and the pup mornings start early; we’ve been at our open space park every day this week by 6am, pre-dawn, when it’s just almost light enough for him to chase his beloved tennis ball.
I like our open space park; it’s about 17 acres of off leash dog run space, with another 145 acres of not-off leash trails meant for horses and hikers and mountain bikes. In fact, I’d say this open space area is indicative of everything I like about where I live; this park is just a mile south of some seriously depressing newly built subdivisions and office parks, but that mile is a long one, and as you drive it you can feel the space give way from concrete to nature again. Down this way, by my house (about 25 miles south of Denver), the anonymous housing tracks give way to elevation and rolling hills and herds of cattle and elk meandering around.
As the sun comes up, the pup and I move from the off-leash space (where he is free to roam and chase balls and play with other pups) to the bigger trail. (He gets his walk in the morning, I get mine.) It’s this part of the morning that I really love, watching the sun rise come across the plains from the east and reflect the wall of mountains to the west.
There are things I don’t like about living in Colorado. After so many years in D.C., the developed areas feel too new, they lack the character I loved about the historic D.C. streets and homes. I sometimes miss the aggressive careerism. And of course, I miss my urban family, my people that I grew up with through my twenties.
But on the whole, I have to say: I love it here. Yes, I am sandwiched by subdivisions everywhere I go, but driving home I wind down a road lined with pine trees and horse farms. I have time for slow cups of coffee in the morning, after a first shock of natural caffeine in the form of mountain air. I’m out of work in time to make it to the local track club or evening crossfit class. It’s a slower life here than I had in D.C., but for now, it fits me.
I think life, regardless of where you live, will always be as fast or as slow as you want it to be. But moving out here has been a nice exercise in forcibly slowing down. Even though I’ve been up by 5am every day this week, I feel more rested than I have in a long, long while.
I’ve been thinking about this concept of “Slow Life” this week as I just finished the book “Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, And Found Happiness.” It’s written by Dominque Browning, the former editor of House & Garden, telling of the year after she was fired and forcibly retired. In a way it seems to fit into the theme of the “The Me Years” I talked about last week, except instead of spending her 20s figuring her “me” stuff, Dominque found herself doing that in her 50s. As someone who has always loved being good at my job, and has loved the structure and energy my jobs have given to my life, I liked the discussion revolving ”Ok, so what happens when the job goes away?”
I don’t much care for memoirs, but this one kept me reading.