A Truth About Inconvenience

Written by Susan Fritz | Saturday, May 14th, 2016 Posted in Blog, Mexico, The Way I See It, What I Write

When you’re always looking for the shortcut,
you’re bound to get hurt.

The way in which thoughts develop, change, and evolve is fascinating. Noteworthy, at least—a window into ourselves we’d be wise to permanently asterisk. Not so long ago I wrote a short post called “La Scorciatoia”, which means “shortcut” in Italian. What I attempted to communicate is rather obvious–so obvious that it’s overlooked in a “Yeah, yeah, I sure…tomorrow I’ll take the long way; I’ll follow all of the steps”. There’s even some new terms floating around, “Biohacker” or “Life-Haker”, etc…(the shortcut way of saying I don’t care to look up the remaining terms). But, unfortunately, a “shortcut” only functions in the short-term. If you’re looking to develop a skill fully, to succeed for more than a minute, to stay ‘relevant’ (although I dislike this word), it’s time to shift focus to:

The Long Game

You know, Suz, if I have any advice to give to people, it’s to keep moving.

This is what my mom has said countless times after going through some rather challenging moments with her mobility. My refrain to her, (yes to make her feel better—although there’s also truth to it) has been, replete with chuckle,

Yeah, sure, but mom, you either would have resented the effort then–or now. You chose now.

I’m not sure if “resented” is the appropriate word–you may write me at susan@susanmfritz with a better one, but you get the idea…

It’s why I conclude, based on my travels, that—mostly unintentionally (500-year-old-roads are not adaptable to drive-thrus) other countries have done the right thing by not enabling their populations to live lives of pure convenience; of eliminating the “choice” of movement and making it required. Though the pace often seems slower—the workday seems shorter—(i.e. siesta–best invention ever), the built-in inconveniences actually save time and prevent future issues, such as the constant American tourist vacay-cry, 

I can’t possibly go up all those steps.

What would be a “Story For the Ages” for one, is a daily practice for another.

It may sound like I’m picking on my People. Not at all! Quite the opposite—I am constantly explaining the logistics of the American way of life to people I meet.

It’s like this—imagine the hugest road ever—then add 7 lanes of traffic…would you cross that to walk 35 miles to your office?

The infrastructure simply does not support a life of this type of “inconvenience”. So instead people who want to improve or maintain some semblance of an upright spine must wake up at the crack of dawn, not cross the lanes of traffic by foot but drive, get out of the car, change, move their limbs on a machine, shower, change, get back in the car—oops, drink a smoothie first to replace the energy they’ve burned—and then go sit down all day.

Honestly, it makes me hyperventilate just thinking about it. And although I’ve worked in offices sparsely in my life, I’ve spent enough time to realize I’d rather stand at the drive-thru window of Arby’s (*see also every reference to me being potentially screwed in the future because of my quasi-early retirement) when I’m old than sacrifice my body and mind to the “convenience” of the Easy life.

Quite simply, I’m not buying it–or buying into it. Give me the built-in challenge of carrying groceries up 263 steps…the ones I counted in my head because I couldn’t be bothered to buy a Fitbit.

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