Greener Grass

The woods are calling me. I can hear it. Camping season is just about here.

Some day in the not-too-distant future, I’ll go and never come back. I don’t want to truly be a “mountain man” or anything; I have no desire to leave civilization entirely. I just want to be a little farther away from it than I am now.

Small barriers are the key to healthy habits. I have a pretty healthy diet; I don’t completely avoid junk or unhealthy foods, but I only keep healthy things in the house. If I want something outside of that, I have to go out and get it. I’m obviously capable of doing that, but the additional barrier keeps me from doing it too often. It keeps it a “treat” instead of just a default.

Your social media apps are like that. I don’t keep those apps on my phone – if I want to check a social media account, I have to either go to my computer, or I have to use my phone’s internet browser and log into the site. That’s a pain, so I don’t do it too often. It’s not never, but it’s not automatic.

That’s how I want civilization. I want it accessible, but inconvenient. I don’t want to live hundreds of miles from the nearest city or deeply suburban area – but I want to live maybe 40 miles from it. Close enough to visit when I want to, far enough away that it ceases to be the default lifestyle. Something I have to consciously choose to do on a case-by-case basis instead of the environment that takes over my life.

Right now, the grass is still greener on this side. There are still too many advantages, especially with three young children, of living my suburban lifestyle. Proximity to family members and modern conveniences and ease of maintaining my home all win out over the majesty of the forest… for now. So for now, the roles are reversed: the forest is what I keep close so that I can visit it, and the city is my home. But not forever.

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