S L O W

Vacation.

Long overdue.

Very long overdue.

And it has me wondering:

Can I be slow?

So here’s the context. The kid is at wrestling camp in Tahoe. Camp is four days on, two days off and four days on.  Rather than run back and forth between SoCal and NorCal we’re spending the week up north. Enter Vacation Rental by Owner.

I really wanted to try something new for us: a slow, quiet, relaxing vacation. We found a fabulous property in Auburn, California.

And yet…I’m now craving Chinese. It’s 10:30. John smiles at me. I think it means I’m out of luck. OK, so 24/7 Chinese food isn’t universal. Nor is the Grilled Cheese Truck. Nor Jerry’s Deli. Must stop…I’m too hungry!

Can I be slow?

I woke up earlier than planned, managed a cup of coffee and read.

Then wrote.

Then read.

Eventually the house stirred.

We managed lunch.

Read some more.

Wrote some more.

By 2:00 it was time to take the dog for a walk.

Up the block is Bell’s Preschool. As we pass we watched kids readying to pick plums off a tree. They asked about Jefferson. One boy has a cockerpoo. Plums await.

Then we drove into town. Half a dozen antique shops, a week’s worth of breakfast joints and the very fun Wild Women in the Garden.

We stumble upon Carpe Vino, a perfect respite from the heat. With a menu that includes highlights from the Auburn Alehouse, we’re two for two. Cheese plate. Wine. Ale. Olive oil. Wine.

It was a perfect day.

The question is this: could I live this life? There is no doubt in my mind that it is a better way to live. The people around us savor life in a way we don’t have time for in “the city.” In a way I want to savor it. I envy them the slow pace, the leisure, the connection to the land around them….

Looking out at the vista, morning coffee in hand, I want this. I want the ease of this. I want to send my son off with a warning to return before dark. I want to know where our food comes from. I want to wake to the crowing roosters, singing birds and playing children.

And…

And I want access to the best and brightest of what cancer therapy can offer. I want yoga and tai chi and cutting-edge clinical trials.

It’s quite a choice. And since I’m not selling the house and making a beeline to the country, it is, perhaps, academic. Except it’s not. It doesn’t matter where I live, it matters how I live. As Abraham Lincoln said best, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years…”

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. phxross
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 18:33:41

    Love you Lori! You’re 100% right. Your perspective matches ours and how we live. KC works to live, he doesn’t live to work.

    Our goal, if I’m done with spine fusions & joint reconstruction (or take a long break) is to get a motor home and see the US. (Trade in the 5th wheel RV in maybe 5 years)

    But right now we’ll settle for 6 days in Chicago next week including the celebration of my dad’s 85th birthday (parents come in from Ann Arbor). I need some hometown time!

    Reply

    • Lori
      Jul 26, 2012 @ 19:39:51

      Thanks, Karin! I would LOVE to take 6 months and see America in an RV. I’m certain we would all learn more about life than we do at work/school. Let me know when you make it out west! In the meantime, enjoy Chicago and CONGRATS on your dad’s birthday. What a beautiful milestone to celebrate!

      Reply

      • phxross
        Jul 26, 2012 @ 20:10:47

        Which side of LA are you on? We haven’t been out lately but San Diego is a 5 hr drive from Phoenix I think and a 1 hr flight. I used to fly into Burbank all the time for California State Disability Board meetings

      • Lori
        Jul 26, 2012 @ 20:25:16

        We’re in the Valley, but if you get close, I’ll come to you! Burbank is easy.

  2. chemobrainfog
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 19:20:06

    Happy Birthday…. first and foremost…..

    And, it’s time for me to slow down, too. Maybe we can come up with some sort of slow down time…. Skype yoga? I just know if I don’t start scheduling some ME time into MY life, I’m going to fall on my face…. I think I’m going to start NOW…. Bed by 11 sounds like a great plan…..

    xoxox

    Reply

  3. Jan Baird Hasak
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 16:51:16

    I love this post, Lori. Makes me want to hit the road and do some exploring and reflecting. Auburn’s a great little foothill town, isn’t it? And it’s not the only one. You are right: it absolutely matters how we live. We make that choice each and every day. xx

    Reply

    • Lori
      Jul 27, 2012 @ 18:24:12

      Thanks, Jan! The entire area has been a wonderful respite! And you are so right in what you’ve said…each day we get to make our choices over again!

      Reply

  4. Beth Gainer
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 04:43:23

    “It doesn’t matter where I live, it matters how I live.” That says it all, doesn’t it? Your time in this area sounds blissfully wonderful. I agree that how we live is the most important part of life. Thank you for an excellent, insightful posting.

    Reply

  5. Facing Cancer (@cancer2gether)
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 05:32:57

    You’re totally right. It doesn’t matter where you live, it matters how you live. Those slow days are so incredible, but that home-grown cuppa coffee could easily be replaced with a stroll to the closet cafe for a Chai tea grande, (for example), followed by some sloooow yoga. 🙂 Sounds like your holiday is a success! Enjoy every moment.

    Catherine
    http://www.facingcancer.ca

    Reply

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