Tess Wilson has a great article at Apartment Therapy that points out the benefits of schlepping stuff around the city. Her post focuses mostly on the fact that schlepping is good exercise, which it is. But I’d argue that it’s even more than that. It’s a seeming inconvenience that has plenty of unintended benefits.
Take grocery shopping. There are plenty of people who will argue until they’re blue in the face that grocery shopping without a car is an unacceptable burden in life. I wouldn’t take it that far, but I would agree that it’s less convenient and more challenging to do than if you have access to a car.
I don’t have a car, so when I do it, it means I have to make strategic shopping choices. I don’t buy whole watermelons or 12-packs of Pepsi because those things are really heavy and bulky and difficult to transport without a car. To some people this is a great tragedy.
What would life be without sugary soda and 15 pound melons? To me, it’s a blessing in disguise. Schlepping means I keep fresher food in the house, because I’m not tempted to “stock up” on junk that keeps indefinitely in the pantry. It means I have less waste because I don’t overbuy.
No, this isn’t for everybody, and I’ve heard dozens of reasons why it’s impossible for many people and many families. But that’s not the point. The point is that sometimes when you look past what seems obvious, and you move beyond seeking out convenience at any cost, what you find might not be quite as bad as you might think. It could even be a blessing in disguise.
Rob Pitingolo blogs at Extraordinary Observations. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.