Where everybody knows you

The advantage of of living & working in a small district?  Everybody knows each other.

The disadvantage of living & working in a small district?  Everybody knows each other.

Word of my nightly walks home from work has spread from my campus all the way to Central Office.  It’s kind of embarrassing, actually.

I started walking home so Hub wouldn’t have to worry about picking me up before heading off to school.  It didn’t take me long to convince him that the 3.25 mile trip is nothing to worry about since I do longer distances when I train for races.

In the last two weeks:

I’ve fought with colleagues about why I walk home;

I’ve waved to many of the very same colleagues on my evening walks; and

Colleagues I very rarely see throughout the school year have e-mailed me and called me saying, “Hey!  Was that you with a pink backpack walking home last night?  You really walk home from school?  That’s amazing!” (The distance from my school to my home is a tenth of a mile farther than a 5k.  I don’t think it’s really that amazing.  Or maybe it is.)

I have been stopped on the street by colleagues out for their afternoon workouts.  I can see the look of, “Now why the heck didn’t I think of that?” in their eyes as we chat before heading off down the road in opposite directions.

I’m finding I really appreciate the 55 minutes of solitude while I listen to my breathing and the jingle of the keys in my backpack.  I have time to think through the problems of the day, to develop solutions and plans for the next day.

I didn’t walk home from school today like I had planned.  I had a meeting that ran well past 5 o’clock and still had another hour’s worth of work to do before I felt ready to leave.  Hub asked if I wanted a ride home.

I reluctantly accepted because I knew that even if I left campus right then, I wouldn’t get home until past sunset.

Another disadvantage of working & living in a small district: no street lights except on the main parkway.

The sad revelation I had a few days ago as I walked home was that I wouldn’t have even thought about walking home if the truck hadn’t decided to break down and Hub wasn’t still in grad school.  

After all, in today’s microwave, MTV, have to have it fast, have it now world, walking home from school is just about unheard of.

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