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Errands and Leisure and Shopping and Socializing15 Jul 2008 08:30 am

Having a car lets you take energy for granted: not only fossil fuel but personal energy as well.

To wit: do we run errands because we need things or because we need to feel accomplished?

Sometimes we do need things and sometimes they all pile up when we work all week long. On the other hand, does having a list of stops as long as your credit card statement and spending all Saturday in your car so you can check things off the list really define “accomplishment.”

Knock yourself out, then. I’m finding that without a car I pick and choose a bit more carefully. That extra side trip to the bread store got nixed when my wife rightly pointed out we had plenty of bread right now.

I instead walked to the hardware store to return an unused toilet handle from last weekend’s plumbing caper. I took the dog along and doubled up a chore.

On the way back, I ran into my neighbor with the collie mix heading in the opposite direction. She was pushing her son’s bike to the bike store for repairs. Of course, we stopped to talk as the dogs sniffed and socialized.

After we parted, I realized she was doing the same as I: combining errands. I also realized, she could just have easily put her son’s bike in the car and driven it to the bike store. She didn’t.

Missions, plural, accomplished.

With energy to spare.

Without driving.

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