There was an interesting article in the Washington Post this past weekend about a local pastor’s sermon series on suburban life. The basic point of the series was that the hustling, task-oriented, jam-packed scheduling of suburbia leaves us dead inside: we laugh very little, relax very little, and enjoy our families — or anything else — very little, if at all.

Reading the article, I could totally relate. For the most part, I have stopped doing the things I love, or they have become mere tasks that get added to the neverending list (thus sapping any joy or life-giving aspect from them). I struggle with saying “no,” and apparently this condition is epidemic in our area.

What was interesting about the article was how the church responded to the pastor’s sermon. Some of them pulled their kids out of sports for a period; others let their grass grow or laundry pile up (I’ve already done that…). One family sold its house in an exclusive neighborhood and dumped its sports club membership to relieve stress related to finances and upkeep. And they’re all happier.

I feel like I’ve been afflicted by some disease: Suburbia. I didn’t see it sneak up on me, and wasn’t aware of how bad of shape I was in until recently. But it’s taken a toll on every area of my life. Including my physical health — I’ve been sick for over a week now, which is really unusual for me.

While I was reading the article, I began to consider the things I could cut out of my life to detox myself from “suburbia.” The first thing that came to mind was the pitching lessons I do for little league fastpitch softball girls. I love softball, and I love the girls even more. But it takes 3-5 hours a week of precious evening time for me to coach these girls. That’s time away from Button & Siah, and that’s time that other critical things aren’t getting done. I plan on talking to Niki about it some more, but I think right now isn’t the best time for me to be coaching.

And there’s got to be other things, too, that I can either let go or I can ask someone to help me with. Bottom line: let the detox begin.

“Death by Suburb”: