Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

I am not improving myself.


I read a Facebook post by a guy from Europe about the way Americans ride our bikes. Fast and joyless, like we are in race. We do this for no reason,  without thinking, because hurrying is automatic, it’s what we do. We turn things into a race, into a chore, a goal, into what’s good for us, into self-improvement. So after that FB post, I changed. Now I leave earlier. I go slow. I don’t think about burning calories or improving  my muscle tone. I let everybody pass me. For a little while each day I look at my neighbors’ gardens, the trees turning colors, kids at the park, the sky. I am not racing. I am not improving myself. I am riding my bike.

Categories: aging, belief, Living Like Julia, memoir, Oregon

2 replies

  1. Watch out, though—I became a better person after I gave up improving myself. Go figure.

  2. Very well said, Alison. The whole of American society is built on that “hurry, accomplish!” principle. It’s utterly out of sync with human nature. No wonder we are always so angry and screwed up in this country.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s