The Dangers of the Patio

By Forrest Smith -

It started innocently enough. An outdoor dining table here, an outdoor couch there, and pretty soon you have a complete living space open to the air and ready for long evening dinners and lounging. Over the years, we’ve added a nice patio (and have expanded it several times), brought in a chimnea for evening fires, and strung up lights so we can enjoy it well into the evening.

But there is a problem with this setup.

While we eat our meals on our patio throughout the week, we especially look forward to our weekends, where we make pizzas, bbq, and enjoy lots of wine while relaxing and shedding the commitments of the workweek. And therein lies the problem. Our weekends used to be in pursuit of adventure and exploration. We would hike, backpack, camp, take road trips, and get out and enjoy the world around us. Now we mostly sit on our patio. Perhaps it’s being a parent, or getting older and generally having less time and energy, but I think a central issue is just that our patio space is too nice.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter, a main goal in life is to enjoy my time whenever I can, and I definitely enjoy our patio time, but it has triggered an existential crisis of sorts. Am I someone who explores the world around me, pushing myself a bit physically to find new cool places, or am I someone who prizes my lounge time, content to stay within the bounds of my yard and watching in dismay as I grow slower and less physically fit.

So, there is a danger in having spaces at home that are too nice, at least if you see yourself as a bit of an explorer. You’ve been warned.