Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. - Georgia O’Keeffe

Downtown is in a whirlwind rush. Intense meetings and impending deadlines seem to loom on our horizon more often. Dirt hauling and concrete pouring trucks are always on the move. Hordes of people are visiting our neighborhoods to take a peek at the exciting changes.

Recently, Sperling's BestPlaces ranked our city number 75 in the nation’s list of “stressed-out, large metropolitan areas.” Though the factors that Sperling uses to measure stress preclude San Diego from being in the top 10, I think an important factor was overlooked: the intensity of everyday life.

We’ve got a deep desire to keep on top of it all; whether it’s information, new investment possibilities, new traffic patterns, new activities/events, it all creates self-induced stress.

In centuries past, stress was vital for physical survival. Our ancestors fatigued their muscles, whereas we push our minds and bodies to the point of constant fatigue.

Stress provides motivation, stimulation, the invaluable energy that pushes us to reach our goals, meet physical challenges, solve problems. And it can work very, very well, but often with a price not realized until later.

This is a very personal topic for me. I always thought my drugs of choice were exercise, coffee and chocolate, but I recently learned it’s adrenaline. In fact, I’m an adrenaline junkie. Not a weekend-thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie, though some friends would argue, but the type that lives life so fully and passionately there is never any down time. I’m the Energizer Bunny; I just keep going and going and going.

Due to my intense passion for life, I’ve taken much risk; cheating death is not new to me. It’s all given me a new appreciation for life and the desire to live even more fully, driving myself harder.

My price is this: I’ve been diagnosed with Stage 3 Adrenal Exhaustion. There isn’t a Stage 4.

So, it’s time to break my addiction, but not at the cost of slowing down.

Is it possible? How can we who are a venti type A accomplish all we desire to do without taxing our adrenal? How can we live without the euphoric feeling of the adrenal rush?

I weigh…Is there a way to rush without a rush?

These Downtown neighbors’ mantra is balance the rush with rest.

Rob Quigley’s (Beaumont Manor on Cedar St) life principle is his work is too important to take seriously.

Sandy Newton (Treo@Kettner) surrounds herself with positive people.

Yana Shayne (Archstone) creates stain glass art while listening to music.

Sherm Harmer and Becky Wissbaum (City Walk) go to the beach and watch the sunset.

When you see me, remind both of us to pause for a deep breath, take in the beauty of the flower. - March 2004

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