I will bring balance to the Force.
Well maybe not the Force or the world but I will bring some semblance of balance to my life. It would seem that at some point during the endless battle against the fates I get sucked into this all or nothing mentality. I obsess over an item, a hobby, a change and it sucks me in and absorbs every last bit of my attention. This usually means that for a month or so I am going to change the world! Then I get stagnant, I get burnt out and my attention is absorbed my some other golden trinket lying around. I totally Homer Simpson it.
I’ve done this with riding in the past, I’ve done it with my iPad, I’ve done this with the laptop I’m typing on now. Yes, I’ve done it with my writing and I truly believe that this inability to ‘Bring Balance to the Force’ is why I have, for the most part, failed at most major under takings in my constant sludge through this knee deep pool of poo I call a life. I do believe that my Midichlorian count is too low to become a true master at all. Of course this won’t stop me from banging my head against a wall. What is that saying Yoda likes to hurl at us padawans? “Do or do not, there is no try.” Yep that’s the one. I really hate quitting but I’m pretty good at putting it off. So I get the ‘do’ part just fine I just may not ‘Do’ things in a time frame the little green Muppet is happy with.
All kidding aside the other day I realized that I had spent several hours sitting at the desk staring at a computer screen, angered by a change at work and pissed off that I had chosen that same time to try and jump start some half hopeless attempt at a writing career. I was depressed, mad, and generally just a complete crab-apple. I needed a change. I think we all do when we get to that stage in life when our mundane little existence no matter how much fun it is just becomes tedious. I’ve noticed that a lot of the authors and mtn bikers I follow who started out doing it all as a hobby and then try to push it into something more become somewhat disenfranchised about their chosen hobby/activity the more that activity/hobby becomes job like in nature. Those who are dedicated trainers know this and do things to break up the monotony. They run, they plan a huge mtn biking trip to some far away land, they go snowboarding. Anything to break the crap up.
I keep my road bike in my office where I can drool over its sleek carbon fiber lines. (I have another free wall and the thought of also storing my mtn bike in the office is never far from my mind…it looks so sad out there in the garage.) I kept staring at it and coming up with one excuse or another to not ride it. You see a month ago I’d burnt out on the riding thang too. So there I was burnt out on the two things that keep me motivated and depressed about changes at work that were entirely outside of my control. I woke up on a Thursday to a whining daughter who wanted to be driven to her friends house so they could walk to school together. Since I am such a cool Dad I finally agreed and was up earlier than normal. My road bike was gently calling my name each time I passed her. She wanted to stretch her legs….and to be honest so did I. With only minutes to spare I scrambled to get my gear together (thank you Mom for that whole…’a place for everything, and everything in its place’ mantra you drilled into me) and we were out the door only 1 minute late.
I won’t bore you with the details of the ride (80 minutes, 19.34 miles, 978 ft of elevation change…ok so I will afterall) but suffice it to say that although I didn’t push myself I had a blast and some of the depression and burn out was lifted. I rode down a few roads I don’t normally hit and enjoyed a beautiful SoCal spring morning. (Anyone know where DeLuz road behind Murrieta goes?) It’s amazing how a little change to a morning routine can alter your perceptions of the world around you. Change (like at work) can be scary but they can also be good for you. We should never do that thing we love to the point of burn out. We can push ourselves to get out of that safe zone but we should also make sure to mix it up. I know that starting now I will make sure to make time for riding so that I don’t let myself down with my yearly goals but also so that the Muse gets a break from constantly staring at the monitor. The Muse won’t grow unless it’s taken out and given a walk. Let it play in the fields and while you may have lost a few hours of writing time you may have gained a whole day of free thinking. As I said on Facebook that morning after the ride, “It’s amazing how mixing up the daily routine a little can bring balance to the force….er life.” Now what are you waiting for? Get out there and Git Sum!!!! Happy Spring.