I am in between work tasks and decided to take a few minutes to come outside and enjoy the sunshine. The heat, and the subtle smells of spring feel full of hope and promise. It’s a far cry from the feelings I’ve been writing on lately. I talked with a friend for some time last evening, a friend I haven’t spoken with in months. It was an incredibly easy catch-up for the two of us. The way friends can go so long without speaking and then pick up as if a day hadn’t passed is incredibly comforting. To exchange compliments on what we’ve seen from the others ‘life’ in social media was fun as well, because it turned out neither of us quite had a proper bead on how the other was actually doing. We assume because we see, we know absolutely. What fools we are in that sort of assumption. A lot of kind and caring things were said to me, and it’s made a difference. I tend to take narrow views when things get difficult and it takes the outsiders perspective to knock me out of that at times. Mostly it was my narrow view that if I fail at the tasks that are set before me, I’ll be judged mercilessly by the masses. It was encouraging to hear this friend state that not only was I nuts to feel that way, but they were already proud of me, and that they aren’t the only ones who feel blessed to call me a friend. I sound like a blowhard at the moment but it came as a revelation of sorts. Even in ‘failure’ I have value to those that really care. I love my friends and those I value whether they fall flat on their faces or fly like birds. It’s been harder to feel that I am worthy of the same treatment and love mostly because of the amount of isolation I’ve been experiencing the couple few months. I’m convinced good friends will save your life. To give is a great thing and to have that giving given back is a phenomenal feeling. Like Tony Robbins said, ‘it’s not about me, it’s about we’. It felt good to exchange happiness yesterday, really really good.
I want to say that since becoming a father my view of ‘grand’ or ‘epic’ has altered significantly. I find myself lost in the minutiae of small moments when it comes to my child or other tiny tots in the family. I suppose it’s because I see the lightning storm that is their little minds taking in every single shred of stimuli in their immediate surroundings. Little sponges as they are sometimes called. They miss nothing, and for better or worse on that one! I have been exposed to the necessity and need for grand adventures, I’m almost always up for something new and love novel personal experience. From the outside looking in many would probably say that is what my life resembles lately. I took a big giant jump into the unknown about 6 months ago and to say it has been anything but a rather huge endeavor would not be proper. Fraught with ups and downs which is typical but lately many more downs than ups. Growth is never easy, evenly paced, or comfortable. I am trying to embrace that aspect even as tectonic shifts seem to move parts of my world daily.
Lately I find myself missing the epic moments on the scale of that of a child learning, or small moments with another that the world at large will never be privy to nor would the world at large even bat an eye. The shoulder shrugging moments we take for granted all the time are what I find myself pining for lately. I realize the vacuous space where those things used to pile up and overflow. I also realize the toll it takes on one when one sees the empty place where warmth used to reside. Big happenings, magnificent goals and grand achievements are always noteworthy and fulfilling, but at the end of the day it helps to have the little things to turn to for some epic-ness of a different and just as rewarding kind.
The day of rest is seldom that for me. As a cyclist it’s one of the coveted days during the seven that we can exert ourselves for longer than normal, given our hectic work and life schedules during the week. The time for group rides or a long solo trek. I took a long solo ride. The ritual of a ride prep is something I’ve begun to enjoy. Breakfast and coffee to fuel you up, filling bottles, checking tire pressure, picking out and donning outlandishly colored kit, and looking forward to the sensations on the road. As I’ve alluded to lately, the day to day fight through the days is tough. But I’ve struggled mentally on the bike as well. After all the ritualistic stuff was taken care of I got on the bike. I got a rather early start today, and was able to leave the negative voices in the garage, what a relief! At the urging of the counselor a few weeks ago I was told verbatim to say to the voices, ‘I’m gonna leave you guys here for a while, I need a break, I’ll get back to you when I return’. He said even if that means saying it out loud, to just tell them that’s what I was going to do. It sounded a little off the wall at the time but as I am diving all in on the depression counseling I figured what the hell why not start. I started that practice last week, and the voices hang with me for about a mile of the ride but lately they’ve disappeared during my rides. I rode for half the day today, and the stream of thoughts and things going through my head were surprisingly positive. As the sun sets here and I take in the last rays of the day, I feel the creep of that black cloud but it’s a much slower approach tonight. Closing my eyes and feeling the breeze on my face and the sound of the wind in my ears, I feel more calm today. Perhaps it’s due to the intensity of my ride, perhaps it’s leaving the voices in the garage when I left. It’s a bit of everything I suppose. I am tired but the ache in the pit of my stomach and my heart is not there at the moment and I do hope that it doesn’t set in this evening. I am so happy to be able to sit down and write about a small ‘win’ in terms of my mental and emotional states.
It’s a nourishing morsel to my inner hope. Wait wait, wasn’t I just half-griping about hope? 🙂