And you know what? Who cares?!?!
This morning, I rose early and rode the streets of suburbia to my job - enjoying now how each day the sun rises later and later, each morning commute turns into a miniature "night" ride.
Orion, my favorite constellation, is up now - directly overhead in the last hour before dawn, and with the dry, cool air in place it's spectacular. Along 137th street, no cars, utter silence save for my tires and the wind in my ears, I let go of the handlebars and sat back, stretching in the saddle hands-free, and looked up. Right as I did, perfectly in the center of my field of vision a bright shooting star arced across Orion's belt from west to east, and the light pollution that normally shields the details had lifted just for a moment to reveal the sparkling, ghostly remains of the trail - hovering like magic dust in the black sky.
It's amazing from whom I grasp inspiration. It's shocking sometimes, the things that finally resonate - and sometimes more shocking where the revelation comes from.
I won't get into a lot of detail here, because... well, because. BUT: something changed today, while I was at work in an totally unplanned, impromptu meeting with someone with whom I've worked for a long time, but hadn't ever really TALKED to, ya know? Words I heard, and how I interpreted them... it made a difference. For some reason, today, I was really listening - because this person really didn't offer any pearls of wisdom that were immediately relevant to my current situation, it was him, relating HIS story to me, and how he'd manage to use what happened to him in a positive way. It made a lot of the things I'd been going through seem really tiny. Hard to explain... but if you've been there, you know.
Heck, this may not last... I know myself, and people are people with things like this: sometimes we get inspired, times are good, attitudes are solid - but we forget. We need that little reminder. That slap in the face, depending. So, today, I got what I needed.
Today, on the ride home from work - cool breeze, dry air, birds still singing, leaves not quite changing yet... but aching to... I took off with the wind at my back and loved every minute of it.
Car coming down the hill on the road that kinda wraps around the office buildings.... that tiny, thin grey line between "yeah, I should stop... but, I have room and time...."
I hammered it. Granted, not my finest performance - but that, along with how hard things have been, doesn't much matter either.
I stood on the pedals and told a few hills how I felt about them, and then looked back in appreciation of Newton's 3rd law. You see, the hills - love them or hate them - always give something back. It's what you DO with it.
The flats? Bliss. Deep in the hoods, jersey collar flapping against my neck, tempo... how that leg?? Hmmm.... you know, not bad today.
Granted, I don't want to smoke all my reserves and re-injure anything... bah, just pedal.
The smells of the bike trail... fall... ah, fall... a campfire sounds good again.
I get home along my new, scenic bypass: my last north/south road is currently under construction, so I have been adding about two miles to get around it and still avoid the throngs of rush-hour... only to find that all this time, I really should have been adding those two miles, regardless. Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is definitely NOT a straight line.... assuming shortest and best are equated. Even after constructions wraps, I may just keep using the bypass. It's like, "I've lived here HOW long, and this was always here?" (facepalm)
I arrive at the driveway... out of breath? Check. Legs sore? Check. Injured part of leg sore? yeah..... but not as bad as last week.... stretch, stretch, stretch, massage.
I find my kids in the backyard, tossing the football around.... BONUS. I remember that football practice this week got moved a night, so this time we can play because we WANT to. I've never been much for ball sports... but there is something downright Norman Rockwell perfect and very satisfying about tossing a ball back-and-forth with your kids.
All in all, even with things at work being probably more intense than I found myself harpin' about last week, this was a very good day.
Attitude? Yes... it matters. I usually suck at it... but it doesn't take much to turn it around if you WANT to. I've found a pile of new reasons to want to, just today.
It's amazing - what was simply "routine" two days ago, it was all there... but, today I noticed.
Keep your eyes open, and your head up.
Thanks for reading!