Very shortly, I will turn 50; and I find myself getting….restless.
I no longer have a sense of invincibility. My joints will ache, my muscles will be stiff for no apparent reason, the hair in my nose grows faster than the hair on my head, and I find myself steeped in reflection. I am not at a point of desperation, but I am at a point where I ask myself if my life reflects purpose. I’ve never been much for resolutions, but I think its appropriate; and no better way to be held accountable than to write it here for all to see.
Let’s start with biking. I want to ride more often. I also want to continue to set goals for riding a certain distance or to a specific place, but I want to just get out more and enjoy the moment, as a form of exercise and as a mental/spiritual journey. Its odd to describe it that way, but I think the enjoyment derived from biking can be spiritual in that we are so much closer to nature and the life that’s going on around us. I’m not limited by lack of cold weather gear. While I won’t get any style points, I’ve got enough stuff to be comfortable riding well below freezing. The main limitation for now is the lack of light this time of year, so I might invest in a dynamo setup – but I’m not going to rush into the expense just yet – for many reasons.
As for goals, I still want to do that century. I’m thinking if it ends up a solo effort, I might venture to the Pine Creek Trail near Williamsport. It’s 120 miles round trip, and the location would help combine the effort into a long weekend of sight-seeing and/or camping with Red. Another possibility is to do it as part of a club ride, even though I’m not active in any clubs. But having the companionship, the support, and a pre-screened route might help alot.
I’d like the fam to get into riding more, but its my responsibility to make that happen. Except for my daughter, I think they all would enjoy it. In her case, I can probably con her into some rail trail rides if her boyfriend is involved. Ave is old enough that he can handle road riding, and Ian likes the trails. Red is like me in that she knows she needs to exercise more, but she just needs to make the time. She is definitely better with planning family activities than I am. So I’m thinking that with my “new used firewood truck” hauling a load of bikes to the rail trail won’t be an issue, and we can take a few hours on weekends or an occassional weeknight to venture out en force. Maybe Ave will want to tag along on a couple of road rides with me during the week as well.
Elsewhere, I’m convicted that we’ve become slaves to our busy-ness and to the acquisition of stuff. We’ve over-committed our schedules and we seem to be tripping over junk that we don’t need. I want to begin by clearing out much of this. If we no longer own it, then we don’t have to worry about taking care of it, or finding a place to put it.
Along those lines, I want to finish several projects in our house. We basically bought a place that had been abandoned and heavily vandalized. While a lot of work was completed, this big house still has several rooms that need finishing touches. It’s going to require time and money. I’m at least going to clear my schedule to get done what I can afford – the rest will have to wait.
I’m not going to retire from drumming – just yet. My original plan was to quit when I turned 50 because I don’t like the idea of “old rockers” anyway. But last year at this time I had all but quit because of the arthritis in my hands. But over the summer I started taking glucosamine and now I’m drumming just about every Sunday in church – so I guess another year won’t hurt – at least until we have some replacements lined up.
Finally, I want to make time where I’m helping other people out more. I don’t know how this will happen or what I’ll be doing, but it comes down to the “purpose” aspect of it all. We’ve got to get our own lives in order so we can help others, but I think the two go hand in hand. By making service a priority, we do get our lives in order.
So perhaps this will never come about and all I’ve done is take up a lot of bandwidth with a bunch of altruistic crap, but at least I’ve managed to map out a sense of direction. Life is a work in progress, so this can be one too.