Tuesday, March 29, 2016

On EVL

I have gone a bit quiet here for reason... perhaps not good reason, but reason nonetheless. Winter and early spring tend to be a bit muted for me anyway when it comes to bikey matters, but I think I'm just processing through some things and it's made me more introspective and less likely to sit down and type out internal happenings or general observations. It's also the time of year I inevitably ponder not writing here anymore. I'm sure that day will come at some point and actually stick, but for now, I think it's more likely frustrations with trying to figure out where I'm going and what it is that I'm doing. So, please bear with me if there are long stretches of time during which I seem to disappear. My silence is often not for lack of things to write, but simply for lack of desire to sit and think and attempt to make coherent thoughts of the rats nest that is my mind.

Part of my frustration this time of year is knowing what is to come. There is little that is surprising or new. The weather in late March through early May is very predictably unpredictable. It may snow a ton and melt quickly or it may be sunny and slightly cool, dependent on the day, but the one thing I can count on is that this unpredictability is in truth a pattern. If it wasn't unpredictable it would be odd, but knowing the pattern sets off a mental routine that has developed over the last many years. I know exactly what I will get in the coming weeks.

First, the shadows start to shift. Locations that have spent months entirely in shade are suddenly greeted by the glow of the sun once again. The bergs of ice that never seemed to melt now have a much more difficult time sticking. Weeds begin to pop up in the yard. They start small and seem like just a few but in fact multiple like rabbits in seemingly a matter of hours. They begin to overtake everything until one day I realize that the yard is more weed than anything else. The flowers (other than the tulips which seem not to care what the weather says) will still not have bloomed - because somehow they know that more snow is on the way. I always believe I'll be able to plant the vegetable garden early and inevitably, as is always predicted by forecasters, it won't happen until mid-May. Everyone will act surprised to have snow the first week of May, but we all know it's coming as it happens every year.
A recent spring snow storm downed a lot of trees and branches... this one just happened to be directly in my path.
In March, I convince myself that I will start bike training early. There will be a few nice days and abundant, clear roads, so I will think it's the perfect time to get serious about riding. This thought will be followed by a day or two of snow that may or may not melt quickly and will delay the start of training a bit longer. Before I'm even aware, it will be the middle of May and I'll realize that the truly warm days are a short bit of the year. I will tell myself that waiting for perfect weather is not an option and remind myself not to do this routine again the following year - and yet it will follow in the same pattern.
They don't appear very large, but the front limb is about 16in/40cm in diameter.
Despite this entirely self-imposed springtime slump, I do still manage to get out and do so with success on a fairly consistent basis. I may not be training in a manner I generally expect of myself this time of year, but it's fantastic to be outside regardless.

This morning I even had an unexpected Cross ride as I dismounted and carried my bike over the decent-sized tree limbs above that ended up in my path after having dodged a close slip-and-fall on some recently removed roadway. A call was made later to be sure the city was aware these trees were blocking the path of cyclists and pedestrians alike. I had a horrible image of someone coming tearing through this area in the dark and not spotting the limbs until it was too late.

What has undoubtedly aided my 2016 mental dysfunction has been spending a good chunk of time forming a small business that ended up in a complete mess. I've had difficulty pulling out of my funk, and the disappointment with the realization that it was not cost effective to attempt the business. It just felt like a harsh blow - particularly as I had calculated the costs prior to beginning but was unaware of some added components that made the reality of the business truly an impossibility. After investing monetarily and emotionally in all of it, letting go has been challenging.

Now, re-centering and refocusing on where I am headed is taking some time. I've not only lost focus in life, but here on the blog as well. I don't know where I want to take things and I find myself debating which things are worth time and which simply are not. I don't mind experimenting (I usually enjoy it, truthfully), but I think I've lost confidence and motivation in many areas of life. Oh, I will recover and will feel more like myself soon enough I have no doubt, but in the interim, I'm finding it difficult to focus.

I would think that there aren't readers from the days when this blog was titled Almost, at Times, the Fool. That was a long, long time ago, but the title came from The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock. I've always felt an unexplainable draw to Eliot's work and this particular piece is one that always makes me reflect and ponder life. A little snippet:

...And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—         
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare        
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,         
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; ...

Until I get my act together, I will do my best to post, but I would suspect that for at least a time writing will be intermittent at best. I have to find me again, as well as figure out what it is that I truly want to emotionally and physically invest in moving forward.

I'll be around though...so feel free to email me any time or send a message on Twitter. I'm also not entirely disappearing so I don't mean for this to sound like a goodbye. I just need to figure some things out and hopefully find focus. If something catches my eye, I'm sure you'll hear about it here. In the meantime, if anyone has a topic for which you'd like to write a guest post, I'd be happy to look into that as a possibility. Just drop me a note and we can chat. I'd love to still hear what's going on in others biking lives, and it would be a great way to continue to share, I think.

4 comments:

  1. Take your time. Your readers will be here when or if you return. This is your thing. It can be or not be whatever you want. I do hope you find your confidence again. I lose mine from time to time and then find it in the oddest places (like finding a sock under the couch and thinking "did the dog put that there?").

    Totally unrelated: I love Prufrock and often find myself thinking "I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling along the floors of silent seas."

    Be well.

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  2. I think a blog should be a space to post as you please, when you please. At least, that is how I try to approach mine, as I do not believe it should be an obligation. I always enjoy your writing, and appreciate that you've been going through experiences that may not make maintaining a blog the best way to spend your energy. Thanks for letting us know, and I'll look forward to the times when you do write and share your reflections.

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  3. I second what Kendra and MG have said. A blog doesn't have to have a plan or a purpose. It doesn't need 'direction'. Just write what you feel compelled to write, when you feel compelled to do so. Nothing less is required and and certainly never ever anything more. I enjoy your musings aloud here and check back frequently to see what's new. It's always worth the wait.

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  4. Ladies... thank you all for your thoughts and feedback. As stated, I'm not disappearing by any means, I just find that I probably over-share here on the blog which causes me to feel a bit of compulsion to explain other things that may or may not have any real affect on this space at all. Because I feel unfocused and lost in everyday life, I always think it translates here too - when in reality I realize that I have never had focus here at all, so I suppose no one may notice any difference. :)

    Kendra - Nice to find another Prufrock admirer. I've always connected with that particular work (I pretty much adore Eliot's work in general), but I think this one is potentially a universal connection for many.

    MG - Totally agree that a blog should be an as-I-please type of space (which it has been, and will continue to be). I think right now I just have to give myself permission to write as little or often as I like and thus my (probably unnecessary) explanation.

    Rebecca - I definitely don't have a plan or a purpose when it comes to the blog, as is apparent, I'm sure. :) I just need to refocus myself in life and I think things will come together again... or at least I hope.

    Thanks to each of you for taking time to respond. Having a connection through blogs and online sources has been and continues to be important to me, and I am so grateful that you and others stop in to leave your thoughts.

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Word verification is on, but I've turned off the moderation portion in an attempt to make it easier for you to know that your comment has indeed made it through. We'll see how this goes, but I'm hopeful that this will help out and I'll try my best to weed through and remove spammers comments. Additionally, I recommend copying comments before hitting publish as the "blogger comment eater" seems to continue his snacking.