We compare many things to riding a bike. Getting up in the morning for school, working out for the first time in a while, even sex. It is both cliché and whimsical. Who doesn’t have fond child hood memories of that first grasp of independence? Riding a bike is one of the few things where there is instant gratification. You spin the pedals faster, faster..climbing a bit, a burst of energy raises you out of the seat. Thighs start to burn as you push your legs to spin even faster. Then you hit the top. There it that last turn, that second you know that it is time to stop pedaling, it is time to coast. For a brief second you free fall…you taste the wind (and try not to taste bugs), everything lets go, all the intensity from the climb, the struggle to turn the pedals and gain ground. That is the point of the climb, to reach that free feeling. It is an instant reward to the effort. If only everything worked like that. An intense five minutes of work out resulted in the immediate loss of a pound, every hour your boss would hand over a paycheck, every time you yelled at the kids they look at you and say “thanks for that valuable lesson. If it weren’t’ for you, I would grow up to be a giant ass hole.”
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Lately, I have been making the comparison that so many things are like riding a bike. Moving has stripped me of what is normal. My old every day is gone. I don’t wake up staring at the same ceiling, I don’t step into the same shower and I don’t look out of my window and see the same neighbors. It is different now…I have a different life. My kids no longer have that same expectation of what a new school year will bring. We are still the same people, just living in a new world. There is regular contact with the old world…we have glimpses of their lives and how they are different with out us. We have new every day interactions with people we only used to see on occasion. Things are not the same. Learning to live life in this new scope of every day is like riding a bike. Slowly, I am adapting to the new everyday. My car points to the same direction of what I can now call home. I sit on my couch and feel its comfort as it used to exist in my old life and followed me to this new one. There is some excitement about getting on the bike again. The beginning was a struggle. My mind was struggling to turn around the everyday like my legs would struggle to push the pedals on a climb. My hands were clenching onto every obstacle, like that would be thing that causes me to tumble off the bike and land on the side of the road. After a while, my climb became less steep. A new reality became my normal and I began to accept the way things are going to be. I stopped comparing what my life was to what it is now and started to be thankful that I have then and now. (insert Spaceballs quote here…). I am learning to enjoy the wind blowing in my hair as I breathe in the rewards of hard work. If I want an instant reward, I just think about riding a bike. There is a struggle to get up the hill, then a feeling of peace as I coast down the hill. It doesn’t have to be a big hill to enjoy the coast, but it does require a bit of work.
One part of creating my new life, I have made an effort to take more bike rides. It has become our family bonding time. We ride to the library or the park or to get ice cream. Some days we just take a ride into the woods and enjoy the warm summer air. This summer became defined as a series of bike rides. We pedaled along brick roads, and sidewalks and dirt paths. We pedaled for the wind at our feet and the comfort of knowing the four of us were equally trying to create a new reality.
Now that we are settled in a house, my schedule is becoming more normal. I had a lot of my stuff scattered around at least three locations. I had to adapt my style a bit to reflect my new life. My job is a slight notch less formal than my last one. (The sort of slight not noticeable to the average eye…). I had to get into a new rhythm of make up and accessories that reflect my new reality. And to prove I am ready to take on anything new that comes my way, I even bought a romper. Once I got by the constant need to adjust it and answered the question “how much do I plan on going to the bathroom while wearing this…?”, I found it to be a little whimsical…just like riding a bike.
Romper: Forever 21