Extra Time

Sometimes I have these mornings where I don't remember the alarm clock giving me a choice of when exactly I wanted to wake up. In fact, I wake up and I'm already late. I don't remember ever hitting the snooze button fifteen minutes prior and I'm in the middle of a ridiculously crazy dream involving Lindsey Lohan and I'm terrified and amused all at the same time... but, alas... work is calling and another day full of activity is ahead of me. Then I remember I just moved to a new house closer to work and instead of a 20 minute commute to work, it's down to a perfectly manageable 12 minutes. So, I sit there for another minute, giving my mind a chance to gather it's thoughts for the day and then within seconds, I'm already thinking of bike racing and new poster designs.

The bike.

I feel like a broken record quite possibly talking about bikes as much as I do, but it's a constant in my life. I have a new commute and I'm always looking for ways to shave time off of it, looking for ways to stay in bed just a little bit longer, looking for ways to sit perched on the edge of my chair putting my shoes on one by one, the right one first (for good luck) and thinking about random things like colors. In some aspects, I miss my old commute. Twenty minutes is a perfect time to ride and think. Vancouver was a perfect sprint track... one light to the next to the next and to the next. Passing other commuters with their pannier bags and yellow vest, passing the hipster on his fixed gear, passing the random lady who needs to be wearing a helmet but makes up for it by having cool shoes on. One after one after one...all the while, thinking about some random thing, racing through the morning mix of pre-coffee clutter in my mind. But now... I have to think: a shorter commute leaves less time for random thoughts while riding. Eventually yes, it'll become as common and complacent as the last commute, but now my twelve minutes is spent trying to figure out what the shortest and fastest route is.

The past few months have flown by.

The summer is always busy here in the PNW. Week to week it's about bike racing and softball and grill outs at friends houses. Usually there are a few guests and a few camping trips thrown in there for good measure, but I always get a sense of relief when Labor Day rolls around and life seemingly calms down. Add in moving in to a new place with my girlfriend and not feeling settled yet - and my mind is all over the place. So much to do, so much to do. I look forward to the afternoon when the appropriate pictures are all placed on the wall and I can bake some cookies in the oven. But now there are just boxes, boxes full of her stuff, boxes full of my stuff... stuff that I could probably go without. Stuff I could minimalize. But to do that would take time. Physical time that I don't have.

Riding the bike is easy, it allows time for my mind to wonder. I can't tell you how many times while racing or riding, I am thinking about something else completely. My mind is multi-tasking while biking. Work is even easy, I multi-task there too. I steal moments away for day dreams and thoughts about other things. But, physical time... time to sort and move through stuff, that is hard to come by. That's difficult. Like taking two whole days to move boxes and carry things up and down stairs. Two days of negotiating heavy objects in spatial relation to the things around them. Two days of not thinking about random things. Two days of disorder. Two days of physical and mental chaos. But, in the end... that time is worth it. It's worth the few weeks of learning where the forks are, it's worth learning the ins and the outs of a new bike route. It's worth giving up the physical auto-pilot for the end result. The end result knowing that you don't have to think anymore about some things. Somethings, you just know. For example, you know that when you wake from that crazy dream with Lindsey Lohan in it, the one where she is trying to run you off the road because you won't call her back... that when you wake up you can breathe a sigh of relief. This is because you know, that when you hit the snooze button, in spite of everything else that you have to do, everything else that calls for attention in your brain, everything that you just don't have time to do, that you're taking an extra few minutes out of your day to stay in bed for just a little bit longer. You are making an attempt to steal away a extra few minutes here and there so that you can spend some time sleeping next to someone you love.

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