So. I did something I haven’t done for about three years. Something I wasn’t sure I’d ever do again.
I rode my bike.
Certainly no big deal to many people, but for me? I had to really think long and hard about it.
I used to ride my bike everywhere, year round. I even rode in 45 mile an hour winds when I had bronchitis. I was hardcore. I kept riding after a truck nearly mowed me down. I kept riding after my best friend was killed by a drunk driver while cycling. So what made me stop?
A combination of things. A controlling cyclist boyfriend who kept telling me, over and over and over, everything I was doing wrong. Achilles tendonitis and a long healing period. After the long-overdue breakup with said controlling boyfriend, motorists honking and swearing at me on the road felt like another abusive relationship. And controlling ex-boyfriend emailing everyone whom I had ever linked to or who had ever left a comment on my blog, imploring them to email me and tell me to start riding my bike again…well, that was just creepy. If ever anything would make me never want to ride again, that would be it.
I felt like if I started riding again, then he would win.
Now? Well, it’s been long enough that I just don’t give a damn what he thinks. And all the stuff he said I was doing wrong? It’s finally been long enough that I don’t remember what he said. And I’m sure as hell not going to try to remember.
So what made me actually think of riding again? Well, I guess it’s something that motivates a lot of people. I feel fat.
In the two years after I went vegan, I lost 30 lbs. And then, in the next six months, I gained 25. I’m kind of stumped about that. I’m still vegan. So it doesn’t seem like I should be gaining weight. But gaining weight I am, despite walking two miles a day, despite tests ruling out any medical problem that would cause weight gain. So I guess I just need to exercise more.
So today I rode my bike for two miles. And I can tell I’m really out of shape. My legs were telling me “this is so much work!” But I’m sure it will get easier. Yes, it’s been three years, but when I started before I hadn’t ridden in 20 years, and I was about 50 lbs heavier than I am now. It was really hard then. It eventually got easier.
I think I’ll continue to go on short rides before I take on the 5 mile trip to work. And it occurred to me that even if I do start riding to work again, I don’t have to ride in 45 mile an hour winds with bronchitis, because, you know, that was kind of stupid. I don’t have to ride all year round. Riding in the winter was really hard on my asthma. I can just ride when it’s healthy for me to do so. A bizarre concept, I know.
If I do start cycling to work again, though, I need to make sure I make time to knit when I’m at home. Right now almost all of my knitting time is on the bus. That’s one thing I love about the bus. And I need to knit for my mental health.
Making time should be easier soon though. As soon as the paperwork goes through, I’m cutting my hours at the library to half time. (I’m surprised the paperwork hasn’t gone through yet, but the wheels of bureaucracy turn very, very slowly.) Less time at the library will also be good for my mental health. My job has changed so much that I just don’t enjoy my work anymore. Some days I just want to crawl under my desk and hide from the world.
Going to half time will give me more time to work on my business to make it a real source of income. I know there are a lot of things I can do to bring in more money. I just need real time to work on it. Right now I do everything in the evenings and weekends, but there’s only so much time. It’s not enough time to do everything I want to do for the business, and it’s not enough time for me to do the business stuff and relax too.
Going to half time will let me keep my benefits, and give me enough money to keep living here. I need to sell enough to pay for food and utilities and all that good stuff. Can’t dye yarn if I don’t have electricity in my studio. But I’ll do it. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been getting lots of motivation from Question The Rules: the nonconformist’s punk rock, DIY, nuts-and-bolts guide to creating the business and life you really want, starting with what you already have (hey, I used to wear safety pins in my ears, so you know a course with a name like that is my kind of course. If there’s anything I’m good at, it’s questioning the rules).
I think going to half time will help my migraines too since I’ll have a lot less stress. (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I rarely have migraines when I’m on vacation, spending a solid two weeks dyeing or gardening.) I wish they’d hurry up with that paperwork.
In the meantime, I’ve been going to an acupuncturist. Still having headaches, but I’ve only gone twice. It’s so relaxing! Who knew?