On occasion, from the seat of my high-mileage motorcycle, I will sift through the many wins and losses in my life. As we all know it’s not about keeping score, but the score can indirectly determine how we end up in this world. The more losses, the stronger and harder we play, and the more wins – well, I hope we still play strong and hard. The true test is how we handle the set-backs and how gracious we are when things actually go our way.
I sure spend a lot of time thinking when perched upon my motorcycle. It is within these elements that I find a certain frame of mind that allows me to come to some sort of conclusion to my little world.
As distant roads call me by my first name, I have to admit I’m ready to go somewhere. Anywhere. It’s almost like a confessional for me as I ride down the road on my bike. Admitting to myself my shortcomings, where I went wrong in the past, accepting the outcomes from decisions I’ve made, and where I could have played harder and stronger to get more of what I want out my short time on earth. How can I spend so much time looking within when there is a whole world in front of me to see? By looking internally I can change the way I perceive the world, and there it is – full circle. My view of the world is based on my life and the choices I’ve made, and by understanding this I can look at the wonders in front of me and see the true beauty – in people, places and everything surrounding it. The fact that I do this from the seat of my motorcycle is just to make the story interesting.
How can I spend so much time looking within when there is a whole world in front of me to see? By looking internally I can change the way I perceive the world, and there it is – full circle.
We do what makes us happy and with happiness comes contentment. It’s important to recognize those happy moments for what they are and when things aren’t going your way it’s equally important to know it’s only temporary. Can you force yourself to be happy? No, but you are the determining factor of how good or bad you feel in any given situation. Looking at the brighter side or seeing the glass half full doesn’t hurt, but convincing yourself that it can always be worse is a step in the right direction.
We all have those uphill days and I know many times it’s easier to swim with the current instead of fighting for what you want or believe in. It helps me to understand all the intricate pieces to my puzzle when I can have a few miles to look at it from a broader scale. Instead of focusing on each puzzle piece individually, I can see the greater picture. Some of those pieces are infinitely optimistic, while others have to be forced into place with your thumb and convinced to fit. Like the glass being half full, it’s an “almost fit.” Eventually, all pieces will go together. I guarantee it.
I sure spend a lot of time thinking when perched upon my motorcycle. It is within these elements that I find a certain frame of mind that allows me to come to some sort of conclusion to my little world. It gives me clarity and hope that those wins and losses have truly defined who I am. I wonder what the tie breaker will be?
Life happens and as it does, it changes us. Daily. The morning’s ride to work is usually something that is ordinary and uneventful, but as I put my kickstand down after arriving at work, I stopped and realized I couldn’t remember the ride in. Twenty minutes had gone by and although I was coherent and aware of the ride, all I could remember was that two miles of Skiddy where the temperature dropped. The smell of cedar trees and how they reminded me of the pencils my mother would bring home from Anderson’s Lumber and Hardware where she worked part-time. I used those pencils in school and as I was leaving my teeth marks in them during Mrs. Stenstrom’s class, that smell of cedar must have stayed with me. Or was it the lead in those pencils?
I thought about a life-long friend of mine, Russ, who is moving back to Skiddy in the near future and how it would be to move your life back to where you grew up, after so many years of living in Wisconsin. Not difficult in the sense of moving your stuff, but in the emotional sense. I often think I should have taken the chance and moved outside of White City and experienced something else. Sure, the community made me who I am, but would moving have changed me? Again, life happens every day, so would it have been that big of a deal to move? Hmmm. Even so, I thought about those friends of mine that I grew up with and how some have stayed, but most have moved on. I still feel that connection with a few of them and it feels good to know that no matter where someone is in this world, we’ll always have that going for us.
The ride continued past the Skiddy Cemetery and I noticed how the sun was coming up over a bank of dark clouds in the East. The edge of the clouds filtered the sun just enough to make this particular morning look a little different. Or was it one of those life moments when I was changing. To see something in a different light might have a new meaning here. Maybe there is a scientific reason for the different light and how it affects you but I’m betting it’s more of a spiritual reason. The ride continued on, and I thought about how our lives are kind of like puzzles. The big difference here is we don’t know what the finished picture is going to be. Each piece we place in our puzzle of life changes what the picture will be and eventually the outcome, and each piece is represented by those people in our lives, our jobs, our environment, etc. A subtle change is all it takes to completely change the entire puzzle of life. It’s not necessarily a good or bad thing here, it’s just the way it is. As we get about half way through our puzzle, we can start seeing the cabin by the water (or apparently a forest of cedar trees in my case) and the puzzle seems to be falling into place. Then a few more pieces are placed and you realize that this puzzle may be harder than you think. One thing is for sure; those that “fit” into our puzzle will be there to stay. A lot to think about on a twenty-minute ride. Or in this case; what ride?
So I made it to work safe and sound. In summary, science says when you ride into a valley the temperature will probably drop a few degrees. Also, someone decided cedar trees make good pencils, and you must have patience to put a puzzle together. But for twenty minutes I thought about friends that are dear to me and how we fit into each other’s lives. Friends near and far will always be friends, and some are very close to me no matter how far away they are. They are an important piece to my puzzle and without them my life wouldn’t be complete.