I’m fortunate enough to work from home one day a week. Wednesday. Technically, I’m at the office about 6:10 am, but I’ve got a meeting at a job just 14 miles from home at 9, so rather than drive all the way back to the office after the meeting, I work in my home office for the rest of the day. Yesterday was particularly awesome. And by awesome, I mean hard. I fixed my estimating software with tech support, wrangled a few jobs, worked on some estimates and, with the exception of a nice lunch hour, was busy an hour-and-a-half after I’d normally leave the office.
That lunch hour was special, though. My wife is running for the local school board so she’s always busy lately. While she was on the phone, I got her gravel bike out of the bike room… it’s been put away wet so many times the rear brake cable was frozen inside the housing. It was so bad, I had to cut the cable and housing up by the handlebar to get the cable out of the shifter. Worst I’ve ever seen. Now, for most this would mean dropping the bike off at the shop. Mechanical disc brakes, new cable and housing, internally routed.
I won’t lie, I put the repair off almost a week because I was nervous about running that cable housing through the frame. In the end, after a few different tricks failed, I got it through the little opening down by the bottom bracket with some luck and a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Once the housing was through, the rest of the repair was pretty straightforward. Not exactly easy, but I did a very nice job. Now her “other” gravel bike (she has two currently) is good to go, 100%. Then it was back to work, right up until I threw my leg over my top tube just before 5.
I almost didn’t bother with the bike ride. I know, I know, but it was a little chilly (low 60°), windy, gray and cloudy… it wasn’t exactly a day suited for an enjoyable ride. That’s exactly what I got out of it, though. I took the Venge for a two-mile spin to check out the saddle position and decided I needed to change it a bit after getting back to the house. I put on a vest and moved my Garmin and Varia taillight to the Trek and took that for the rest of my ride. I let the tailwind push me and picked an easy gear for the headwind. It should have been a junk mile ride but I had a fantastic time. I was smiling when I pulled into the driveway. Never would have seen that ride coming. Not in those conditions.
Then, with my wife at a board meeting and my kids at swimming practice, I cleaned up and picked up pizza for supper. Eating was a little quiet and lonely, but as soon as I was done, I had to hustle out the door to make my Tuesday night meeting.
Best meeting I’ve been to in months. For those in the program, you know those superficial meetings where people talk about anything but recovery? Like anyone gives a shit about how difficult their life is because the groomer didn’t cut the dog’s hair right, or the lesson someone learned in humility because the pool guy messed up the pool’s pH at the second home in California, but they were able to control themselves and didn’t yell at owner (no kidding, I actually sat through this a few years ago – I actually laughed out loud at the “humility, living life on life’s terms” part).
No, last night’s meeting was one of those where you really get down to what’s going on and how to get through life on life’s terms, both from a noob’s perspective, and then from a seasoned AA’s perspective, and finally from the perspective of someone who’d relapsed after 42 years of recovery. We talked about what mattered. It was one of those meetings where everyone walks out feeling better about their recovery than when they walked in, no matter where we are on the path.
I left shortly after the meeting and was asleep by 9:30, and I did fall asleep with a smile on my face.
My friends, true peace, contentment and happiness – the best recovery has to offer – isn’t about enjoying the huge victories and the big leaps in progress. It isn’t about winning the lottery. It’s about finding, appreciating and making the most of the good in normal day-to-day life.
Yesterday wasn’t spectacular because I hit a homerun. Yesterday was spectacular because I saw the good in everything life gave me, from the moment I woke up till the second I fell asleep. If you want to slow time down, so at the end of 30 years you’re not saying “Where did it go?”, but “Wow, what a ride! What’s next?!”, this is my secret: Do the next right thing at any given moment, then find a way to enjoy that moment for what it is.
It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. It just takes practice. Lots of it.