Sunday, February 07, 2010

No Can Without Will

From (my other blog) Blog-By-Bike:

I am sitting on the toilet in our bathroom, the only place in the apartment where my roommate and I can consistently "borrow" wireless Internet from our neighbors. After nearly two days, wallowing in my self-pity party, pouting at both jobs, and soliciting money with shameless plugs on Twitter [DONATE HERE], I am deciding here and now to drag myself out of the financial funk that I've been in all weekend. So what if I underestimated my cycling attire needs by nearly two grand or if I was off by another thousand for bicycle equipment? I've come a long way - and with a lot of love and support from family and friends - and that's too much to be proud of to focus on what's still lacking.

I cried once back in 2006, after surviving my second weekend with a second job at a casino in western North Carolina. Much like now, I had created a goal that required more than my single income could provide. It was the cry of frustration that often ensues when a single person enters into the exhausting world of dual employment. Even those of the heartiest character can have moments of weakness. The determining factor is what results from these moments.

Four years later, I didn't waste energy on tears this time. If I have learned anything about time, I've learned that it passes. It passes whether you throw a tantrum, wallow in self-pity or whine and complain. It doesn't wait for you to realize that you're wasting it. It doesn't allow a replay if you regret not taking a second to just be in the moment. The only thing you can control is what you do as it passes. Much like in 2006 - if not exactly - the sun still rises and sets, the moon continues through its phases, the seasons change. Whether I work my ass off at job #2 all weekend or spend it relaxing, another Monday morning at job #1 still comes. And I'd rather be a little bit closer to my goal each time it does.

Not too long ago, I played devil's advocate with a friend regarding a debate over disabled parking privileges. Imagine if you needed to use that permit, I had said to her, what would you give to not need it? What would you give to be able to just walk on your own from the last space at the very end of the lot?

I decided to take my own advice and appreciate the fact that I can. I can pleasantly answer phones, reply to emails, schedule meetings and manage endless piles of receipts to expense at job #1. I can smile and serve overpriced cocktails at job #2. I can gratefully work two jobs in an economy where many people are imagining what they'd give for just one. I can appreciate that I am in a position to finance frivolous dreams when there are others who just want to survive. Whenever I'm having a rough time, I eventually remember to try to search for some perspective.

If gratitude for what I do have and "glass half full" analogies just aren't cutting it or whenever I have a classic case of the "mean reds", Stiles Farmer's Market on West 52nd Street is my own version of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Just the sight of all the fresh produce one can buy for a dollar can cheer most of my mild emotional ruts.

And in Bikram yoga, the instructor often talks about bringing yourself into the room, being in the moment, and moving onto the next pose, even if we are too tired, simply because we can.

And when I am too sore and exhausted to push my bicycle over another hill this summer, I will. Because I will know that I can.

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