“Don’t wanna,” my tired brain screams as my son asks me to join him on his school cycling project of seeing how far he can bike each week. In a flash of a second, I go through the litany of excuses…too tired, too much work, not an interest of mine, my endurance on a bike is nil, when is my time? In a flash of another second, I recognize the honor of being asked by this teenage son of mine who towers over me, I see how fleeting time is and how I won’t get this moment back and I see a future in which I get too much of “my time.” I paste a smile on my face and answer “I’d love to.”
Being a comfortable in my rut introvert, having those friends/family who continually challenge me to get out of my comfort zone has been good for me. At the time of initiation of said challenge, it feels a bit like eating my broccoli as opposed to a chocolate chip cookie, but most of the time, it turns into the cookie.
When my dad passed away, I made a promise to myself that I would stop living in the mediocre. I would show up more fully and say yes a bit more often. It was at a time in my life where I could see myself making a lot of excuses of why I couldn’t do things or backing out of things I had committed to. My biggest reason was tiredness, and it was always a handy excuse…after all wasn’t I always tired. This wasn’t to say I abused myself…I am a card carrying member of the Seven to Eight Hours of Sleep a Night Club and am a jerk to live with if I don’t get it.
However, death has a way of both widening and narrowing your perspective to what is truly important in the long term, and I think when you lose someone you love, there is a desire to make some kind of meaning out of tragedy, a way of honoring the dead by living well.
So, here I am peddling away, butt sore, wind knotting my hair and loving every second of it. My son grins at me as he has to wait for me yet again as I am not as fast as him, but I don’t feel bad for slowing him down. I figure I’m the one who makes him notice things…how green the grass is, the lovely wind that cools us as we peddle, the cluster of geese…by slowing him down.
In the process, I make a mental note to myself to notice how good I feel, how the fresh hair has perked me up, how physical fatigue feels so accomplished and what a pleasure my son is to be with, and I file this feeling away for the next “I don’t wanna” moment.
Thanks for asking me.