Embracing the Present

I’ll start with the obligatory It’s been a while since my last post. A few months ago all the local family packed up and flew to the other side of the planet for a wedding. New family, friends and location provided a much needed perspective shift: We spent a week living in the Bitterroot Valley, enjoying a different pace away from the bustle of city life, the day job, and the hundred-and-eleven projects I’m always trying to juggle. On returning, apart from recovering from the flight (what is it with illness and airplanes, anyway?) I had some new goals, new projects (hah!) and consequently this blog sat on the backburner for a while.

But life very much goes on, and life is good.

I’ve been riding the motorcycle a lot more in the last few months; this has partly freed up some time (5 hours a week commuting instead of 12), but it’s also added to life – fresh air, a little bit of the outdoors before being cloistered in the office for the day, and the mental exercise of simply having to deal with the unexpected every day.

Routine is easy and comfortable, but I think it’s also dangerous, perhaps preventing us moving forward, seeing new ways of doing things, or even providing the breadth required to relate to others. Though perhaps that’s not just a motorcycling thing.

Being present in the here & now, as opposed to on autopilot and cruising through a routine, I’m sure can apply as much to crossing the street or watching TV as it does to riding a bike or flying a plane. But perhaps in the latter cases it’s harder to avoid – I suspect it’s hard to survive very long riding or flying without making sound conscious decisions, trying to improve, or analysing what we’re doing. (Maybe my brain is simply lazy, and it’s too easy to switch off and find routine in the other things?)

There’s something else, of course, about training myself to be present in the moment. Rather than wondering what happened, I’m fully tuned in, and the unexpected and random provide that much more flavour.

And ever since getting a helmet camera, they’re that much more shareable.