So the assignment I owe from last week is to write a post to my dream reader, but it’s been addling me. Who the heck is that? While lying upstairs cuddling my restless baby back to sleep for the third or maybe fourth time this evening, I had chance to think about who that might be and why I’m finding it such a challenge.
Someone else taking the class suggested a fellow cyclist might be the dream reader. Yes, I thought – that works. But then, hmm, it’s not just going to be about bikes. Or it is? That was the original idea way back when I first set up the blog (and did nothing with it) a year or so ago, but then there’s the yoga and any general ranting. And now there’s the baby thing. Once upon a time it was just me, my bike, a yoga mat or two, and very little in between. I found stillness in those things. Yoga is all about focus – being in the moment. And cycling: blasting down a rocky trail; riding on the moors on a dark, clear summer night; grinding up a hill, all out of gears, in it for the long haul. Simple. That was me then. But now there’s a new path, in motherhood. There’s a special kind of stillness in lying in the dark stroking the silky, soft forehead of your baby; of celebrating a new found skill, something so simple and taken for granted by the fully grown, with crazy, happy smiles and mad waving arms. So how does this fit in?
In the last year I’ve read as many blogs about parenting as I have anything else and it seems the Internet is bursting with them. Do I really want to dip my toe into that overflowing pool? Does it go without saying that a woman with a child who writes a blog inevitably spends most of the time talking about babies? I guess what I’m really saying is my dream reader – me, I guess – is in transition right now. Things have changed. People said they would and they have, but not quite in the way I thought they would. Because where once a certain set of things were pretty much my life, now, well, I canceled a ride on Sunday because the weather was bad. That’s the first ride in two weeks and I chose to stay home, to have a lie in with my tired baby and have a quiet, lazy day. Why, oh why!? Simply, in my search for stillness becoming a parent has forced me to recognise and accept my limitations – and dragging myself around the moors on a wet, cold, Sunday morning when I feel like crap and should probably be in bed, isn’t something I want to do any more. I have nothing to prove and I need my energy for the little one. That’s just one day, one ride. There have been other days like this and there will be more, but I know they will pass. Babies grow up – fast.
This seismic shift in my attitude and lifestyle means I’ve hardly seen any of my friends in the last year – bike friends, anyway – and I feel sad about that. As a by-product I’ve discovered that (most) friendships forged around two wheels are fickle things, shaped by the the ride. This isn’t complaining. Just an observation. You’ll see a few people from time to time but without Facebook you’re as good as out of the picture. And remedial rides on parenting timetable are almost impossible to arrange because just about no-one wants to ride like that – and those that do come out don’t always “get” that when you say three hours, you really mean it. Consequently, the rides I do, the people I ride with, my aims and intentions for riding area all changing. And it’s early days, so who knows where this near path is taking me.
So what the heck does this have to do with my dream reader? Well, it means that she’s changing! Through writing this blog I want to share and explore my cycling, parenting, and yoga-ing (?), or whatever, journey. Where that ends up, right now I have no idea. I guess in that sense this blog is just another ride. Pack snacks and waterproofs!