Delayed Gratification

I’m not really good at this.  Take my current medication saga, for instance.  I’ve been on Trazodone, a sleeping pill, for years.  My pharmacist wants me to wean very slowly – two weeks of half a pill one day, a whole one the next.  Although Albert hasn’t said, I expect it’ll be an eight week process before zero is reached.  Eight weeks!  My need to get rid of the stuff is so strong that my brain says it can do the deed in two.  After all, I did sleep six hours last night on half a tab.

Slow down, Bruce.  Your pharmacist knows things.  If he says speed leads to panic attacks, wouldn’t it be wise to heed his advice?  Well … yes.  I guess.  In my better moments, I sink sweetly into contemplating free sleep in less than two months.

Exhibit Two:  I have three more car payments and then, for the first time in my adult life, I’ll be debt free.  How wondrous!  And I want it right now, not on June 7.  I want the bliss, I want the dancing, I want the foaming at the mouth.  Okay, Bruce, now breathe a little more easily please.  June 7 is just a hop, skip and jump away.

Exhibit Three:  I have a dear friend.  I’ll call her Abby.  I so much want to tell her all about my recent meditation retreat.  She would understand what I’ve been going through.  But Abby’s had some challenges and she doesn’t want to go out to dinner until the stress is down and she’s feeling better.  Fair enough.  I told her that I’ll wait to hear from her.  And I’ll keep my word on that.  But it’s hard.  I want to blab and emote and explore my head.

So there you have it.  Time will reveal all.  And in the meantime I get to meditate on not getting what I want … yet.  I’ll take it.

Today is Not Yesterday

How strange that yesterday I was in the space of letting go of all results, just doing things with no expectation of what would come next.  Not today.  This afternoon I wanted to break 1:00:00 on my time trial route.  I did that twice a few weeks ago but not even close since then.

I looked up at the trees from our family room and saw that there was no movement at the tops.  Wow.  Time on the bike without wind.  So I slapped on a funky cycling jersey composed of bones (some broken), adjusted my headband with a star symbol on it, and took off like a banshee (although not having ever met a banshee, I don’t really know what that’s like).

A section of Bostwick Road (as Jody and I say – “Home Road”) was resurfaced with dombind last week.  No more potholes.  Dombind is basically a layer of gravel with what I’d guess is tar underneath.  As car tires press the gravel into the tar, a somewhat smooth surface emerges after a month or two.  The last few rides I’ve started off so tentatively, afraid of spilling on the gravel with my skinny tires.  Not today.  I grunted up the slight slope outside our door, watching for any little ripple of gravel that might send me down but still giving ‘er.

Two minutes later I was on asphalt and pumping hard.  Previously I’d been careful to keep my heart rate at or below 145 beats per minute.  Moderation in all things, Bruce.  Not today.  Soon I was in the 150-155 range and I pretty much stayed there for the whole ride.

On the flat, I kept ta-pocketa in her highest gear and pulled up hard on the clipless pedals.  Typically on my route I’d say hello to various horses, runners and cows.  Not today.  Hardly saw the horses and I didn’t come upon any human beings.  If I had adjusted my handlebar mirror just so, I’d have no doubt seen a fully knitted brow and tiny slits of eyes, worlds away from the serenity that the bike can give.

I had to gear down on the hills but I kept up the intensity.  My heart rate monitor showed a pace that I guessed would drop me under an hour at the end.  “This” was fine.  If I produced “that” when I rolled back into our driveway – not fine.  No embracing all that the universe offers.  Not today.

I turned off Sunset Road onto Bostwick at about the 56 minute mark.  I was going to make it!  Halfway along, the dombind again.  I still kept the cadence up.  I can control ta-pocketa on this stuff.  Keep pushing.  A minute from home, there’s the top of a short rise … and what was parked there, taking up the entire right side of the road, was a delivery truck.  There’s no way some silly vehicle was going to stop me from fulfilling my glorious quest.  I pulled out to pass, straining to see any telltale gravel ripples.  Oh, how life is timing.  I was out in no man’s land on the left, and here comes a car climbing towards me.  I brake hard and start skidding to the left.  The driver brakes too.  Somehow I get my left foot down and avoid a tumble.  The driver was a neighbour, and we smile at each other as she drifts by.

Back on the go, ta-pocketa leading me home.  Slow down for the right turn off the gravel and into our driveway.  Pretty sudden stop near our front door.  Press the button on my heart rate monitor … 58:48.  Oh, what a good boy am I!

No placid Buddha face.  No shimmering down of sublime energy.  No peace.

Not today