Little Things in Life

I wonder if anyone can be happy all the time. Lately, I wonder if people can be happy most of the time. I think I may have lost that somewhere along the way.

I am happy — for this brief spit of time.

It’s not the big things, work or relationships. Today it was all about the small things.

Leaving work a little early: traffic was almost non-existent, even around the crowded LAX airport.

Checking into a nice hotel: front desk upgraded me to the concierge floor with access to the lounge.

West Side room: over looks the runway to the airport where I could watch planes landing and taking off.

A beautiful pink and gray sunset: my mother would have loved it, she never missed a sunset.

The lights on the runways come to life as the sun hides behind the gray fluffy clouds.

Planes large and small drop into view sporadically mere moments before touching down. Smoke billows behind the plane as rubber meets tarmac and air brakes are applied.

On the other side of the field, white lights guide the metallic colorful planes toward me. One then two start the queue. Slowly joined by more and then they turn facing away. The pilot throttles forward, the engines come to life and mere seconds later the plane roars down the runway before it separates itself from earth.

As I watch the dark field changes. Red lights, green lights, white lights twinkle on the ground. I find that for one perfect peaceful moment I am happy.

It is the little things from checking in, to watching planes in my own space, to a memory of sunset sent from mom that make me happy.

It is a rare thing I feel lately and one I would love to welcome back into my life on a more permanent long term basis. I enjoy the little things that bring me peace and a smile to my face.

I know tomorrow will bring me a few more moments of happiness because I will get to sleep in slightly before heading to the airport I now watch and board a plane which will return me to my home.

I will be greeted by a calico who will curl up in my lap as I sit on the couch to read. If the weather turns nice I will even find time to fly along a road in the country on my bike.

Yes, it is the little things that make me happy.

 

The Catalyst Merry Go-Round

A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

Friends, they are a funny thing. I have moved more times in the last twenty five years than most people do in a life time. I enjoy it, the changes.

Someone asked me once what I am running from, but i think the question is, what am I looking for?
Everywhere I go, I make a few friends. My family would not call me the social butterfly, but I make a few core friends — for the time I am there.

I’ve bumped into a couple of “friends” from my past and they tell me that I was that one that lost contact with them. I beg to differ, not to be stubborn, but it takes two to tango. I have managed to find a core group of friends that I have never lost contact with, no matter the time or the place or the distance. I can count on one hand how many people that includes.

One thing I have noticed over the years, is that my idea of friendship is very different than others. While I’m in the same physical space as they are, we hang from time to time — never enough for me. Unlike most people I thrive when I’m in the company of others. My mom once told a friend of hers who commented on all my toys I wasn’t playing with, that if she gave me a human I would be happier. I rarely like being alone, not that I mind it, but my preference would be to be around people more often than not.

I have recently moved — again — and currently working on the long distance friendships. As I get setup in my new life, I hear from them how much I am missed, they reminisce on the times we spent together, they wish I was still there. While I am flattered and I feel loved and missed, my perception is quite different than that. It’s not that I don’t miss them, the game nights, the time spent watching them playing softball, or the just hanging out and talking. I miss those times tremendously — I miss them a lot.

It’s just I see those past events as rare occurances. It was not like we hung out every night or even every weekend. Usually the get togethers where we had fun were on the weekends. It was rarer that we’d do anything during the week when I needed the attention the most.

It seems to me from these hundreds of miles between us, that they get together even more now that I am gone than when I was there. I remember commenting on this one of my core friends and they said that was because I was the catalyst. I was the one that brought everyone together to mix and mingle in the beginning and even though they didn’t meet up as much as I liked while I was there, they now meet more because of me. I’m missed after the fact.

The catalyst: a person or thing that precipitates an event.

I’d like to stop being the catalyst and just have more people in my life to fill my time. I think a large loud family would have suited me well. I like the noise, some mellow drama and angst, the warmth, the support, the love. Mom,as usual, was right. I’d rather have a human to to play with than a toy any day.

 

Inspirations

Inspiration Trail

Inspiration Trail

Inspiration is a funny thing. You never know when it is going to hit you or from where it will come or who. It seems like inspiration, like attachments, form mostly without rhyme or reasons.

My love of biking goes all the way back to my childhood. I was about eight when I was racing up and down the street and around the block. It was the late seventies when kids could be kids and parents didn’t micromanage your every movement.

I declared one day, as I was timing an imaginary race (like Greg LeMond) around the block that I would be the first woman bike racer. The dream was quickly quashed by a scoffing adult and it took a while, but my love of biking and going fast never died, even though the hopes of being a bike racer did. No matter where I went, no matter what I did, no matter who was in my life, biking was a part of me. It was a way to relax, to summon my inner muse and creative stories to write about. It was me.

Greg LeMond inspired me to ride and and Jimmy! kept me consistent. He was a neighbor, like seven feet tall. No, really he was. I stood just over 3 feet – well ok maybe a little more than that.

Anyway, whenever I talked myself out of riding for the day he would come along and poke and prod until without knowing it we were soaring up and down the hills of Ohio. Don’t get me wrong this was not a one way street. I was equally responsible for prodding him onto a bike when he was less than motivated. We made the perfect team, Jimmy! easily out pedaling me 3 to 1 and me racing to catch him. We did manage to keep fairly consistent.

As time and things have a habit of doing, I moved away and lost my biking buddy. I managed to keep consistent for a few years, but ultimately without a biking buddy my consistency slipped. Before I knew it I found myself not biking. I have lots of “reasons”. I was too busy, I had no one to ride with, I didn’t have a safe place to ride. Truth is, I lost my love of biking. It did not bring me the joy I remember. I stopped riding for a long long time. Sometimes your love of something is not enough.

One day, this changed. Someone inspired me to ride. It wasn’t intentional. I’m sure, even to this day, she has no idea that she inspired me to get on my bike and ride again. It happened in such a benign odd way that it took me a while to realize that she had inspired me, had lit a fire of my love for biking.

It started with her signing off from work that she was going for a ride. I remember wishing that I could join her. She sounded ecstatic (like I used to) by getting outside and flying as fast as you could.

Due to our locations (a few thousand miles separated us) we could not ride together. She would post about the route, distance and speed. It was that last bit that got me to thinking, is that good? Could I go ten miles in under forty minutes? That sounded fast. Was it fast?

The chatting of biking and techniques and the posts started to ignite the cooling embers of my long dormant passion.

It was the post of going ten miles in thirty five minutes that did it. I walked out to the garage, dusted off my bike, filled the tires and set off to see. Was I as fast as I remember? I bet anything I could beat that, even after not riding for the last couple three years.

There is nothing like the wind rushing over you, the sun on your face and arms, the blur of trees and concrete that fuel one’s desire to push harder, to breath more efficiently, to be better, to let go.

IT.FELT.GOOD.

I found myself competing with the miles and times she was posting. It gave me a goal, an obtainable goal. It took me a few rides, but not only did I match the initial goal as she got better, but I exceed it. Each ride made me stronger and more determined.

While I have not had the luck to find another riding buddy, I have managed to keep my love of biking alive and fairly consistent. Unfortunately, I wish I could say the same for her. While we have drifted apart over the last couple of years, I was saddened to learn that it had been months since she had rode. Injuries aside, the person who inspired me to ride again has lost her passion for the sport. We talked about riding briefly, but like a smile that doesn’t reflect in your eyes, the enthusiasm and joy that motivated me was missing . I wish I could return the favor. I hope that she will be inspired by someone or something that will make her remember the joy of riding. The feeling of the sun the rush of the air the friendly solitude of it all.

I will forever be grateful for the inspirations that brought biking to me time and again.

May the wind be at your back and all the hills be down.