January is a funny time isn't is? Let's be honest, the climactic conditions are hardly conducive to an upbeat mood, and this year it seems to have been particularly unpleasant. For many people the New Year is a time for a little light life-evaluation, and the battleship grey skies don't provide a particularly helpful backdrop. We make resolutions mainly on the basis of what we feel we have failed at the preceding year. What a great place to start. We go over our lives with a fine tooth comb, looking for flaws. Where are we at in our career, our love life, our appearance? Are we the people we'd hoped to be, this time last year? Are we, on all levels, a success?
Perhaps January seems especially glum to me this year because I'm more aware of the underpinning anxiety about the future. Fewer people will have jobs by this time next year. Most of us will be a bit poorer. And a lot of us (me included) don't know where it is we want to be and therefore have no idea how to aim for it.
This is a bike blog, and therefore I'm supposed to bring all this therapeutic musing back onto topic. And actually, it is easy to do, because when I'm out and about on Trusty I can't help but feel free and childlike. It's very hard to have a furrowed brow freewheeling down a hill. It sounds overly practical, but when the wind blows through my hair it also lightens my thoughts and lifts my heaviness. It takes me back to basics. Cycling reminds me that I am healthy enough to move at speed, I live in a beautiful city full of precious friends, that anything could happen just around that corner.That hope is intrinsic to mankind. My christian faith and time on my bike help me to cling on to the belief that my life, our lives, mean more than external status, more than where we are on some giant table of success and failure. Even when the January rain threatens to wash it away. I'll just pedal faster and hope to dodge the drops.
Oh, and if all that philosophising fails I'm just going to have to get Trusty one of these.
Image by SusanG2