A Few New Gigs: How A Love Of Others Finally Surfaced, And Finally Slowed Me Down…

A Quick Inventory…

It wasn’t that long ago, that I was immersed in the relentless pursuit of all things physical – or as many as I could fit into a day.  Lifting heavy weights daily.  On a rapid hike.  My stair-stepper, treadmill, or bike. I have used all these to escape from the world around me.  As recently as two years ago, I might have done all those things in a single day.  That was my pace for years.  Sitting still, I have long reckoned, left me vulnerable to the chaos of the world around me, and more so, to the turmoil within.  In mathematical terms…

Spare Time + Movement = Escapism

I would fit in time for work as I needed to, but only because I had to – work is what supports my movement.  In hindsight, between work and exercise, I left little room for anything or anyone else in my life.  As I consider this now, it seems I have spent the past 2 decades running away from the chaos of the day, and from the puppets in my head, soliciting lesser thoughts to my weakness.


Wars, natural disasters, school shootings, the relentless media and social media, the strained relationships of my past, and the abundance of ignorance around me, have never been fast enough to keep up with my racing heart and trekking feet.  My daily action has also been a method of self-medicating one (possibly more) mood disorders, and increasingly, I wonder where I fall on the spectrum.

As the distant worlds though, and the worlds more proximate to me have grown more complex, and seemingly more chaotic, the worlds within me have simplified.  Though I still find value in my daily action – strength training cycling in particular, my need for a physical release has lessened, and my desire for escapism has minimized, or shifted.  Rather than running away, I find myself running toward…

The Guillotine Chop…

If there was one factor – one moment that helped me revaluate my disproportionate level of physical activity, it is the day my mother moved in with me.  Okay, if comparing mom moving in with me to a guillotine chop sounds unsavory, I’m being kind.  In truth, her moving in was more like a dull bread knife cutting into the fragrant baguette that was my self-absorbed life.  Deep down though, I knew what I was getting into, why I was doing so, and honestly, I have never questioned it.  As my mother ages, she is going to require more from me – and that’s a most honorable gig.


Shortly after moving in, my mother quit driving.  Step 1 of my changing life began.  If my mother was not going to drive, I would make certain that she would still get out of the house each day of her life.  My hiking time, would become my time to take mom shopping, to her exercise class, or to lunch.  There were several other reasons that I gave up my daily hike, but that it consumed nearly 3-hours of my day, and was usually in the middle of my day, was reason enough.  This would now be mom’s time.

Paging Doctor Doolittle…

One day in 2012, a friend observed my dog sitting on my lap as we watched TV.  She pointed out that as I stared at the TV, my dog had his head pressed against my heart as he stared up at me – like I was his world.  Though I’ve always been a dog person, that was the moment I became a Dog Person.  The entertainment my TV brought to me was meaningless drivel to occupy my mind.  But to my dog staring up at me as I watched TV, I was his entire world.  From that day forward, I have dedicated no less than a large chunk of time to sitting down each day, and holding my dog on my lap – feeling his head pressed against my heart.  My workout my might get shortened, or skipped altogether in favor of my dog’s attention.  Yet another honorable gig…

Shortly after mom moved in, and after my dog won my heart – again, a cat named Mischa entered my life.  My soulmate family grew by one more.  Mischa, like Stroodle, requires a certain amount of lap time each day.  I provide this to her, unquestioned.  So, as the love of my mother and of my pets has expanded, there has simply been less time for running away from the world via exercise.  No complaints though.  In exchange for my time, I receive dividends of love. However, I have also noticed that taking mom to the thrift shop, petting my cat, and walking my dog – and doing so for them, are also ways to escape from the worlds around me.


Friendship And Community…

As I have found myself giving more time to my mother and to my pets, I have begun to question why I haven’t been giving as much time to my neighbors and my community. I have long believed that volunteerism in a small town is what is keeps community blood flowing.  I have not done much in the ways of volunteering here in Fallbrook.

This week I submitted an application to join the local Rotary Club.  Shortly after, I sent an email to the director of the local Senior Care Foundation, offering my services to conduct workshops on balance and walking for the seniors in my community.  I know time spent engaged with these organizations will cut into time otherwise allotted for physical escapism.  Two more honorable gigs…

The Life Of Pie…

As I reapportion the 19-hour pie that I refer to as my waking life, the thing I’m most coming to realize is this…

…my need to escape from the chaos of the day is very real.

However, it’s just as gratifying, perhaps more so, to run toward something than to run away.  Maybe…  Jhciacb


If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from The Scabs.  Enjoy…

13 responses

  1. Really interesting entry. When I was young I was a strong, fast cyclist. But then I had two sons and spent a quarter-century eating at McDonalds and standing around at their soccer practices.

    Now that they are off on their own – I am again a cyclist. But it’s different now. I work on integrating the bike into my life and call myself “the world’s slowest cyclist.”

    Everyone has their own journey – thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks YOU for sharing, Bill, and thank you for taking the time. My experience is that the slower paced rides are where the joy and the appreciation are. And yes, I do take slow ones too, and I always use them to better appreciate my surroundings..

  2. You understand your Rx and managing your purpose. While Cherishing every moment with loved ones. Each experience we choose is either a drug or medicine, and destiny follows the choice. False antidotes make a false life, but Faith our Physician offers us cures for what ails us,real living, real happiness, and real fulfillment.
    Love You My Brother Thank you for Sharing Thank You for Serving !

  3. Daily choices. Man, I struggle with making the right ones. It seems as though your posts always get me to make at least one good choice after reading them because your words resonate so much with me. I guess that means you need to write daily? 😉 Just kidding. Much love to your mom, dog, cat, and community.

  4. Thanks, Heidi. i think on some level, I am writing to you — and to a handful of others who actually get my schtick. And that’s a two-way street. I always appreciate what you write — and Shannon too, if she’s listn’n….

  5. That’s beautiful, Roy!

    Your difficult choices have become a gift that you have given yourself. I’m glad you are sharing your many talents with more people.

    My cat sits contentedly on the back of my office chair in the evenings when she is not doing the wild thing outside. 🙂

  6. Lovely post, Roy. I really enjoyed reading it. I’m only sorry it’s taken me this long to get to it! It’s been a busy bunch of weeks for me lately. I’m slowly trying to catch up. I hope you and your family, human and otherwise, are continuing to be well. 🙂

    • Thank you, Shannon. It’s always nice to read and absorb your comments. I hope the busy in your life is good busy!

      Just a reminder: there are few blogs I follow, and yours is one of them 😊

      Hope you haven’t walked away completely…

      • Thanks, Roy. 😊 Definitely have not walked away completely. I’ve started working again on something longer form, but you know…with life and all…it’s slow going. I will be back eventually in some form or another. Peace, my friend. 😊

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