Wednesday, 14 March 2012

What If?

It's been a long time since I've done this. Today I decided to put an end to that. So much has gone on in life since I last wrote my blog. There is so much to come as well. As I tap away at the keyboard, Charley Boorman's 'By Any Means' for background noise, decisions are being made in the halls of power that will determine who my boss will be from September. Saying that, I'm trying to look for a new job so that may not matter. 

The truth is, I need to move to a new environment and closer to home. This week I've put my first application in after visiting a school I really liked. They will have short-listed by now and if there's no news tomorrow then I won't have been given an interview. There are so many people looking for jobs so I'm lucky, and I know that. However, I really did like that school and I really do need to make a change. 

It's not been great lately. Well, no, that not fair because so much is great. Tom is walking, he and his sister are so much fun to be around (most of the time) and Spring means the ride to work is getting better and better every week. Unfortunately it always ends the same way and the return trip always happens before I've caught up with any of the ever increasing workload. With parent's evenings looming on the horizon, it's not going to get any better and traditionally, it never does anyway. There's always something and there always will be. That's a depressing thought and I'm not a person accustomed to letting depressing thoughts get to me. On the other hand, I am capable of feeling low. 

Today, I was on my way and mulling things over (and over and over...) when I suddenly realised how much I was actually managing to enjoy the ride. My little 250 was just humming away and my head was being thumped by the turbulent wash over the top of my screen. Cool but not cold, I was relaxed as the dumb machine carried me though dawn in the gorgeous dales. Alone in my helmet, all other traffic left long behind and with only a pod cast to keep me company, nothing in that moment put me under any pressure.

 As it became clear that right there and then, it was good to be me, I started to wonder. A turning was fast approaching. Turning that turn is something I do, normally 6 days a week. I do it because it gets me to work if I turn there and work is what I do mainly. There in that moment I started to ask myself, 'What if I just left the throttle open and my left thumb under the handle bar?' Ahead was Skipton and the Yorkshire Dales. A morning's ride north would see me across the border into Scotland, somewhere I've still never taken a bike. Imagine somehow discovering that after a long moment of madness I ended up somewhere by a Scottish Loch, wondering where I would end up sleeping. 

As the turning loomed, my left thumb did uncurl and reach for the indicator, shortly followed by my right wrist rolling off the throttle. Gears were changed, inside bar nudged and the bike healed smoothly over into the same road it does every day. It did that because I told it to. I told it to because it's not the only place I have felt happy lately. My life is full or responsibilities and three of them are more wonderful and meaningful than anything down a road. They need a shelter, food, treats and, well, my income. What's more, they deserve it and seem to appreciate my effort. 

The day turned out quite badly as it goes. I left work early, further behind than I started and that was the correct turn. Not only was it slightly less irresponsible than just not going to work at all but I got huge cuddles from my wife and daughter. My little boy showed how glad he was to see me by squealing 'Dada' and splashing water all over the bathroom. 

Life is full of what ifs when you're looking for them but while the status quo isn't going to cut it, it's got it's up sides. Thanks to Dan, I've got a bike adventure to look forward to as well. In less than a month I'm going to America to ride around for 5 days with a brother I wouldn't normally see for up to 2 years at a time. I can't wait. Though I have asked for a picture of the bike he has bought for me to ride, he hasn't yet been able to get one to me. Instead, he sent me this message, a black one (by which Dan means a K75RT). Then imagine it left in the sun a couple years, windscreen yellowed, missing side covers and mirrors, dusty, sandwiched between an engine hoist and a parts washer. Ta da! 

Sounds like my kinda bike. Can't wait! And as for what if: maybe I'll do what I'm always teaching children to do. Maybe I'll take this 'what if' and write a book. Maybe I won't. 

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