Autumn Rides and My Midlife Crisis 

Ok I’m laughing at the title. It’s gotten a bit chilly here in DC and it is dark AF when I get up at 4:30am to head to the gym for my first client. I’ve been a bit lazy about riding into work since I got back from my China trip last week. So the guilt factor crept in and somehow got myself dressed and on my neglected bike today. 

Mentally, I was struggling with what is usually an easy-ish commute which I tend to turn into a mini interval workout. But as I approached the city by the Jefferson Memorial (my second fave after the Monument), the insights began flowing. As dark and windy as it was, I thought, “I’m glad I rode…soon it’ll be bitter cold with possible snowy/icy conditions and I won’t be able to ride.” 

A moment of pure gratitude took me by surprise and I realized that my recent struggles with being half of 90 years old were rooted in the anxiety of time passing looming into the “winter” of my life. 

“Have I done enough so far?”  

“There feels like there’s so much more to do and experience.”

 “Shouldn’t I be feeling a level of satisfaction by now?” 
The stereotype of a man struggling through his own midlife crisis reveals that my concerns are common at my age. The new sports car, getting fit, perhaps even conquering the “younger, hotter, better” partner…is it folly? 

Before judging, which is so easy to do, it may be worthwhile to interpret these actions as life affirming.  We may be approaching the end of our days, but g-dammit, I’m still alive and I can still do fun and exciting things!  

I for one see no problem with that. I witness too many people settle for their mommy pooches and daddy beer bellies stressed out yet “comfortable” in the safety of routine. 

But at the end of the day, if we stop growing and seeking the discomfort that pushes us to see what we’re really made of, we are resigned to declining and dying. Of course, we all end up dead, but it’s a choice of how we want to go out. 

The choice has no moral value…there is no right or wrong way to live…there are only actions and consequences. So I’m not judging anyone who has made peace with their mommy pooch, in fact, I’m a bit envious of that freedom.  LOL 

I think the answer to the struggle is making peace with who you are right now. No guilt, no shame. If we cannot accept and love ourselves, we cannot healthfully love others. Sticking to the tenets of living in and being grateful for the moment, and never taking anything personally are some keys to that peace and happiness. 

Our identities may be inextricably linked to those we hold near and dear to our hearts but as we are born alone and die alone, our individual strength, grounded-ness, and values must be able to shine through whether surrounded by the light, love, and joy we all crave or whether we find ourselves in dark, lonely moments. 

So ride your ride, make the most of every moment. Make peace with yourself. Be unstoppable in your unique way to the very end and shine, bitches. SHINE! 

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