a while back I was talking with a friend about budget crunches.
about how things have been tight these past few years, and how I manage to pay for the important things, always. and how those important things get prioritized: the kids come first.
I wasn't quite moaning, nor whining, but I was sounding like a sad sack anyway, so I said, but I do manage to take care of me, too: I did buy myself a bike.
ah, cheap therapy, was the response, hitting the nail dead on the head.
if I divided the number of hours I've ridden into the dollar amount I've spent on my bike (even throwing in the cost of tubes, tires, cartridges, maintenance, and event entry fees), I think I"d come in somewhere around $1.50 an hour.
if I took snapshots of my mental health 5 years ago and today, and compared the two, I believe any trained therapist would acknowledge my progress.
where else can you get great, productive, calorie-burning, fresh air therapy for such a price? (please don't say running: been there, considered that, think it's great, would like to do it, maybe someday I'll try again . . .) I consider all biking expenses to be "health insurance" premiums, and I think this is a pretty good way to approach it.
yesterday john and I rode up big mountain early in the morning, drinking in the dark green hillsides, still lush with growth, the cold pockets in the shaded stretches, the bright sun in the blue sky, the peace, the quiet. I try to hold these moments, storing them inside, reconnecting with them later in my day when the world seems off kilter. I take myself up on the hillside, looking out across the valleys to the mountain ridge to the south, listening to bird chatter and chipmunk scamperings, feeling the chilly air before it's warmed, and I know that all will resolve itself, the world will eventually right itself, and I am as centered as any human has the right to be.
cheap therapy, yep. cheap but effective.
and the daily visits are just a bonus.