October 26, 2009

A Special Case of the Mondays

After a long and severely turbulent flight (worst flight EVER), I'm finally back on the ground in California. Thankfully!

I was uber happy to see Pete, Spokey (my bike), be out of the cold, and back into the comfort and familiarity of my own room.  However, it was Sunday night and I was not excited about going back to work in the morning.  I just wanted a day to do absolutely nothing: no driving, no packing/unpacking my suitcase, no listening to people lecture all day, no thinking, no nothing.  As you can imagine, I wasn't very excited to hear my alarm of obnoxious bongo-like drumming go off at 6:30 this morning.  Definite case of the Mondays.

But not all Mondays can be bad.

About a month ago I decided I was going to put all car purchasing plans to an end, quit using Pete's truck for convenience, and rely on Spokey or public transportation to get everywhere.  Maybe I caught the "going green" bug.  Maybe the amount of money I'd have to spend on a car seemed daunting.  Maybe I like the exercise.  Probably all of the above, who knows.  I made it a whole two weeks before I had to use the truck to get to the LB Half Marathon, and then had a rental car for the past two weeks in Minnesota.  Today, I was back at it.

Once my brain sort of started functioning it sunk in that I was going to ride my bike again for the first time in two weeks - yay!  Then I remembered I had bought some biking gloves before I left for Minnesota and I'd get to test those out too - yay!  Then, when I walked out the door I noticed that it was incredibly foggy - yay!  I had not biked through the fog yet.  Turns out this Monday wasn't so bad, and it was about to get even better.

I reached the bike path and was having fun watching people emerge from the fog - it seemed like some sort of surreal, weird, other-dimension that these people were riding out from.  Freeing me from my "fog trance," I heard a "Goooood morning commuter girl!"  It was Alan.  I had met Alan, a 60ish-year-old retired electrical engineer with a nice Octobeard, back in July on one of my first commutes to work.  That day, Alan ended our "get-to-know-each-other-in-2-min-small-talk" with an intriguing request: "bike commuting is going to change you - figure out how and why and you'll learn to value your ability to bike...next time I see you out here I want a full report!"  And he pedaled away.

Naturally, the first thing Alan said to me after his initial greeting was "so, figure it out yet?!"  I had totally forgotten about his request until this moment - isn't he supposed to be the "old" and forgetful one? But without even hesitating I blurted out, "the simple and unexpected things make me incredibly happy."  Where did that come from?  I'm pretty sure I said it without even thinking first, thankfully it sounded sort of smart and actually made sense!  That usually doesn't happen when I don't think before I speak.  Anyway,  it must've been the "right" answer because Alan got the kind of grin your parents get when you've done something to make them proud - like clean your room or wash the dishes without being asked.  Alan then proceeded to laugh a bit and explain that I seemed more scared than incredibly happy when he unexpectedly emerged from the fog shouting "good morning."  What a goof.

So here I am, happy as can be on this Monday afternoon.

The simple, and often unexpected things are really what matter most.

Today's list of simple pleasures: happy halloween/welcome home card from the roommate, trying out my new biking gloves, uber fog, crazy Alan, smell of fresh-cut grass at the end of October (this doesn't happen in MN), cupcakes from the boss.

Something to think about:
[Thought taken from a talk I went to last week by John Daly]

Can you remember all of the [expected] birthday or holiday gifts you've given or received over the past 5-10 years from family members and/or significant others? (I have trouble remembering past this year)

How about the small, simple, "surprises" you've received (or given) for no specific reason?  (I can remember these types of things, in detail, as far back as 10 yrs ago)



    i bet you didn't expect that.

  2. i can remember cool gifts that weren't really gifts so much as celebrations of events. for a couple years in a row, smsmh made me a couple shadow boxes for different races and military related stuff. those were some of the coolest, unexpected gifts. and they weren't purchased gifts.

    i always come up with cool ideas for things to do for people for birthdays or just to have fun, but i rarely follow through on them because logistically, i suck.

  3. haha, thanks jeff.

    home-made gifts are definitely the best! i always have tons of fun coming up with cool ideas, even if they don't turn out the greatest :)

    looking forward to your superhero outfits this weekend!

  4. It's been a simple and unexpected gift to read your blogs. I find them well-written, interesting, and they give me more insight into the beautiful woman you've become. Thanks for the gift. Kids are the quintessential gift that keeps on giving. Love you!!! Mom