Personal Paint Job

This weekend was both relaxing and completely consumed with stuff at the same time.  Saturday morning the alarm (yes, the fricking alarm on a Saturday) went off at 6am and we got up and started getting ready to go on a motorcycle ride to a lake/resort town about 2 hours away where we would play some pitch n’ putt and then have lunch and ride back.  Fortunately the weather turned out to be absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately I’m a bit sick so the morning didn’t start out with a bang for me.  Since it was also an event I actually had no interest in, I wasn’t overly thrilled for the day.  But on the positive side, Ray was an absolute prince the entire time, it fully reminded me of when we first got together, attentive and affectionate.  It really turned my whole attitude about the day around! 

This was our first real ride of the season (which, yes, I realize is almost over, late start, I guess!) and since my CB is busted and I haven’t had enough seat-time this year, I couldn’t listen to music, I had a lot of time with nothing but the wind in my ears.  If you’ve never ridden you may not understand, but there is a different kind of thinking that you do on a bike.  It’s more scattered but with more clarity. Must be all the oxygen being forced into your lungs!  I had tonnes of time to think about all sorts of things, completely uninterrupted.

Part of it was a bit of reminiscing about the way things used to be, back when Ray and I first got together.  We used to spend all of our time on bikes, riding and chatting and hanging out together.  Granted, it was just weekend time because once Sunday afternoon rolled around I would get in my car and go back to my apartment alone which sucked to high heaven and got incrementally worse on my heart each weekend.  I realized that I miss the “free” time that we used to have, no errands, no bills, no date planner with too much stuff packed into it.  But while I do miss that more unencumbered time, I wouldn’t trade what we have now for the world. Absolutely not.  I wouldn’t trade being able to go to bed and wake up with each other every day and the complete confidence and comfort of a solid, loving relationship.  We had so much fun on our bikes but what that time together did was bring us to where we are together, in love and living a regular life.  We’ve both agreed to make a way bigger effort to ride more next year because it’s something that we love and something that nourishes our relationship in a way that nothing else does.  

I also spent a lot of time thinking about who I want to be this fall and winter.  You may think that’s a fairly short period of time to “be” someone, but I don’t think so.  I think we’re always fundamentally the same as we’ve always been and any change that comes does so very slowly over time.  However there are aspects of ourselves that we can create and recreate at any time.  Two aspects of myself that I’m going to reshape over the fall and winter are who I am as an athletic, fit woman and who I am as my hubby’s partner.  Fundamentally who I am isn’t up for change (although that could come as a byproduct) but I am going to put a coat of paint on these two aspects of myself for a few months. 

My “fit, athletic woman” paint job actually starts this week, that was planned out last week.  I cannot work out on Monday’s (something that I just can’t pull off and am better to understand and work around than try to change) so this week will be Tuesday and Thursday at the gym in the morning, next week I’ll move up to three days for a couple of weeks and then possibly add a fourth cardio day later on.  I’ve decided that every four weeks I’ll take a full week off.  I’ve done this all long enough now that I know at about week three and a half of getting up at 4am, I’m starting to get burned out and need a break so this time I’ll plan that in!  Why am I getting a paint job for this?  Because I really enjoy who I am when working out consistently is a bigger part of who I am and there is no reason that I shouldn’t cultivate that.

The second part of the renovation is who I am as Ray’s partner.  As I said, who I actually AM isn’t going to change because that sort of change takes much longer than a few winter months.  But nothing ever changes is if you never make any effort.  Now, I realize you should never make changes for other people so saying “who I am as Ray’s partner” may be a bit of a misnomer.  What I actually mean is that there are parts of me that I don’t like, parts of my behavior or reactions that do not make me feel good and they are in the context of my relationship.  So, over the course of the next few months I am going to try harder to relax and let the little shit go.  I’m going to breathe first and talk second and I’m going to make sure that my feelings about things are made known, either in advance or as a calm conversation after something has happened.  This should hopefully replace some snarky conversations I’ve instigated as well as a bad habit I have of not thinking through what I want to express and then doing it over and over until the whole thing is just a huge mess.  I’m not really great at expressing my feelings very well but I’m going to work on getting my point across better, one time and calmly.  I realize that relationships take work on the part of both people however I can only change my own behavior and since there are parts of me that I don’t even appreciate, I figure it can’t hurt to work on that myself.  Plus, since most people generally “go with the flow”, if I’m making quiet, positive change and that becomes the flow then theoretically Ray would be picked up in the current and swept along.

As I said, all the random wisps of thoughts that I’ve been having were all pulled together on Saturday on a gorgeous, sunshiny ride.  Their catalyst was a sign that I saw first thing that morning:

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Does anyone else ever recreate aspects of themselves from time to time?  Are there things that bother you about you?  Anything you ever try to change?

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