When I was in my twenties, I found satisfaction in getting things done quickly, so I could move onto my next task. Now that I am in my forties, I find that I appreciate more the activities that I am able to continue over time. For example, I took up cycling as a hobby in my late twenties while I was living in Miyazaki, on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan. Most weekday mornings, I would wake up early so I could spend an hour or so cycling along the coast before work. On those days my goal was to quickly cycle out to my destination, quickly return home, quickly eat breakfast, quickly shower, and quickly commute to get to work on time. I was trying to get as much done as possible in a short time, so my attention was naturally focused on my efforts to complete each task as quickly as possible. In that busy frame of mind, my thoughts turned to what I could accomplish through my own efforts.
When I first I became a parent with small children at home, I found fewer opportunities to go out cycling for fun. However, these past few years as my children get bigger, we are now able to go for bike rides as a family. Also, now that I am supervising the Buddhist Church of San Francisco, I often use a combination of bicycle and commuter trains to make my way back and forth to San Francisco for services. On days when I have some time after service, I’ve taken to biking home from San Francisco to San Mateo. The first time I managed to bike home from San Francisco, I was grateful that I was able to continue pedaling until I finally arrived at our house. I find that at this point in my life, I enjoy being able to continue riding at a comfortable, steady pace, more than racing to arrive at my destination.
Continue reading “Thankfully This Life Continues”