ast week I wrote about coming up flat for a blog entry (actually, I rallied and got a respectable piece out of it). But I’ll confess that even after lumping it out over lunch at the desk, I was still zombiefied for the rest of the day. Drones were lining up at the desk, the IM light was flashing and some poor sod even tried my phone. When I got home, I slept four hours before even trying to rustle up dinner.
But it was getting home that made all the difference.
You see, unlike virtually everyone else on the planet who trudges out to their cars and joins the great double-terminator rush with billions of cars fighting across too little asphalt, dawn and dusk, I rode my bike yesterday.
Now, granted, as I pushed the bike out to the loading dock and heard the rumble of rage from the nearby boulevard, I wasn’t overly thrilled with my lifestyle choice. I wanted to get home. I wanted the day to end. But then I got out and eased across the first obstacle, the Keller Warpath, and a strange thing happened. As I rode down quieter streets and my legs transferred energy down the spokes to the pedals to forward gears to chain to rear gears to the motion of the wheel, as the torque spun up and the bike found its equilibrium in the world, as the pavement rolled past and the wind crackled and the birds chirped and my smile broadened, things got better.
Yeah, I was still tired and people will still trying to kill me in their distracted disinterest, but suddenly my head was clearing. While scanning for hooks and crosses, I found myself thinking of my code and my writing again (and in positive terms, too). The office miasma was behind me and optimism in front of me. Things were clean and clear once more.
So there might be a lesson there – if you have to write, need to write (or compose, construct, or cogitate) and you are in a muddy emotional hole, get out. Take a walk, ride a bike. And leave the phone behind – Facebook will not clear your spirit (no, it will actually cloud it). If you have a dog, take it for an energetic walk. If you have a cat, play with it in delightfully unexpected ways. Just a couple of minutes. Get out of that rut.
Then come back to your desk, your easel, your symphony and make magic.