Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I'm a bit of an aggressive cyclist. On my short commute to work, I run a few stop signs at quieter intersections and have been known to run the occasional signal. Shhh, don't tell anyone. In a seemingly contradictory way, I see some precautionary measures as aggressive as well. I regularly take the lane to establish my position so I don't get cut off or doored. But no matter how I ride to work, I'm always in a hurry. I'm seldom in a hurry because I'm late; I just like to go fast. But at a fundamental level I'm impatient and wish I could apparate to work, saving my approximately 15 minutes a day. Impatience permeates my life. I get frustrated waiting for the microwave to heat water for a cup of tea. I come by impatience honesty, inheriting it from my father who pays premium money for television so he doesn't have to watch commercials. If he ever learned to use a DVR I think he'd be a much happier man.
Fortunately, I've mellowed since having children. I'm a much more patient than I was at eighteen or twenty-eight. And I'm glad. I admit that there is little chance I won't give the gift of impatience to my children. I hope they get my wife's much slower pace. She gets everything done that needs to get done, she gets where she needs to go, and she is exponentially less likely to have a heart attack because it takes two small boys an extra 10 minutes to get into our van.
But mellowing for a high-strung-Virgo-yippie-dog of a father happens much too slowly. And when I do slow down, I realize how much I appreciate it.
So I've stopped running red lights. It gives me time to look around and catch my breath. It forces me to slow down and smell the lilacs. It's also safer. But it's not easy. I've had a lifetime of developing my skills at impatience. I also love the feeling of flying on my bike -- it's a remnant of my former life I occasionally long for and may write about soon.
Posted by Jacob at 12:55 AM