Friday, April 1, 2011


I admire the folks who have lived their lives with the DIY philosophy...

I wish I was 15 again and could argue with my mother when she suggested I had my brother, some boyfriend, or some neighbor guy help me with some technical challenge I was having. For instance, if my car was having trouble, I was not encouraged to fix the issue, nor, was I encouraged to even completely understand what the issue was. Of course, I could have developed my own inner "gumption" to become a more practical and handy individual, but, alas, I chose to focus my attention elsewhere. So, I grew soft and did not exercise those "handy" muscles.

I am still not incredibly handy, but I have developed a strong desire to understand the technical world around me and to appreciate the process of learning how to do it myself - even when it means I have to give up some luxury in order to do so.
Spare Tube

A few months back, I had another particularly challenging day at work and was ready to practice yoga in order to re-claim some inner calm. When I approached my bike, I noticed the back tire was extremely low... the inner tube had a hole. Normally I would have just pumped some air and moved on...but, I realized, this wound was too big and pumping air would not do. Also, it was raining and cold, so I could not stand outside debating my next move for too long.

Although I had all the forces against me: foul mood, cold, rain and flat tire...I decided to turn this into a "yoga and the art of bicycle maintenance" moment. So, I moved back into the work space from where moments ago I could not wait to escape, turned my bike upside down and readied it to be repaired. Now, changing a tire is not a huge deal...but, had I had other options that rainy day, I most likely would not have had the bike with me in the first place. Instead, I had to sit with it, look at it, understand how to deal with it myself and... do it myself. Although replacing an inner tube is not major repair work, it did feel good to let go of my original plan and completely focus on the issue at hand. The repair became a meditation for me, as I had to move through my frustration in order to take off, insert and replace the back tire ( which, by the way, is not as easy as replacing the front one).

By the time I was done, I was pleased with myself...mostly because I was able to re-focus my energy enough to find the pleasure in the job. I was able to let go of the day while taking care of something myself. I had no choice...and, because of that, I had opportunity to step into that philosophy I so admire.

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