Did you ever wonder what your purpose in life is? Of course you have, the existential dilemma is something we all face. Why am I here? Is it to be a huge business success? A well known writer? A star athlete? None of my supposed reasons for existence have quite worked out for me like I thought they might, nonetheless, I’ve been lucky enough to find out what I’m doing here.
Let me tell you about how I finally found my meaning of life.
I began this blog as a way to express my experiences at becoming a road cyclist a little later in life, a pursuit that gives me joy, peace, solitude and not a little exhaustion. So, I apologize to you if I’m sneaking in a little heavier subject today, but my riding has been a little more sporadic lately as I’ve been assisting my bride of thirty years, Teresa, fight her battle with advanced breast cancer. It turns out, I’m good at being supportive.
I’ve always been willing to take a supporting role, I wanted to learn guitar, but just to be the rhythm guy, I didn’t ever want to solo. In comedic Improv, I’m happy to set up the jokes, and as a financial planner guy, I’m happy to assist my clients in their wealth building. And, in riding a bike, I love nothing better than slipping into the middle of a peloton and peddling along with the group, using the slipstream as I enhance it at the same time.
As a husband I’m happy that I married up, that this beautiful blonde creature would marry a big hairy bear such as me, and, as a Dad, I loved watching our children grow while doing whatever I could to help them be happy (sometimes I got it right, but it was mostly hairy bear type guesswork). Teresa and I have been together for thirty years and I’d be lying if I said that it was all perfect, there was a period of time when I wondered if I was in the right place, but we got through it, that’s how you stay married: you stay married. Teresa taught me that. I’m sixty now, and I have come to appreciate that it’s the things that seem to just happen along the way that mean the most, like having a woman who is willing to fight for you. Now I’m happy to fight for her.
When you sit in a Doctor’s office and hear that your wife has cancer, it’s a blow. When you hear it three more times, you realize it’s a sentence and that your job is to be the entire freaking hospitality committee. You are the chauffeur, the voice of reason, the patient advocate, the lover, the details person, the travel agent, and the chief in charge of freaking-the-F out when no one else is around (or if they are).
There’s a darkness that comes with the job, it hangs, just on the edge of day, some days getting closer than others. Some days you trust to hope, other days it forsakes you. On those days, especially, I ride. I ride out, away until I am tired, then I struggle home, the struggle a penance for a sin I didn’t commit. But neither did my wife.
Then, there is the purpose, the knowing that no matter what the outcome, I have done my work well, I have supported, protected, and loved. I have done my best. And, if I never accomplish anything else, I have done what I have been put here to do, I have loved someone with no reserve, with no ulterior motives. I think this kind of love comes naturally to mothers, it’s part of the deal, but we hairy-bear father types need to learn this unconditional love thing: its pretty amazing once you are there. I recommend it.
So, when I can, I’ll write here about riding, but in truth, how much do you care about my saddle sores and efforts to climb hills? The actual purpose of this blog, it turns out, is about conquering life as you get older, whether it is in the saddle or in a Doctor’s waiting room. Life doesn’t really get conquered, we know that! Ego is just an illusion and we are only here on a short term lease. While we are here, have a little fun and understand that you are lucky if you have the chance to love someone-no matter what- it’s life’s greatest gift of all.