Friday, April 1, 2011

get to the point.

about what we're investing in, and whether or not it has any fucking point.

riding and 'training', but for what, when i can't even pay the goddam electricity bill...

march was a month of three pay periods. i'm used to only two, so i thought i'd take full advantage of this wonderful calendar-enhanced income phenomenon and use it to really get ahead.

yesterday, the day of pay period number three's deposit into my bank account, marked the first pay day to which i'd made it with more than twenty dollars in my account. (the goal is to some day forget that pay day is even happening, as it will be something about which i think much less concretely and regularly.) it was amazing. the pay went in. the student loans came out. i could still breathe. i even splurged a little on some thrifty online source for printer ink cartridges and a jersey that won't match any of my bibs. i transferred my household expenses' share to my lady friend's account. i paid down one of two completely ridiculous credit card balances. i smiled.

at approximately 10 minutes past the time i should have already showered and gone to bed, i made the idiot mistake of opening some mail.

the electricity bill was four hundred, thirty-eight dollars, and ninety-four cents.


i don't know where you come from, but that amount blew my mind and ruined my entire day. i should have just gone to bed. i should have opened it with a fresh mind on a sunny morning with a large cup of optimism in my hand and maybe a ride in my legs. that number is devastating.

hope is something that is often dormant, but constant, deep in my core. it resides quite comfortably next to happiness. it is not likely that i come across as blithely enjoying my minutes on the stage. my demeanor may even be closer to cynical and pessimistic. such is the way of it sometimes, but i am driven by things much bigger and heavier than superficial impressions. if i didn't hope or believe in the good of it all, i wouldn't do any of what i do.

the bill, that horrible blow to any optimism or sense of purpose i could muster, put many things into very different perspective. i thought a lot harder about my recent goal of becoming capable of even thinking about buying a house. i thought a lot less about anything i could upgrade on any of my bikes. i canceled photo shoots that i would have to pay for. i wondered about doing any races at all, with all the fees these days well beyond fifty bucks. and i despaired, maybe just a little, about ever having any financial freedom.

every thursday morning at 5:30am, i leave the house and pedal up to a spin class in east york. there, in a cool industrial warehouse room with 16 other weirdos, i subject myself to 90 minutes of physical output. i know exactly how much i output because the stationary trainers measure it all in watts. i watch my cadence. i sweat through my kit. i turn on the fan. i drink. i eat a clif bar. i pack it all in and ride home, trying not to shiver, trying not to be late for work, unshowered and thoroughly spent. it's 7:43.

after a late-night animated conversation with my dad about my financial attitude and the problem of having no house/other investment to speak of, i decided to work on buying a house. i am about a billion lightyears away from reaching this goal. my dad's justification was that if i shifted my drive, focus, obsession, and sheer determination from cycling into the realm of reaching financial goals, along with my lady friend, i'd be unstoppable. until last night when i opened the hydro bill, i just about believed him.

back to perspective. i have a tendency to zero in on things and get obsessed about them until i acquire them somehow, and then the magic moment is had and forgotten, and i have to obsess about something else. this is the personality trait that drives me to upgrade. i get it from my filipino grandfather. i also have a tendency to, depending on the thing, have absolutely no care about upgrading or using the best possible __________ that money can buy, and to just let things go and enjoy the process more than the equipment. i get this from my irish grandfather. now, i think, is the time to go irish, and focus efforts on process. i can't see a point in getting lighter wheels. i can't see a point in racing. i can't see a point in training to go faster, and paying so much money for it when i don't really need to go faster and it doesn't make me happier or faster yet anyway. i can't see a point in doing things that aren't going to feed my family or keep them warm, especially when it's so fucking expensive to do so these days.

tonight, we are warm. tomorrow we ride. i am thankful for all of it, all the time.

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