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By Forrest Hershberger
View from the Handlebars 

Picking A Place In Time

 

September 15, 2021 | View PDF

Several years ago, there was an Adam Sandler movie called “Click.”

On the surface it was the perfect story line. An executive acquired what looks like a generic remote control that can be purchased at any given retail store. The remote allows the character to zoom past all of the difficult, uncomfortable or otherwise uninteresting chapters of life; like reading every other chapter of an epic novel and expecting to feel satisfied with the last few sentences.

In this particular adventure, he began hitting the fast forward button more than the channel selector on his television remote. In exchange for having control over his life, and living several steps ahead of reality, he missed out on his life; his life, in all of the drama, loud nights at home, disagreements... things that compose that thing we call life.

There’s a song out recently on a similar theme:

“I’ve been thinking about time and where does it go. How can I stop my life from passing me by...”

Then comes the kicker, so easy to say, sometimes so difficult to keep in play. “Keep me in the moment.” Never let concerns about occasions in the future diminish the plight of today. The problem, or is it a challenge, is that we can seldom stay in the moment without an outside influence.

Living in the moment requires letting people close to you, people who will stop you when you spend too much time clicking past the moments in life.

Those who finish one task and immediately pick up the tool for the next frequently need someone or something to slow them down; the person who reminds them to breathe or take time for themselves, or even the kind of life disruption that requires a slower pace for a time. I don’t mean be satisfied with one. The goal is to learn to breathe, to breathe deliberately and peacefully. Moments of peace in an age of chaos is a monumental goal, but probably the best we can do for ourselves and those around us.

In the undertones of the song is the quote from days in the past of “much of what we worry about never becomes reality.”

We’re in a stage of society where looking much further than where our foot lands next can cause stress. There is the virus, and its unknown number of variants. There are the accompanying vaccines and boosters. There is the Afghanistan exit and what might come next. There are businesses making decisions on the virus and vaccine than keep others from commerce. There are increasing examples of lawmakers favoring less law.

Looking too far ahead in this scenario is a recipe for stress, stress that is unnecessary and just as deadly as any virus.

I use cycling analogies because that is my go-to, but also because of the parallels to life. There are so many details missed in flying by society at 65-plus. The flowers become a multi-colored blur by the highway. Details are found a distance down the road, not as you’re near.

Likewise on the 10-20 mph speed of a touring cyclist, the side of the road has cactus, the brilliant yellow of dandelions and sunflowers in season, and the cracks in pavement from the countless travelers before you.

Distant sights are still in view, but so is the now. It is an experience of balance, not just the two wheels upright but the moment you’re experiencing and the future. It is cycling offering a lesson for life.

 

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