As mentioned in my short post this morning, right now is one of those stressful times with very many things going on in all facets of my life- work, personal, etc. If you add them all together, it can make you nuts. So I'm trying to just tackle them all one at a time. For instance- tonight I cleaned my apartment. No big deal, just something I hate doing and have put off for way too long. Technically, I've been chipping away at it for weeks and have finally reached a point where I no longer feel freaked out about it. Progress...
Today (and this week) has been all about this kind of thinking- one task at a time. Our Spring Sales Meeting kicks off in a few days and there is a lot to get done between now and then. If allowed, I can get pretty stressed out thinking about all of the numerous details that need to come together. On top of the sales meeting, our final spec for Fall '08 bikes needs to be finalized... today... and the new graphics for those bikes needs to be completed... yesterday.
As I began to find myself with the sudden desire to sit on the floor with my head between my knees and breathing into a paper bag, I decided instead to go for my mid day lunchtime ride. So I grabbed my SRAM Red-equipped Scandium/carbon wonderbike and headed out in to the SoCal warmth and sun for a short 1 hour loop that heads to the coast and back to the office. It didn't take long for my legs to warm up in the 70+ degree weather- warm enough that I didn't even need arm warmers today and had to break out the sunscreen (I know I'm spoiled). The ride itself wasn't anything "spectacular", but my legs felt good, the sun felt good on my skin and I felt like I was truly a cyclist- one with my bike and "in the zone"with my pedal stroke. In other words, it felt good to be on my bike and not in the office hyperventilating.
After my ride, I returned to my desk to get back to the damned PowerPoint presentation I abandoned mid panic attack. Thing is, the ride helped me clear my mind just enough that when I sat down and began to drop various photos of the new bikes into the presentation slides, I began to remember how gorgeous our bikes are. I stopped working on the presentation long enough to go through the photos of the bikes and remind myself how beautiful the bikes are and how lucky I am to have the job that I have. I mean, I'm getting stressed out about a presentation on bicycles. BICYCLES. How bad can it actually be? When you really boil it down, the vast majority of the bikes I sell are expensive toys. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to diminish the very real potential of the bicycle (because I am a BIG proponent of the the bicycle as transportation, etc). However, the bulk of the bikes we sell are used as recreational play things- they make people HAPPY. Happiness is something we all need a lot of. The housing market is bad, the economy is bad, the world is a scary place and the election is around the corner... our worlds are full of scary, uncertain things. But a bicycle isn't one of those things.
After spending a few minutes slobbering over some really cool new bikes coming out in late Spring/ early Summer, I got back to "work" and continued noodling the presentation. I still have a lot of work to do, but it isn't all that bad. I'm still going to get stressed out but I know I'm going to get over it. Tomorrow, when I start breathing weird again, I'll jump on my bike and get some sun.
I've got that going for me.