My Pedals may not be Turning (yet), but my Mind Certainly Is

I am still ordering things for my bike and my bike trip. I am still sorting out what app(s) I may use for routing and/or recording my trip. I am still designing a route (though that is something that can and will be a semi-daily task). I am still meeting with friends and family before I leave; just this morning I met with a good friend and inspiration over coffee (everything over coffee). Now I am having more coffee, more food, and listing off  things to take care of before I leave (note to self: do actually make a list).

My framebag from Rockgeist arrived a few days ago. It was the last necessary item for my bike that I thought I would need, but alas, that is not the case because the front rack I had ordered to support my handlebar bag that isn’t supposed to need a support doesn’t fit my fork. (In case you’re wondering, there is nothing wrong with my bar bag. There simply isn’t enough space between the top of the front tire and the handlebars for the bag to hang without needing a support. I knew this was a possibility when I purchased, but hoped otherwise.) I’ve just ordered one that will, after messaging Rodeo Adventure Labs for a recommendation. I suspect that will get here Monday. None of this is ideal. But what is ideal, anyway? Are having all of our heart’s wants and desires being fulfilled in a way we want and at our moment’s notice ideal? What if a current moment being disruptive or unwanted yields great joy in the future? Or, what if so insistent on forcing one’s notion of an ideal, i.e., a desire, into RIGHT NOW one unwittingly destroys a more satisfying moment in the future? Again, this begs the question of “what is ideal?” Is it ideal for me to leave on Sunday, or Wednesday? Is there a qualitative difference between the two? I suppose I won’t know until I go, but even then there is no way for me to compare the two scenarios. I wanted to leave a week and a half ago. I’m still here. I say it’s not ideal, but is it not ideal just because it’s not what I wanted (or thought that I wanted)?

“Ideal” is not synonymous with “want” or “desire” but I’d bet most people commonly equate the two. This can make for a lot of unnecessary stress in one’s life that is otherwise avoidable. According to the dictionary app on my Mac “ideal” is defined as “satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect; most suitable.” But even that is subject to much interpretation as is evident in the definition by the words “one’s conception.” What is most suitable for a given situation? Well, different people will likely define that differently. And we can forget about the idea of perfection since it’s simply unattainable (because it doesn’t actually exist, or because it’s so lofty a goal that no human being is capable of reaching to those heights?). Too, what if a person’s goals are unhealthy or crooked? Say I want to be happy, and I have a sweet tooth so that my happiness has a strong correlation with my sugar intake. Well then, eating a dozen donuts a day is an ideal solution to satisfying that sugar craving, and thus my happiness. But, is that really an ideal avenue to happiness? I think not (keep in mind I’m simplifying a complex thing in order to make a point and/or create an argument). Everyone at this point should be familiar with the consequences of too great a sugar intake (potential to develop diabetes, weight gain, rotten teeth, etc.), so, if the goal, to be happy by satisfying my sweet tooth, is itself not ideal, then are the ideal means of reaching that goal really ideal? There’s an old Chinese proverb: “If the wrong man uses the right means, then the right means work in the wrong way.” So, in this case, if the ideal means are used to achieve the wrong goal, then the ideal means work in the wrong way.

Anyway, I’m currently unemployed, so I’m not trying to spend much money since I’m not actually on the road yet. But, my unemployment just means more time to get more important things done. More important than making money? But what could be more important than that? Perhaps that’s a blog post for another day…

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