“The further away I get

The sharper are the lines

You need some distance

To help you redefine”

From “Stop” by Mega City Four


Maybe I’m undertaking far too much navel gazing this first week of January but holidays and space away from the normal routine always bring me perspective.  I’ve been thinking about the changes I sought to bring into my life 12 months ago.  As is normal for me, I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions per se at the start of 2008, but during the year I did resolve to do some things differently.

During my first surf of 2008, I discovered that I’d lost a bit of my fitness.  From the summer onwards I decided to get up earlier and go out for a run, typically doing 2 miles every second morning and doing weights every alternate morning.  I’ve always been a morning person and parenthood has shattered any illusion of needing 7 or 8 hours sleep to function.  I also recognised that I wasn’t being disciplined in reading my bible, so I would use the time in the mornings before my wife and daughter awoke to spend some time reading that in silence and without distraction.  It was all well meaning, but when combined with a long ongoing period of my daughter awakening any time between 3 and 4 am and sleep being totally disrupted between then and 7am, I exited 2008 totally whacked.  The reality is that I have ringing in my ears in the evening thinking I can hear our daughter calling for us.  Maybe that’s a side effect of listening to too many loud Sonic Youth records.  We often collapse into bed with no idea of how much or little real sleep we will get.  I took comfort in Karl’s words on Sunday about “parenting being the most difficult thing in the world”, although it is also equally one of the best things.

A combination of everyday conversations with friends, conviction about my reliance upon my car from an environmental stance, a stand-up comedy DVD by Rob Newman, my desire to keep fit and to gain more sleep and a recent sermon on “Green Issues and Justice” have led to something else I have resolved to do differently in 2009 without getting all guilt-driven about it.  The below shows some more navel gazing (neither of which are mine!)


Hoping cycling can also reach the parts that most turkey, mince pies and associated grazing reach, I could have asked Santa for a shiny new bike, but the collision of a couple of Karl’s recent sermons and a great article in Surfers’ Path re-directed my thinking to the “re-use” part of the reduce, reuse, recycle equation.   So: reduce CO2 ommissions whilst increasing the amount of sleep I am getting and staying fit; re-use my 14 year old bike and ask Santa for panniers, new lights and a hi-viz jacket it was instead; and just cycle.

Week one – 4 days on the bike versus one in the car.  Which journey did I dislike most?  – The one in car.  Even a heated car cabin and Ida on the iPod couldn’t compete with the exhilaration of the bike ride in on a frosty morning.  Seeing snow fall later in the day with the realisation that the home journey would also be done in shorts only made me smile…Oh yeah, and I made it into work quicker than a colleague who drove in from further along our street and there was great joy in overtaking his car on several occasions.  It’s amazing how much pleasure the simple things bring…


4 Responses to “Stop”

  1. 1 Gavin January 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Well done on the cycling! Not that you’re making me feel guilty or anything…. 🙂

  2. 2 brunettekoala January 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    I love cycling but not when I spend the rest of the day trying to defrost from the icy wind and rain experienced while doing it.

    I think I’ll stick with the bus for now!

  3. 3 theWeir January 11, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    welcome to the hardy cyclist club. One of the joys of life is a cycle on a crisp morning. There something invigorating (slightly smug,perhaps) about overcoming the elements. Hail the conquering hero!

    How long to become addicted to the metoffice website for the weather forecast? Or maybe that’s just me!

    Enjoy the wind this week….

  4. 4 thestatethatiamin January 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks guys, riding my bike makes me feel childlike and has removed the need to get up at 5.45 am to go running. What was I thinking last year?!?

    I just need to enure that I still fit time into my day to read my bible, think, pray and live. This past week, I’ve managed to reflect on ,y scribbles from Karl’s sermon from my notebook whilst reading from Biblr Gateway on line in my lunch-hour. I also spent some time alone in our kitchen the other evening praying with the lights off bathed in the moonlight through the skylights and patio door. Why are quiet times often the first things to go when life gets busy?

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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