June 3, 2014

Motorcycling and the Discomfort of Change

Motorcycling is often uncomfortable. It pushes me beyond anything I've ever tried, into territories of my abilities I've never explored, and teaches me humility, appreciation of the present, and respect for danger. Motorcycling has been the first thing in my life that I was terrible at when I first learned, and struggled so hard just to be skillful enough to be an average rider. I'm not even certain I'm average! I'm simply capable of getting where I want to go, most of the time.

Hitting the road to motorcycle across the country sounds like so much fun, and I'm sure the journey will have a it's high points. We leave for our next Road Pickle shortly, but the labor involved to get things sold, packed, sorted, stacked and stored is exhausting. The bad news is, I've barely started and I'm mentally exhausted already.

I think it's the process of picking up every item and evaluating it.

"Do I want this? Do I need this? When will I use this again? When was the last time I used this? Why have I kept this so long? Why did I buy this? Will the person who gave it to me know if I got rid of it?"

The questions are repeated for every item considered.

I was surprised to find how many keepsakes I have. Photos, toys, stuffed animals, and even a few T-shirts that belonged to my friend Thomas, who died in 1997; all of this stuffed in a few boxes, stacked in a nice, neat formation at the end of my one-car garage. A box with marketing materials, a box with extra motorcycle gear, a few boxes of my fine china, real silver, china tea cups and saucers, depression glass. . . all stuffed and stacked accordingly.

Will I ever use these things? Will I ever want all of this stuff out and surrounding me, as I once had?

I've always dreamed of a little cottage, with a chaise lounge, decorated with all of my shabby chic items, pillows, ruffles, lace and china all around. A little place where I could open up two French doors and let the air in, breathe in the sunshine and write to my heart's content. A stable life with all the comforts of home.

For now, that seems stifling. One place, full of stuff, to be tended, dusted, maintained. I can't stand that thought. I can't imagine that in my life right now, but one day, I might be interested in that.

For now, I'm aching for the open road. Long rides, breathtaking vistas, foreign laughter, new places, new faces, foods I've yet to try, stories I've never heard, endless horizons to be explored. Every place I go is new within that day. Not new for me, but a new day for each person who is there. A new day with endless possibilities! Anything can happen. That's what I yearn for. Uncertainty. Change. Growth. Spontaneity. Discomfort.

Motorcycling fills me with thrills, excitement, change and discomfort. Exactly what I'm looking for.

We leave San Diego June 14, 2014. Just 10 days from now. Once everything is sold, packed and stored, I'll be free to embrace the discomfort of change.



  1. 10 days will either fly by because you have so much to do, or they'll drag on because you really, really want to leave.

    Kudos to you two for doing what you love.

  2. I do so empathize with your conflict. All the evaluation! When you reach the point of mental exhaustion, if you can afford it and you are conflicted, store it. No angst, no guilt. Focus on your adventure! Most humans collect things over time. Own it. One thing to ease your decisions about gifts is the One Year Rule. If you've kept a gift for one year and have no use for it or just plain don't like it, donate it, sell it, give it away! Now! Quickly! None of us can keep all the gifts. Keep the ones you really want and send the rest out into the universe. You are hereby absolved of all guilt. Consider it a mathom (see the Hobbit). Thank you for sharing your adventure!

  3. Good luck with everything, see you soon again :-)

  4. Good luck with everything, see you soon again :-)

  5. Sash:

    It's exciting and something to look forward to. You are lucky to have a riding partner. I had to ride across the country, alone thus I was thankful to be able to meet up with people along the way. At least you are not alone and I think this makes all the difference.

    as for junque. I have lots to give you but I can't bear to throw anything out

    Riding the Wet Coast

  6. Sounds like you are already embracing the discomfort and ready for the choice/change you have made. I think onnce in the saddle, you will know if this was a good decision or not. Remember, it is not like you are tied to the handlebars. The beauty of doing what you are about to embark on, is that you can do anything at anytime and go anywhere. Who knows, you may fall in love with that little town and find that perfect chaise lounge. My advice: Ride a little before you do that . With a wink and a smile... I wish you the best of travels!


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