The Other Side

Cycling at the lake is truth. It is also a Zen activity, if you’re into that kind of thing.

The meditation topic this morning is the conscious uncoupling from my job. I clip my cycling shoes into the pedals, and push away from the car park to start my anti-clockwise loop.

Most marriages don’t last the nine years I had my job for — much less the 18 I’ve spent in my career as a management consultant.

We have been in the public eye, we’ve travelled together, barely a day has gone by when we haven’t been together in one way or another. There was a time at the start when I couldn’t believe that you picked me to join you. We were both younger then and full of idealistic dreams about the future. We had some good times which I’ll always remember, and we worked together through the tough times which in a way are even more poignant.

I smile as I pass over a ridge, and the gears go click-click-click-click-click, a clock ticking, as I enter a downhill section and begin to coast.

I thought you’d always be around, even though deep down I knew you wouldn’t. The only question became would you leave me or I leave you first? I think we both knew the situation, but the power of habit and hope in change kept us together. A solution was easy to work out if only we’d sat together to talk about it — but it was too late. I awoke from a dream and suddenly became lucid. Still in the relationship, but an individual. I realized that what we wanted wasn’t the same any more. It was time to leave.

The recent heavy rains had swelled the lake, which had partially broken its banks. Muddy puddles dotted the riding track. It’s good for the geese and ducks I thought. There is always a silver lining to the cloud. I began to spy firewood, in case of the need to build an ark to escape from this waterlogged park.

I wasn’t sure how you’d react. After deciding, I panicked and tried to claw back the stability of yesteryear. This grasping made me exasperated about how long I’d waited. The contacts were an anti-climax. It was done quickly — a life lesson now freshly painted. History, but still a part of me.

The cycling path cuts towards a main road, over a small bridge, then up a hill. I ascend, the repetitive rotations pushed out without hesitation. Honesty of expression, nothing to hide, just a hill I continue to climb.

People ask how I’m feeling. Others worry about how I’ll be on my own. The truth is it’s great. Work is just one of the situations we find ourselves in life. It is life, but only part of it. Luckily I realised that long before the moment came.

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Image (C) Brett Cowell