Monday, January 09, 2017

Costly regrets

Another bike nicked! 

I had been using this one at work for the past 3 years to get to and from the Post Office. It was a beautiful 1980s Japanese made Ladies bike made under the brand name of Indi Hawk. 

Like the previous one it was stolen from outside my office… Two bikes in two months! 
No use crying over spilled milk right? Well I thought I’d write a few lines about the experience just to mark time and fill this space with some rambling regrets. 

Despite the terrible neglect the bike had suffered, the quality of the Japanese manufacturing and parts was undeniable. It had perfect balance, excellent bearings, simple non indexed gears, magnificently smooth rolling 27 inch wheels and all the original parts still in perfect working order.

Like most of my bikes I salvaged this one from the tip shop, I found it about 5 years ago, it’s been a very reliable machine, a joy to ride, and always conveniently waiting whenever I needed to get away from the office.

Regret: I shouldn’t have any regrets, but in the scale of a relatively insignificant non consequential life I am prone, sometimes to feeling that sharp twinging prick in my psyche! I do regret. 
What I regret is my constant state of self-doubt and indecision. (Seems like a bit of a jump from talking about a bike to confessing my deep seated insecurities but they’re kind of connected). For the past year I have had to store the bike outside in the garden where it was beginning to lose it’s luster so I decided I would give it to a friend, who I was sure would like it. (Maybe that is fanciful thinking, transferring my own appreciation for a machine, which, to anyone else would appear no different to any other rusty old bike.
  • I procrastinated (It’s too late today, I’ll take it tomorrow) 
  •  I deliberated (Isn’t it a bit presumptuous to lob up to someone, who never asked or expressed a need for such a gift, to just turn up and say: “Here take this rusty old clunker of a bike which I love dearly, and can’t bear to part with it but I think you need it and I have imagined you riding it and like the idea of you having it, but you have to look after it… etc… etc… yada yada yada) 
  • I grasped (I don’t want to part with this thing) 
  • I feared (I’ll be thought a fool offering junk as treasure) 
I waited one day too long! On the day I decided to act, I arrived at work, checked my ‘secret hiding spot’ and discovered that the bike was gone! Some stinking little thief took it! (Maybe taken by someone who needed it, which would be fine with me, but I doubt it.)

For the rest of the week I was filled with mixed feelings about the loss of this ‘thing’. Was it really important? 
Well it was just a bike and I have more, but it could have been of great use to the person for whom it was intended… and then I went through all that crap again about whether or not it would be appreciated… and so on.
All my thoughts were only distractions from the actual problem I faced. The problems which have dogged me all my life!
Doubt and indecision!
Yoda said "Do or not Do, there is no try".  
In the end I have resolved that the greatest loss is not the bike, but the time I spent procrastinating, deliberating, doubting, grasping and fearing… and so I say goodbye to the bike easily. 

This note is not about a bike, losing the bike is a trivial thing, attachment to an object is a petty thing, people have lost far more precious things, bigger things than things. It's just a reminder for me of my deeper needs. What I truly need to lose.
If only regrets and the 'not doing', 'not Being' could be shed so easily.

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