Outer Child

Symonds Yat - Feb 2012

Sitting on the same train that transported me to my old place of work – some five months after getting the hell out of there, yet it feels both the same and different. It’s an hour later for a start which reminds me why I stopped travelling at bloody stupid o’clock to do something I didn’t enjoy.

Walking out of salaried employment is always quite exciting. No less so even when it’s your third attempt at naming yourself the boss, and pretending you might be better at it. While that is in doubt, I am certainly significantly more motivated, harder working and extremely focussed on what’s important.

Working for yourself follows a standard risk/reward model – the highs are higher and the lows lower. Good days are really good, days when the entire support structure is two people and it’s all gone to rat poo remind you why this isn’t for everyone. We’re well into the reward side right now but it’s not been without rocky patches and I’m sure there are more to come.

Which beats stumbling out of bed at 5am wondering what the hell the point was. By some distance.

Some things haven’t changed. The monday blues has turned my travelling companions grey. This carriage is full of tiredness, apathy and grump except for one lucky fella who understands that growing old and growing up are simply kept separate through the application of silly.

Yesterday, with two riding pals of a similar vintage, we were giving the steep and loose start of a rocky trail a damn hard look* before it was announced this pathway to pain went by the name of “Two Headed Sexy Beast“.

I’ve heard people drone on that their children keep them young. That’s just not right; being a child keeps you young and if that means falling about laughing when the dog farts or giggling at trail names, I’m right in touch with my inner child. In fact I’ve entirely avoided the normal middle aged ‘second childhood‘ by entirely failing to grow out of my first.

Oh sure when presenting my business face, I’m as serious and professional as the next clone because one of the childish things I have given up is believing money grows on trees**. But even then, an inner conflict rages over whether to crack a joke or pull a silly face to make some other innocent laugh.

I honestly thought as I slithered up the greasy pole, this self destructive trait would slink away from my character taking humour, risk and childishness with it. Not at all, I expect to still be chortling at bum jokes as a dribbling octogenarian.

Until then riding will fill the void of boy-playing-outside glee. Especially if the trails remains tacky and super grippy, the sun continues to shine and beer is served without ginger at the end of the day.Because while there are frowning faces all around me this morning, I’m still carving perfect turns on drifty dirt laughing my absolute whatsits off.

It’s that kind of thing, plus what I wrote last time about family that are important. That’s what makes the difference between you and the next guy staring into his laptop screen. I like being good at what I do for a living, I like it more when other people are happy to pay me for it. But – and for 99{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} of us I believe this holds true – it’s merely a filler between more fun stuff.

This is a busy week and I won’t see much of my family to the bike until Saturday. Which gives me something rather excellent to look forward to.

* before running away as befitting men of our advanced years. There’s being silly and being suicidal.

** not something yet grasped by my own children.

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