I woke up this morning not feeling like cycling. I knew I had to because it’s been a Sunday  morning tradition for me for a while but today was one of those mornings; you know, the one’s where you lie in bed trying to negotiate with yourself about doing the things that you know you have to do. Looking for every excuse not to get up. This morning was one of those and I must say I was quite impressed with some of the excuses i came up with. From the possibility of torrential rain (Walvis Bay is In the desert) to the possibility of an attack by a wandering Cheetah (there has never been such an attack here). GET UP MICHAEL, you know better than this – my mind roars, winning the argument. I swing my feet over the side of the bed and head for the kitchen to start with my pre-cycling routine.

Three steps in, i detour to the kitchen. There was no way i was going on this bike ride without a cup of coffee, i say to myself, as i prepare my coffee and proceed to down it standing by the kitchen counter. No. I am not ashamed to say it. I even read somewhere a cup of coffee before a ride is good…i think. Something like that. It doesn’t matter now, the coffee cup is empty.

As I mount my bike I smile at the lovely weather, quietly congratulating myself for overcoming my initial reluctance to cycle. I pedal a bit harder.

One of the things I love about cycling especially in Walvis Bay is the fact that it gives me the opportunity to clear my mind. Some of my most important decisions have been taken while on my bike. Maybe its the feel of the crisp sea breeze on my face or the vastness of the desert spread out in front of me that seems to bring clarity and perspective to whatever troubles me.

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to life and living. What is important to me and what is not. The one thing that this pandemic has done is give me the opportunity for some introspection. To reevaluate my life and ask myself some very serious questions. One of which might seem very obvious; am I really happy? What is happiness to me? This is such a simple question but very few people really delve into it and really answer it honestly, even to themselves. It stands to reason that if you do not know what makes you really happy, how would you know how to go about seeking it. I must admit, i use to be one of such people.

For years i avoided really dealing with that but thankfully that changed. Albeit slowly. The change gathered momentum over the past 18 months and i was finally able to ask myself that question honestly; without shame, What makes Michael happy? The answer has been shocking in so many ways and not so shocking in other ways. Maybe its because of the slow realization over the past 2 years or so that the things i use to consider important didn’t really mean that much to me anymore and that what i needed in my relationships now is very different from just a few years ago.