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Themes for 2014: Reflection, Mindfulness, and Biking to Work

In addition to my 2014 goals, I decided to have some themes for this year. Themes are the new black.

Reflection

During the past two years while I’ve been in school (in addition to working full-time at a job that requires lots of brain work), something I’ve had precious little of has been time. I’ve worked deadline to deadline at breakneck speed and when I had a break from classes (like Christmas or this past August), the last thing I wanted to be thinking about was, well, anything. But the thing is, stopping to reflect on the stuff you learn helps you retain it. At least I think I learned that somewhere, but I didn’t stop to reflect on it, so I might be retaining it wrong. At any rate, in 2014 I want to spend more time in reflection.

Mindfulness

"Mindful meditation has been discovered to..." [@dailyshoot #ds673]My sister has recently been immersing herself in the research surrounding mindfulness, which is about being aware and attentive to the present moment, noticing your thoughts and experiences in a non-judgemental way1. Since my sister and I talk all the time, this means that *I* am becoming versed in the science of mindfulness. I’m already a proponent of mindful eating and I’d like to spend time in 2014 being more mindful in other aspects of my life2.

Riding My Bike to Work

Ever since I moved to my new office, I’ve had grand plans  to start biking to work. It’s a good biking distance from my home – 7.5 km – and my office building has a locked room in the parkade in which to lock your bike and there are showers at the office gym. I have a sweet bike that I really like. I did a test run on a weekend day back in the summer and the bike paths to get from my place to work are reasonable, though would be a bit dark in places if you went before sun up or after sundown, and it doesn’t take that much longer than when I drive or Skytrain3. So a lot of the pieces are in place, but I still haven’t quite managed to actually bike to work yet. Excuses include: I don’t have a rack and pannier to carry my stuff4, I don’t have proper rain gear, and it’s too dark in the morning when I go to work and in the evening when I go home. Well, it’s time for me to do something about the first two excuses – and the last excuse is fixing itself day by day. For Christmas, my mom gave me money for a pannier and Sarah & Dave gave me money for sports-related paraphernalia as well, so I need only get off my butt and head to the store to purchase the gear I need to make biking to work a reality! It’s still a little too dark out in the morning when I go to work, but the days are getting longer now, so I’m confident that I can get going on this one soon.

So, there you have it folks, three themes for the new year. I’ll be sure to report back on how I do with these!

Image Credits:

Footnotes:

  1. Please correct me if I’m wrong on that. []
  2. And, yes, I do realize that my first theme is about looking back and the second one is about being in the moment. And, now that I think about it, setting goals is all about looking forward. But I don’t think that’s a problem – it’s all about finding balance. []
  3. Driving/Skytraining is about 20 minutes door to door, whereas biking is about 35 mins. But if I think of it as getting 35 mins of exercise for only 15 minutes of extra time beyond my less active forms of commuting, it’s a pretty good deal. []
  4. And when I started looking at them I got overwhelmed by trying to decide what to buy (thanks, decision fatigue!) and ended up not buying anything! []

5 Responses to Themes for 2014: Reflection, Mindfulness, and Biking to Work

  1. eileen nixon says:

    I am retired…. thinking about mindfulness…. has actually blown my mind….lol
    I have to eat something and take a nap……lol I will call your mom and see if she wants drinks…. so we can discuss the mindfulness…take care and enjoy

  2. I actually feel safer cycling in the dark, with lots of lights, than I do in twilight or just on a rainy or overcast day in full daylight. I have flashing lights on the front and back of the bike, on my helmet, and hanging off a little loop on the back of my jacket, plus non-flashing lights in my spokes, and reflective strips all over me. It sounds counterintuitive, but being a mobile Christmas tree in full darkness is pretty much the most visible you can be! Good luck with all your goals 🙂

  3. Cool blog! I wish I could bike to work. The big challenge is the lack of facilities at work. Looks like you have a great plan. Good luck!

  4. Beth says:

    @Cath – Clearly I need to pick up more lights and reflectors when I get my rack and pannier!

    @Alan – Thanks!

  5. Rick says:

    Themes are totes the new black.

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