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.
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.
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!
- The Thinker: Royalty free image from Stock Xchng: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1022921
- Candle hosted by Irmeli Aro on Flickr.
- Bike sign: Royalty free image from Stock Xchng: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1401237
- Please correct me if I’m wrong on that. [↩]
- 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. [↩]
- 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. [↩]
- 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! [↩]