Pedaling out, paddling out

This morning I had great ambitions. Leave the house by 7 a.m., get to work an hour before everyone else, take care of my editing first thing, catch up during a week that has been jam packed with deadlines.

Then: The shirt I put on is too short for the low-rise pants. The cat needs to be fed. Four times. Even without breakfast it takes me a half hour to get out of the house.

I know, tune up the violins, #firstworldproblems. But it continues.

At Metro I realize I forgot my keys and can’t lock my bike, so I ride back home. On the way my bag falls off the back of the bike. With the laptop in it.

I finally get on the train and it is panic-attack crowded. When I decide to treat myself to a coffee at Pret a Manger, to try and turn this day around, all the self-service urns are empty. When I eventually pour a cup, I spill it on my jacket.

Walking down the sidewalk to the office, I go through the litany of calm. No fear, I think. Visualize the third eye. Relax your neck, relax your skull, look at the sky. Be grateful you can afford Metro, a bike, a laptop.

And my favorite: Imagine paddling out into the surf. Feel it in your bones.  Right now, somewhere warm, someone is skimming the surface of the water, slicing through a wave to get out past the break, sitting up on the board and surveying the next set. Today I am paddling out through mass transit and city sidewalks. Another time I will be the one on the board, floating.

Some days, paddling out is easier than others.


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