Building My Toolkit, One Mishap at a Time

Photo by Pixabay on

I decided to multitask yesterday: blogging while spinning—spinning on a bike, that is, not spinning thread. (Although that’s something I really want to try one day.)

It went better than expected, only going off the rails when my knuckle tapped the touchpad, which clicked … I don’t even know. But it took me to a different page and my post was lost. (Saving draft right now before I forget!)

Questioning why I would use a laptop while on a spin bike makes a lot of sense. More sense than using a laptop on a spin bike, for sure.

But I was desperate, see? I was desperate for the sense of accomplishment and the stress relief that both activities provide. With two kids—one eight and one almost three—time is scarce, so I grabbed my toddler’s nap, hopped on my bike, propped my laptop on the edge of the bed frame (which I usually find to be annoyingly close to the bike) and got to work. I took advantage of that 40 minutes of semi-freedom and wrote-spun the hell out of it.

…for the first ten minutes. And then catastrophe struck in the form of an errant knuckle on my right hand.

Taking it as a sign that spinning and blogging are really not activities that ought to be performed simultaneously, I put my laptop aside and fired up YouTube on my iPad Mini to watch John Oliver’s latest.

Perhaps that was not the best idea, either.

PSA: When you’re already out of breath from spinning, watching a video bound to make you ugly cry is not advisable.

Sure enough, at about the ten-minute mark, I found myself trying to spin through the kind of desperate, gasping cry that you only make when it feels like your world is falling apart.

And so I stopped pedaling and let the tears fall as a doctor in New York talked of a world where refrigerated trucks are used as mortuaries. A world where, Oliver let us know, skating rinks are used for the same purpose. That world which is my world which is the only world we’ve got.

The desperate crying only lasted a few minutes. I managed to gather myself and spin for another ten minutes. I pushed harder than I have in a long time, and I sweat my sadness, fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, and all those other messy emotions out. A little bit of them at least.

And then, I felt like I could face the world without crying. Or at least, I could face my kids, which are pretty much my entire world these days.

It’s going to happen again: The being overwhelmed. The ugly, desperate, gasping crying. The feeling that the world is falling apart.

But I’m working on my toolkit, the one that helps me get through it. Writing, spinning, cuddling with the kids, eating too much chocolate, sometimes doing several of those things at the same time.

I hope you’re discovering new tools to help you get through it, too.

Just, maybe don’t exercise while blogging…

Published by helenkamakura

Helen is a Canadian writer and innkeeper based in Kamakura, Japan, where she lives with her Japanese husband and two children. If money became obsolete, she would happily accept peaches, fresh peas, and sun-warmed cherry tomatoes in exchange for her labour.

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