“Rather, he found himself inhabiting the vast, empty plateau where most people live, between boredom and contentment.” – Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
In June I rode Ride the Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado. One of my friends on the BTC said after the ride, “I am amazed that we can do something as physical as our riding last week and feel so alive, but then, after spending 6 hours at work, I am so, so drained.”
Obviously “feel so alive” and “I am so, so drained” are not exactly analogous to being content or being bored, but in both cases the two emotions are far, far apart.
I, however, am now in a state of contented boredom. Or maybe it’s bored contentment. Hard to tell which, not that it matters. It’s because I came back from the rides to…..not working, and not really doing anything except hanging around, reading articles on the Internet*, and buying books to put on my pile of books to read.
And eating. For some reason I just can’t stop eating. I think it’s boredom, of the contented type. Fortunately I was in pretty good shape by the end of the two big week-long rides and by this I also mean not carrying too much extra weight. Now, though, I fear that the weight is slowly coming back, and I’m not sure what to do about it. I completely relate to Oscar Wilde when he said, “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation.” I know I should do things that are good for me – stretching, meditation, and brain exercises would be a good start – but it’s easier to just read another Internet article with a bag of chips and some candy bars beside me.
I’m telling myself that it’s okay, I’ve just done a lot of cycling and need to recover, but this excuse will only last so long. Then I’ll have to figure out how to avoid eating so much. I’ll let you know later how that works out.
* Let me tell you about my latest Internet find – Gary Brecher, aka The War Nerd. He’s the most believable writer I’ve come across about war issues, whether Iraq, Crimea, Sudan, Nigeria, you name it. And general Middle East Issues. He writes at PandoDaily. You can find older articles of his here.