Monday, November 17, 2014

Shorts to the forts, jeans to the teens

I've had this post drafted for a while but didn't quite piece it all together until my brisk bike ride into work this morning when I coined my new bike attire mantra (possibly spawned by the freezing of a majority of my brain cells).  Originally inspired by a Mr Money Mustache post on necessity, I struggled to really classify any of the applicable things in my life to the term when drafting the post as it's not like I have to go out and hunt for my food or scrounge for things to build a shelter out of.  That said, necessity is an interesting term in today's society, usually brought on by personal choices leading to mounting debt, an expanding waistline, or say a growing family.  It's with this point I realized that even a created necessity like those listed above really captures the intent of MMM's post and criteria of "determination and persistence in the face of difficulty."

It's taken the good part of the past year to not only physically master riding the 11 or so miles from our house to the office but also push myself mentally through fatigue, laziness, and excuses like "it's too cold" or more often here in central Texas "it's too hot."  Obviously this is a created necessity as I own a perfectly functional (most of the time at least) car but it's also driven by a need to cram a workout into already packed days as well as save some gas money to facilitate budget shifts necessitated by our expanded family, a necessity that has driven the financial changes we've made over the past year.

Through the whole process I've been reunited with my love of riding bikes and have also been able to overcome potential stressful situations like not having a functional car (the downside of going for quantity of vehicles over quality) as well as the day that I forgot my keys and ended up "having" to ride 30+ miles. Sure I could have skipped my lunchtime pump track session but thanks to my improved leg and cardio strength I didn't have to and was able to reap all of the benefits of getting out of the office.  Plus I now know I can manage a 22mi round trip commute plus a 10mi lunchtime ride, which I've started doing a few times a month.

Biking isn't the only change in the list of life improvements linked above, my new job (as of a year ago at least) is pretty much characterized by "determination and persistence in the face of difficulty," but I'll spare you the discourse since I already wrote about that here.  Other more mundane and basic things have reaped large rewards as well such as the switching of our cell plan to Ting.  Sure we now have to be cognizant of data usage and there was some extra mucking with settings along with not being able to receive picturemail and group texts from iPhones (which is apparently a big deal to 14yr olds) but we were rewarded with an extra $156/month in our bank account as a result of those "inconveniences".  There's also "cramming" in a Prius, something that required some creativity with 5 people and lots of stuff but again the reward was $300 in monthly fuel savings to be spent on more meaningful things, plus we've come to love our little white driving appliance (as much as I hate to admit it) and it's actually quite comfortable even for a 3800mi road trip.

Anyways, the point is that necessity, whether created or not, can actually be a positive when approached as an opportunity for growth.  We can view our circumstances as a means for complaint or get up and do something about them.  As Mr Money Mustache so eloquently stated  "Plunge in over your head and do something you’re not quite ready for. With the right attitude, you can only come out ahead."

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