Monday, December 7, 2009

WARNING - May Cause Delusions

I haven't ridden my bike in a week. I start to do weird things when I've been off my bike. The last time I was off my bike for longer than a week I signed up for on-line dating. That lasted about 2 weeks (and no dates). Then I was riding again and put all that silliness behind me. I need to get out and ride in the worst way. I'm getting weird again.

There are many reasons why I've been off the bike and I don't think I need to go into them. But right now there have been more important things going on and things that need to be done. Along with the normal holiday things, this is also the busiest time of the year for my little on-line store. I try to prepare for it all year, so that I have plenty of product ready. The Craft Star Bazaar went very well. Sold almost all my scarves. And I introduced a few new items that went over well, and now I've opened a second store.

I've been collecting old bike parts for awhile, and a couple of years ago I started making several items for myself. Mainly key chains, ornaments, magnets and picture frames. I made several key chains, and ornaments for the Bazaar and I sold all of them. So I made some more and opened the second store. So this weekend I was busy turning this...

into this...

My little side business is literally what's feeding me right now. I keep reminding myself it wasn't always like this and it won't be like this forever. The big paycheck is only a couple of weeks away, and then hopefully everything will stabilize again.

So my Saturday was spent making sure I had product for my stores. It was actually very enjoyable. I love doing arts and crafty stuff. I did a lot of crafts when I was a kid and in High School took art classes. It's a side of me that doesn't get a lot of attention, mainly because of the overwhelming bike obsession. Recently through Star Bomb I've gotten to meet several local artists and musicians and have enjoyed getting back in touch with that side of me. Saturday the entire house was dedicated to crafting. I had my craft tables set up in the living room to work on different projects, tubs of yarn were in the TV room for easy access, and the kitchen had turned into a chain cleaning station. I was listening to my version of Christmas music, Handel's Messiah, and Beethoven's 9th, along with some of my favorite music from the early nineties; Indigo Girls, Midnight Oil, L7, U2, and Matthew Sweet (I think I was reliving the summer of '92).

I was having a good ole time, bopping around the house, singing, working on my projects and wishing that I had more than one day to do it. Then I wondered, What if I didn't have to work and I could make enough money doing this? Wouldn't that be great. And since a friend recently challenged us to follow our dreams and ideas with 'it's definitely possible' I let myself imagine the possibility of it. I imagined what it would be like if instead of going off to work for 40 hours a week, I could spend it at home, doing things I love but don't have time for because on top of those 40 hours of work, most of the year I spend an additional 20 on the bike. Not much time for anything else. And what if I could make money doing it?

I thought of all the projects that are in my head, but I just don't have the time to even get started. I'd plant a garden for fresh vegetables, and strawberries. And I'd play the piano (this is my daydream and in it I have enough money for a piano). Because I wouldn't be so constrained by time, I could ride my bike more and wouldn't have to worry about stupid cars that break down. I'd sleep at night, and all the problems I have because of my weird schedule would be gone. It would be less stressful. I'd work on my projects, eat my vegetables, play the piano, ride my bike and have a baby. WTF!!!! My thought exactly. Had no idea where that came from.

Actually I do. I go through this whenever one of my sisters is pregnant. I think about the decisions I've made and wonder if I have any regret for the road not taken. When one of them is pregnant it also seems to remind people that I still haven't settled down. And I start to get the 'when are you going to...' questions. Um... I'm almost 40, if I haven't yet, it's very unlikely that I will. To which I get 'you never know' and 'never say never.' Also my Mom made me go through my box of baby things while I was home. All the special gifts and outfits that she held onto in case we wanted them for our kids. Now that Bethany has her box, mine is the last one. I went through it with her and had a nice walk down memory lane. See my cute first shoes.

And it's hard to tell from the picture, but there's already evidence in the wear pattern of my crooked feet that would cause so many problems when I started cycling.

In the end I put everything back in the box and it went back in the attic.

It's not that I don't like kids or not even that I didn't want them. It boils down to being scared, with my job I have seen everything that can go wrong, and being selfish, I'm not giving up my bike. And also timing. It was never the right time. Several years ago I did start the initial paperwork to adopt, but then decided I needed practice first, hence Izzy. And I sorta failed my practice. Failed? How? Well how many dogs do you know that have needed a psychologist?

Again, my daydream, if I want to throw a kid into it I can. And for a brief moment I thought maybe I could do it on my own. I wouldn't feel guilty about going off to ride my bike if I wasn't going off to work for 40 hours a week. I could make one of those little slingy things and carry it around with me while I worked. I think it's called Attachment Parenting. Which is kind of funny because I think it used to be called taking care of your kid. I was actually starting to think that I might make a good mom, when I noticed two sets of eyes staring, or rather glaring, at me and realized that it was 1 am and no one had eaten since breakfast. I was about 8 hours late with supper.

Okay so I'm not so great at being observant when I'm elbow deep in a project. A project I shouldn't have been elbow deep in. It was about this time I began to feel a burning sensation in my forearms. Chemical burns. I guess I didn't wash off sufficiently after cleaning the chains. That's when I happened to notice the warning label on the degreaser.

This stuff is great, it cleans up the dirtiest of chains. I was soaking them in it then pulling them out and scrubbing them off before washing them in regular detergent and water. And when my hands got really greasy from the dirty parts, I'd just dip them in the soaking solution and rinse them off. Did you notice the part on the label that says HARMFUL IF ABSORBED THROUGH SKIN, and AVOID CONTACT WITH SKIN, and SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION if it does. CAN PRODUCE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DEPRESSION. I'd been using this stuff all day, without gloves, or mask. I was soaking in it and breathing the fumes. I think my brain had gone beyond depressed to completely whacked out. I cleaned myself up and then cleaned up my hazardous materials. Sunday morning I went out and invested in gloves.

I don't know if my delusional thinking had anything to do with the chemicals, but I do know that I have been off my bike way too long if I'm even entertaining such thoughts. Hopefully things will work out soon that I'll get more riding in. And in February when Bethany and Justin have their little Shim (they know but won't tell), I'll get my baby fix, and all this silliness will be behind me.


Metro said...

Yikes I hope you were wearing some long gauntlet type gloves. Let me know if you want some chains. I usually toss a few a week out at the shop I could potentially even get them properly de-greased before they get to you.

The chain crafts look awesome.

Stay warm & dry.


Laura said...

Metro - I'll take any old bike parts you have. I can always use chains, and I'm looking for old Cogs, or cassettes that I can rip apart. Get in touch with me and I'll pay for any shipping to get it to me.