The Mountain Bike Life

Lately it seems I’ve had no time to ride, no time for myself…and that makes me crazy. I haven’t been on the bike in a while, actually I am not sure when I was on the bike last. I think it was a few weeks ago in the Albany Pinebush. It’s January and much of the capital region of upstate NY is covered in snow and ice. The polar vortex has handed us some seriously cold weather. It’s 6 degrees F outside right now but it feels like -10. Is that why I haven’t ridden? Yeah it’s cold but I think with the right kit it would be bearable. I’ve got studded tires and have ridden during the winter in previous years. No, that’s not it. I don’t feel like I am doing much. Well then where does all my time go?

My last ride was at the Albany Pinebush was on Dec. 24th

It turns out I am actually pretty busy. I wanted to see where my time was going, must be the engineer in me. What I really wanted to know was am I wasting time that could be better spent elsewhere. I took a look at the last few months and here’s what I came up with…

  • I am married with two kids and a small dog
  • I own a house
  • I work
  • I write for this blog
  • We just came through the holidays

Wait that’s not a very big list. Now I feel like an idiot…or maybe not…let’s dig a little deeper.

Date night! My wife and I at her holiday party.

Married with Children

Anyone with children can understand how much of a timesuck they can be. I’m kidding, I love my kids but they do take up a substantial amount of our time. My wife and I both work so some nights it’s just me or it’s just her. Also neither of us want to burden each other with having the kids by themselves so we keep our nights off to a minimum. I have two girls, one 5 and one 10, so they are somewhat self sufficient but still need guidance. School for them here in Delmar doesn’t start until 9a so because my schedule is more flexible, I help get them ready most mornings and almost always get them onto the bus. They are both in a dance class and a drama class, my oldest is also in competition dance as well as Girl Scouts. They both have homework most nights. They both need to be fed, clothes and bodies need washing, bedtime routines…you get where I’m going. Time consuming yes, a waste of time…not at all, that’s what I signed up for. So I can’t cut any time from here…moving on.

Build all the Lego sets they said, it’ll be fun they said…the dog’s expression says it all.

Pets

I didn’t really want a dog, but everyone else in the house did. It’s not that I don’t like dogs but I just know how much work they can be. I love dogs, I just don’t want to take care of them. Well we got him and I am the one who picks up the poop, takes him for walks, almost always takes him out every morning at 3am or 4am or 5am. Thankfully the girls do help feeding and playing with him and my wife usually takes him to the groomers so maybe I’ve got some wiggle room here.

Our Maltipoo Bo a.k.a. Boseph a.k.a Bosito a.k.a No Bo, bad dog

The Money Pit

Well not really but it does require my time to keep it up. Whether it’s yardwork, home improvement or clearing snow. And on the inside there’s plenty to do too like doing dishes, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, etc. This is a good chunk of my time, its all got to get done but maybe I could squeeze a little time from here.

Working my 9 to 5 and Then Some

I didn’t realize this till just now but my job takes up a lot of my personal time. In order for my company to be competitive in today’s fuel cell market we’ve got to be efficient and right now that means fewer people to do more of the work. Finding ways to do things more efficiently is always at the top of my list. Leveraging computer hardware and software is one way I can have a bigger impact on our bottom line. But sometimes it’s just longer hours that get it done. Also because I put the girls on the bus late, many times I have to bring home work just to stay on top of things and get in my 40 hours. Usually this means getting on the computer after the girls go to bed at 9p and then I am on till probably 12a or sometimes later. Working smarter not harder has always been my motto but sometimes it’s just not possible.

Living the mountain bike life. Note the coffee and water…stay hydrated and caffeinated.

Contributing to “The Mountain Bike Life”

This is one of the things I do that is therapeutic for me but sometimes suffers because of my busy schedule. In reality, I spend maybe two to three hours every two weeks writing a blog post. I realized that my mood and state of mind has a lot to do with how I write or don’t write. In the past I have found myself putting this writing off because I just was not in the right frame of mind. Just too much going on with the kids vying for attention, the dog barking, trying to get through dinner, and then bedtime. Sometimes after that I am so wiped I just veg out on the couch and check out social media. Sometimes this helps get me in the writing mood but often its just another timesuck. No offense to all my Google+, facebook and twitter peeps, I always love to hear about what you’re doing, I just have to be more efficient with when I do it.

Did this during lunch today, modeled in Pro/ENGINEER and rendered in Keyshot Pro.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We just all came through the holidays. For us we’ve always got lots going on. My wife’s family lives here in the Albany area and my family lives on Long Island so we’re always traveling during the holidays. Also getting prepared for the holidays takes time, setting up decorations and then taking them down afterwards. We always like to have friends over too during this time which is work but we really enjoy it so not really, but it does take time away from other things. Not much I can do about that.

So what am I to do? I can’t ditch my family. My wife and I need time together, my kids need me involved and present in their lives and the dog is here to stay. Can’t neglect my house or my job, if I lose either of those finding time to ride will be the least of my worries. Maybe I just need to set a specific time in which to do the things I like? Maybe I have to move writing TMTBL posts to lunchtimes at work or early in the morning before everyone gets up? Maybe I have to say no to working from home and go out on that night ride after all? I also think the end of the year is just bad timing, there is just lots going on for everybody and there’s no getting around that. I am going to try and change things up a little over the next few months and see what works and what doesn’t. I think that there is time to do everything I want to…within reason and that I just need to figure out how to make it happen.

How do you handle making time for yourself and other things going on in your life? Got any life hacks you’d like to share? Post a comment below and let me know…I could use the help.

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