I’m sitting in a café in Manchester, waiting to go to a meeting to discuss a piece of work that consumed me for a month but failed to please the client. I know this will not be a pleasant meeting. I feel ready for a break.
When we’re on the road, away from ‘normal’ life, people often stop and ask us why do we do it; why push bikes over mountain passes, sleep out in scrubland, pedal around the world on ‘pointless’ family challenges. Sometimes I wonder myself.
But sitting waiting for my verbal clobbering, downing a quick coffee and croissant outside a dirty café on a fume filled city street, watching everyone rushing around their worlds of work, I’m more inclined to wonder why we do that.
Why do we do this?
Why do we spend so much of our lives getting up, going to work, putting up with pointless jobs and stupid bosses; downplaying stress, ignoring pollution, excusing rudeness; telling ourselves we need the money, the car, the clothes, the phone, the nights out; kidding ourselves we’ve got a good job, we’re going places, we’re going to make a difference, that it will all be worth it in the end; living on autopilot and thinking that is how life is, who we are, what we are. Why do we spend so much time living a life of habit?
Back to basics
You see it’s not a pointless challenge to take time out, push bikes uphill and sleep in the scrub. Taking to the road challenges the mindless routines that have a habit of creeping back into everyday living. When you live a life of habit, life loses its edge and you lose yours. Our ‘pointless’ journeys take us back to basics, remind us of the easily forgotten, underlying simplicity of life; what we need is food, water, shelter, health, family and friends; everything else is fluff.
But not quite yet
But I’m not in that world, not yet. Not this week. Coffee and croissant finished. Got to get on. Meeting to get to. People to see. Things to do. Lots of things. Important things. Naturally. Busy. Busy. Busy me. Simplicity will have to wait. Until next week.