I rarely ask myself why. Why do I do the things I do in the manner in which I do them? I enjoy exploring motivations, of analyzing decision making along the way, but rarely do I step back and examine the big picture, the root cause of where I'm at.
Why do I not ask why? Probably because it seems irrelevant to do so. Once I commit to something, the reason why I made that commitment pales in comparison to my dedication to the task at hand. I don't waste cycles pondering the reason why I'm on the path I've chosen when I'm focused on exploring that path through to the end.
Today is a little different. Today I'm pondering why. And I'm going to try to answer, for myself, some questions along those lines.
Why do I run? This is a great question and one without a concrete answer. I haven't raced, at least not seriously, in over a year. So I no longer run to compete, to achieve, or to improve. These days I run mostly because I can. When there is nothing else, no class to get to, no burning need to be at work, no social commitment to fulfill, my first thought becomes lacing up my shoes. Especially on a sunny day, running is my connection to the outdoors, to my youth, to the elements of the earth. I do truly love the act of running, alone or in a group. I have never felt satiated with my running. I don't think I ever will.
Why do I ride? The sad truth is that I don't have time to ride my bike anymore. I haven't even taken the time to get it back in streetworthy condition. This bums me out a fair bit. I wish there were more time in the day to bring this back into my life a little bit. But priorities have to be made and cycling at the moment falls short on that list.
Why Yoga? I've been thinking about this one a lot. I suppose part of the yoga decision is similar to why my father picked dancing to obsess about. I chose yoga because I found it challenging. I chose yoga because I saw tremendous room to improve and explore. Yoga as a box of goodness seemed deeper than any of the endeavors I've indulged in over the first 35 years of my life. Yoga seemed new and ripe and succulent. Yoga connected me to people, to the human spirit, and to sensations in my body which I never knew about or was terrified of in the past. Most importantly, what I found with yoga is that it restores a balance and calm that I need in order to function in the workplace. I can get to this level of calm from running but it takes longer and sometimes when it's cold/wet/miserable outside, yoga is a much shorter conduit to this space. When it's beautiful outside as it has been over the past few weeks here in SD, yoga takes on a slightly reduced role, just as it does when I visit Honolulu.
Why software? This is the toughest question for me. I think I have experience and ability when it comes to database development and software in general, from troubleshooting to design and implementations, I think I am halfway decent. But there is no love, no passion for software, no driving force. Half of the crap posted on facebook these days is aimed at encouraging all of us to "do what you love." I don't follow this advice although I sometimes lament that decision. I do what I have to do in order to pay the bills and because it seems like my dharma to do this type of work. I believe in specialization of labor, I believe that we should make compromises at times to ensure the quality of what we produce or where we spend our time is as high as possible. And yet I often envy those who have chosen to pursue their dreams at all costs, those who can pick up and travel with two week's notice.
Why blog? Writing centers me. It washes over me as if I were still that child, out on a foam board in Kailua bay, bobbing through the 1' surf with my head on my board, daydreaming. Writing slows my thoughts down to a pace I can handle. Writing cleanses me just like yoga, or perhaps just like meditation might do. When I pick the words, they are all safe words. When I decide which thoughts to listen to, it always seems fresh. Writing is my connection to fantasy, to hope, to dreams, and to ridiculousness.