My secret to mindfulness
For my birthday this year, my sister-in-law bought me a beautiful colouring-in book, the ones that are supposed to help you be mindful. It’s a very affordable way to be mindful: I’m not sure how much the book of gorgeous animals was, but the pencils were a mere $6.
I picked one of the 14 shades of green from my new pencil case and started colouring. Over the lines. I gripped book and pencil and concentrated harder. Still over the lines. Then the pencil end snapped off because I was pressing so hard. A 15-minute search for the sharpener ended in me calling it names. Yes, I could have gone with one of the 13 other greens, but that would have ruined the look. It was intensely annoying. Also, tense.
The truth is, I’ve discovered the only thing that brings me the kind of mindfulness everyone seems to be striving for is when I’m taking part in my new hobby: riding a motorbike. I find great joy in leaning hard around corners through all the back roads I usually avoid in my car.
Owning a motorbike is definitely far more costly than colouring. It seems to be one of those things that is either expensive or really, really expensive. One bonus: motorbike riding is about as injurious as horse-riding but it doesn’t cost as much to gain those injuries, and I don’t need to run out in the rain to feed it hay or fix its cover.
What it does so effectively is remove every other thought from my head. All that’s left is single-minded concentration on the 12 seconds of road ahead of me and all the possible obstacles it would be most affordable to avoid.
If it’s a mild day in June, it’s blood-chillingly cold on a motorbike. I’ve had to invest in my first balaclava – not something I thought I’d ever say – and I’d really like the battery-powered heated gloves I’ve just spotted online, but at $499 that won’t be happening. My budget-conscious heart can only think of how many bales of hay that is and how I’m sure a wool-lining will do the trick.