But riding these past several days has reminded me how being out on the bike allows for a lot of introspection. The world passes by much more quickly than while running so there's not as much time to focus on the surroundings. I can think, focus on my workout, focus on pushing myself harder, focus on how I'm feeling. This is all really good stuff when you're and athlete in training. And I realized that I don't feel this when I'm running. At all. It's a bigger world when I'm running. I'm going slower thus making me feel less alone. Maybe this is why I'm not a very good runner. It hurts so bad I can't, or don't want to, focus on how I'm feeling. I just want to be. I just want to get it over with and be done. I'm not saying I don't love running. I do. To me, putting on my shoes, clicking on my iPod shuffle and heading out for a 2 hour run is complete solitude. I create my own world within the one around me.
I realize I may sound contradictory here. But somehow, running creates more solitude for me even though it doesn't allow me to focus as hard on my workout. Cycling brings me in and somehow makes me feel more alone. Maybe it's because I don't have my iPod on. Who knows. And most cyclists would totally disagree I'm sure as cycling is a team sport. So this could go on and on, and a topic for another posting. But where I'm going with all this is that riding made me realize how alone I've been feeling lately. Not sappy, feel bad for me alone, but in all honesty, I do a lot of things alone. And, really, this is ok with me.
Camille and I were at the park the other day. We chose the park at the Lake because it's most shaded. And it's hot! It so happened that the Glen Ellyn New Comers Mom's Group also choose that park that day for their weekly meeting place. I met a woman our first week here who encouraged me to join this group. I thought about it, but decided against it because I really dislike being forced to meet people. I don't like walking into a room not knowing anyone and putting myself out there. It freaks me out. And I have friends and family here who I really enjoy and don't feel the need to meet forced friends with kids.
So all these moms were setting up their snacks and juice boxes for all their kids. They all knew each other and all the kids knew each other. It looked nice. Camille and I headed over to the sandbox and took our shoes off and plopped down. While Camille was digging out and re-filling her "garbage dump" I was watching all the moms and their kids. Most of them had about 3 kids ranging in ages of 1 to 5. The kids were playing and the moms were chatting, occasionally freaking out not knowing where one of their kids were. And it was this that made me realize that I always know where Camille is. She's the only one I have, the only one I will have, so I really focus on her. She doesn't have a sibling to play with at the park so she depends on me. It's a lot of work for me at times, and tiring (thus why we frequently set play-dates at the park). And looking around I realized I was the only mom there with just one child. I'm sure they're out there, but just not at that park that day.
Sometimes I see all these moms with 3 or more kids and think how fun (in a way) it must be to have so many different little personalities around. All these little people discovering and looking up to them for more knowledge and guidance. And then I start to think that yes, perhaps we should have another child. It would be good for us, good for Camille. She'd have a sibling and although still two kids is more work than one, some of the work would be taken care of in terms of playing. I wouldn't have to sit and play Groovy Girls or Play-doh day after day. And then I wonder if those moms look at Camille and I and wonder where my other kids are (because really, this is Glen Ellyn and everyone seems to have 2.8 kids) or do they think, wow, that woman has just one kid. How strange. How unfulfilling.
Then I come back. And remember that we love our life. We love that we have a brilliant, healthy little girl with a vocabulary of a 7 year old. We love that we can play with her a lot and teach her things about the world. We love that we will be able to give her most everything she needs and not have to make as many sacrifices to do so. And we love that vacations will be able to include a little friend for Camille if we so desire, and likely, those two won't be fighting. We chose to have just the one because that's the life we choose to have. We both need that quiet of running or riding our bikes. That solitude and alone time. And that to us, makes us feel more fulfilled than ever.