Being A Unicorn

I apologize for the radio silence. I've been struggling to write the updates in my life over the past few months. Every time I've sat down to type out the words, I end up feeling unsatisfied with what comes out. I think I'm also just mentally and emotionally fried from the estate dealings. I'm very close to closing on the sale of my dad's property. I have a mixture of sadness and relief. There are many emotions surrounding the whole thing, and when the estate business is done, I think I will actually be able to take time to grieve (that is if I'm feeling the need to do so, which for the past year+ I have not allowed myself to really do so.)

A few months ago (before the busy season started up at the shop) I talked with my doctor and decided that I needed more help than CBD, bike riding, or meditation could bring. I'm grateful to her as a friend and patient, as she does believe there is a time and place for everything. I went on medication to help with my anxiety because I knew it was getting out of hand. 

I've always had high anxiety, but there were enough things happening to me on a regular basis to know that it was time. I, thankfully, didn't have horrible side effects- however, I can tell I'm on the medicine. I started on a low-dose and am currently taking half of the original dose. 

I cannot express to you how awesome it is to have a brain that is not traveling at 500 mph. I feel as tho it's been trying to multi-process so hard for so long. I call that "panic brain" and having lived with "panic brain" for so much of the time, to have it be quiet and allow me the time to think and speak without the fear of not being able to get my words out is immense.

I'll be honest, I spent a lot of 2018 in I'm sure, a depressed state for a majority of the time. My anxiety over all of the unknowns that I had to deal with was also very high. I wanted to give myself a break in 2019. If I felt like time was right.

I'm not sure at this point if I'm going to ever go off of the medication. Being on it has given me a good bit to reflect on, and I'm sure I will go off of it in the next few months (towards the slower end of the season at the shop) and see if it's something that I need to incorporate for long-term. I can say with what I've experienced now, I do feel like a different person. I'm still me, but more normal and can process much better. I'm a better me. I'm not as quick to fly into fight or flight mode, which "panic brain" had me go into quite often. I'm less inclined to jump into a "defensive" mode. 

I'm riding my bike more this year than last year, but also riding a bit differently. Even tho I logged onto Strava and started tracking my rides, I'm not as judgemental of my rides. I know I've been hyper-focused on maintaining averages/speed, but this year I'm allowing myself to just ride. Sometimes with purpose and other times for fun...solo or with friends. I feel like I can appreciate the rides more this year.

I've made good use of the handsaw that I took from my dad. It's the only way I'll cut any sort of tree. I've found it to be therapeutic in a way, and I'm also happy to be able to do some trail work that I know I can accomplish. I feel connected to him in a way, because I know he used the hand saw for his own tree-trimming purposes. 

Earlier this year I talked about the decision to pull away from racing, and I have to say that I'm very happy that I've made that call. Again, I'll do Chequamegon this year, but I'm looking forward to biking adventures that are not "race-based." Frankly, I feel like I've just gotten myself to a good place where my body is starting to recover and adapt, plus, I'm just needing a break from the stress and adrenaline that comes from "races." This year and next, #bikelife is strictly for enjoyment and/or trimming limbs and small trees off the trails.

I'm already excited for what next year will bring per #biking adventures, and I can't wait to share them with you! I want to get back to my roots and write more, which brings another change of sorts.
Josie's Bike Life is still in full swing, but the interviews and that format may be changing next year.

I guess blame it on another busy year. I mean, I can't believe how quickly it's flying by and trying to secure interviews months in advance take a lot of time and it creates a good bit of stress. Especially when you have folks on board that ultimately get busy and can't commit. With the interviews, I end up not writing a lot for various reasons. One being I want the person interviewed to have the spotlight, and two, it takes time to curate content- and I spend more time drafting and getting an interview set up than I do with my own writings and reviews.

It's not that interviews will stop, but I can't continue to focus on them being the sole goal of the year. I'm running out of resources and the format isn't what everyone is up to doing (writing). It's also mentally/emotionally tiring to send out messages all over Facebook/Instagram to not get a response at all. I've spent hours upon hours over the years, working to connect with folks, and sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. 

I figure during the winter months would be the perfect opportunity to work on that side of JBL, during the busy season I can go back to writing reviews and general #bikelife thoughts, and during the fall months (when we can travel!) I can write about the places we go and biking adventures!

I've really missed writing, and there are reviews I wish to write on gear that I've been using this year, follow-ups on bikes, and general stuff.
I'm excited to give myself some time to focus on bringing a bit more of "Josie" back to Bike Life.