“It’s just like riding a bike.” How many times have we heard this go-to phrase of comparison before? It is certainly one that people love to throw around, but I wonder how much thought–if any–has been given to the actual meaning behind it.
I was watching my daughter ride around on her bike yesterday (mind you, she’s still using training wheels), and it reminded me of a bike riding experience I had with my family several years ago. Yes, it may sound very odd that I would remember such a normal activity, but it’s the lesson I learned that has stuck with me that leads me to think back on it every now and then.
At the time, I had not ridden a bike in probably ten years. Yes, I had taken spin classes during that window of time, but stationary bikes don’t count considering their nonexistent learning curve. When I first got on, I distinctly remember thinking I was the exception to the belief that a skill once learned is never forgotten. It took me a minute to get my two-wheel bearings, and it didn’t help that I could barely touch the ground. Nonetheless, the phrase was true for me, and within minutes, I was cruising around the neighborhood with my sister.
The “Just like riding a bike” phrase reflects the idea of never forgetting how to do something once you learn it. But what about the process that it takes to get to that point where you can’t forget something? So often I find myself at the “like riding a bike” step, and I realize that I can’t remember how I got there. You don’t start off on a two wheeler, just like you don’t stand on top of the mountain of success without climbing it. You start at the bottom, work your way up, experience skinned knees and feelings of defeat, but eventually, with practice and persistence, you progress. However, the minute that we reach that “next level”, rarely do we look back on the moments that took us from where we were, to our current reality. We are so quick to forget, and we lose amazing value with the experience.
Like many entrepreneurs, I set the bar for myself very high; sometimes so high that it seems nearly impossible to reach. I constantly keep my focus on the end result, and because of this, I can become blind to everything that is happening along the way (thankfully, I am a very self aware person, and I know that I need to always be working on this). My number one piece of advice to help be present and enjoy the process is to blend, not balance.
As a mompreneur, my work is my life and my life is my work. I blend as many areas of my worlds as possible. End of story. You have to decide what is important, and then figure out ways to bring it all together. I constantly forget that I am technically “working” all of the time, and this is the ideal situation. Taking time yesterday to be with Skylar outside, watching her happily ride around is a perfect example of this. My family, and my mental health and well being are priorities to me. But to be able to group these things like this together is perfect–remember, work-life blending. Not only did this time watching Skylar remind me of a life perspective that I first realized several years, but it also resulted in a blog post. Win. Win. Win.
Remember that even the most simple activities–like riding a bike–can bring to life some profound truths. Keep an eye out for these. And don’t wait until you get to the “like riding a bike” phase before you stop and enjoy the process it takes to learn a new skill.