Now we have been cast into the second COVID-19 lock down frame in Melbourne I am drawing inspiration from the first time this happened in March 2020.
It's amazing how hard things can feel when you can't access some of the things that are so important for you, even when you have access to a great deal. Through this time, as many other have too, I've focused on the many things to be grateful for in the world and life I am living. But I have also been very aware of how important it is for each of us to be there with each other and allow space for feeling the challenge of loss, change and disconnection that so many are experiencing. And I have seen much compassion. We all need each other more than ever right now. Everyone is being challenged in some way.
For me, it's the people, being with people, even strangers that I am missing. I feel very lucky to have a wonderful lockdown buddy. however both of us yearn to be able to be back with the people in each of our lives. For me, friends collaborators, the strangers in the street, people in the shops, and new friends at events, for her the people at work, friends having drinks, and hanging with besties. For both of us the people on dance floors. Luckily we can still dance.
There has been a large amount of time I have been at home with myself. Over both of these lockdown periods, while I haven't been able do many of the things I would like to (and have been feeling somewhat challenged by this) I have decided to ask myself "what can I do with what I have to make things better?". I've found that when you ask yourself this question it's easy to be able to make a positive difference in any space or situation.
So while pondering this question, facing many hours at home with my work, my pantry, my shadows, my brain and my body, I looked around to see what else I had available to me...I noticed the exercise bike I found a couple of months down the road out for hard rubbish collection. At the time it looked like a perfect model for a prototype of the velodesk idea I had come up with a couple of years ago and it worked well, so I took it home.
The velodesk is a concept I designed to be a multi dimensional solution to a multi factorial challenge I have. The contributing factors include the following - I have some of my most productive thinking moments when I'm exercising and I like to read books at the same time I am exercising. Usually books that are thought provoking, perspective shifting or in some way enlightening. Some of the titles that fall into this category are Yuval Harari's '21 lessons for the 21st century, 'The Monk who sold his Ferrari' by Robin Sharma, Johann Hari's 'Lost Connections', 'Flow - The psychology of optimal experience' by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and 'Who Can I Trust' by Rachel Botsman. So I generally only read books when I'm on the bike at the gym. Also, I must also have a pen and paper at the ready in order to capture the thoughts that flow as I am riding, and reading, and thinking. It seems that this scenario is a perfect combination of all of the things, to allow me to be in flow, having an optimal experience. The problem is however that these bikes at the gym are focused on what they think is important, or what they think is important to me - input and options round my exercise, or entertainment in the form of TV. None of which are helpful for reading, writing and thinking so I wanted to design a desk that I can work at while I am exercising. Good for my brain and body at the same time. And for me, this appears to be a sweet spot for all parts of my human. Everything seems to flow when I'm there.
This particular morning when I noticed my recycled stationary bike, I also noticed a small pallet that I had made into a table in my small backyard. About the size of desk...mmm....? What I can do with what I have to make things better? Could it be possible for me to create the physical version of my Velodesk, with what I had around my house? Create something that is not only functional for me right now while I am stuck at home, but also something I've been thinking about creating for years. A prototype? Go the win-win!!! So the challenge began...
Obviously, without being able to go out & get anything due to being in lockdown, it had to be made from things that I already had. Luckily, with my out of the box thinking and what I had learned from watching MacGyver as a kid, there were plenty of opportunities available to me. Necessary considerations were structural stability, height, positioning for the desired function & ease of assembly. I had some basic tools, nails & a desire to make it work, and I did. The Velodesk became a reality.
Is it perfect? No. Is it functional? Absolutely. I can now read, and write and think and work on my computer while exercising. My human is very happy with that. Even more happy with the fact I was able to recycle someone else's hard rubbish, some previously useless pieces of wood and a rotting pallet, and make something with my hands too! So many wins, and it only took a couple of hours.
So if you're ever at home (or anywhere for that matter) affected by negative thoughts and worry, maybe just ask yourself the simple question "What can I do with what I have to make things better?". And then try something. You never know what might happen.