I had a epiphany a few weeks ago. Something clicked in my brain and now everything makes sense.
Sometimes all it takes is a simple piece of dog shit….
Let me start from the beginning.
When I first moved to Sydney I made the decision I would ride to work. I hadn’t ridden a pushy since I was a teenager.
‘Where in the hell would you go to buy a pushy on the cheap?’ I thought to myself.
I ended up at Kmart, standing all dazed and confused in the biking section. I eventually picked one that looked like my childhood bike santa had gotten me for Christmas, when I was Thirteen. As I looked the two wheeled contraption over, I started to have flashbacks; riding around the streets until dark, pretending my bike was a horse named Artex. I would pat the handle bars with one hand and go ‘woooahhhh slow down boy’ as I squeezed the brakes with the other.
You might say I was a late bloomer.
This bike was a hundred bucks on special, had fifteen gears and spiffy blue writing on the sleek black frame. It was a classic girls bike shape, with the long V and higher set handle bars. I still have no idea how those people ride actual road bikes, their bodies all hunched over and face low towards the front. I’m more of a ‘Mary Poppins’ bike rider kind of girl. Plus, with my accident proneness, I wanted my face as far from the ground as possible.
Two years on that that little hundred dollar investment gets used five days a week.
She has a few chinks, makes weird clicking noises and I can’t use gears four to nine, but she has character! Character in my world is generally code for ‘I’m being a tight arse and won’t pay for it to be fixed’.
Her names Artex II.
So, I’m riding Artex II home from work, not hard, just pottering along, thinking of all the things I have to do when I get home. Up ahead in the distance, I spot a brown shimmering mound on the footpath.
Yes I ride on the foot path…Sydney drivers are scary.
The mystical shimmering mound gets closer as I approach, ‘Holey Shit fuck’, my brain finally registers, ‘that’s a big dirty turd!’
I’m heading straight for it.
Now, a person with more co-ordination than me, could easily dodge this poo. I once watched a work mate of mine dodge every leaf on the path in the middle of Autumn. If only I had his level of skill and agility right now.
Let me paint you a better picture; imagine a sack of potatoes, piggybacking another sack of potatoes and that’s me riding a bike.
It’s like Titanic all over again, ‘Iceberg, dead ahead!’ My feeble attempts to dodge the poo come all too late as my front AND back tyres sledge through the thick, black pile of shit. That tangy unmistakable smell cuts through the air instantly, it’s definitely dog shit, it’s got Jack Russel written all over it.
Artex II comes to a halt, I swing my leg over the saddle as I climb down to commence an inspection. I look back at the turd in shock, about ten feet away. The shit has got a perfect line through the middle, as if Moses had parted it himself.
I look at my tyres, they have a perfect patch of shit on each one.
“Fucking hell” I mutter out loud.
I go looking for a stick to scrap the excess shit off and I find a half decent twig in the nearest patch of grass.
‘I could be at home playing my ukulele right now, but noooooo, I’m here scraping chunks of faeces off my tyres’ I think to myself. ‘Jesus lord help me, it really has nestled its way deep into the grooves…is that, is that a pea in there?’
I manage to get the chucks off so they don’t flick back into me while I’m riding. I saddle back up and begin the journey home.
This is when the thoughts start happening.
Five Kilometres to go.
I’m frustrated as hell with the slight aroma of poo now on my hands. You really do just have to be near it for the stench to cling to your skin.
‘Who the fuck leaves a big pile of shit on the concrete path?’
‘Like, at least move it off the path, what sort of a shit human being would you have to be….?’
‘I hate humans, if I find this person…I will yell so hard’.
Four Kilometres to go.
I ride past a small Asian women walking her little dog. I can’t help the thoughts that immediately pool into my brain.
‘I bet it was you leaving your dog turds there wasn’t it you lil bitch.’
‘I will find where you live and chuck a crap on y0ur doorstep…’
‘I hope you receive karma and step in a big nard on your walk’.
Three Kilometres to go.
Fucken beauty, the wind has changed directions and now I’m riding into a slight headwind, which makes the smell eighty times worse.
It’s like the wind is gently picking up the particles of crap and cradling them ever so gently past my nose and through my hair.
‘Great, now I’m gunna have to wash my hair and it’s not even due for a wash. So. Annoying.’
Two Kilometres to go.
I’m really working myself up now. Thinking of how much time I have just wasted and how much extra work I’ll now have to do when I get home, cleaning this dog shit off.
I keep analysing how a person can literally watch their dog take a turd on a footpath and then walk away. It makes me so frustrated to think about.
I curse my slow reflexes and deem myself a turd queen, destined to rule the land of the never ending nuggets forever.
One Kilometre to go.
I just cant wait to get home and sort this turd out. Show him who’s boss.
I think about the stuffing around I’ll have to do with the garden hose and I’ll probably get wet. Gahhhhh.
‘Life, why you do this to me!?’
The hose is already set up and the shit that’s left on the tyres actually comes off pretty easily.
I have a big old whinge to Daniel about how crappy the ride home was and I go have a shower.
As I wash my hair I reflect back on what happened. Really I only lost fifteen minutes through the whole ordeal and the whole ride home I chose to think shitty thoughts.
I finally come to the realisation that the shittiest thing that happened on the ride home was the thoughts going through my own head.
Yes some turd burglar left his dogs poo on the path. Yes I rode through it. But if I had of just gotten on with life and stopped dwelling on it, I would have been better off. Thinking all those negative things did me no favour and didn’t change a damn thing. It just made me a shittier, unhappier and more frustrated person.
I have tried to find a way to write this with grace, but this is literally it….
No matter what happens in life, you literally choose how you feel about it.
Of course you’re gunna be a bit dirty if something shitty happens, but feeling angry about it just makes it worse. Better to accept what has happened and focus on the positives. I never actually realized until that moment just how negative I feel about things, and how that in turn negatively effects me.
We all do it, probably without even realising it. Talking about a crappy day at work, telling a story of something shit someone did or even just cursing the traffic for being bad.
Since then I have been more conscious about focusing on the positives and it has done nothing but make me happier. Sometimes this proves to be incredibly difficult, but in general, I now actively think, before I think. Before my mind wanders back into the land of dirty poo nuggets where I am the Queen, I stop and focus on something good.
It’s hard, but why not give it a try yourself!?
Pull yourself up when the negative thoughts creep in, it will make you happier guaranteed.