I never really fell victim to a mid-life crisis. But I get nailed by a mid-year crisis every time.
It's August already! And about half way into it. I'm not sure what happened to the Summer. Or, really, the end of Spring. The last thing I remember, I was waiting for Winter to get over so I could start in on my ever growing list of highway destinations. Without making any conscious comparisons to a few years ago when I went all over the southeast.. or last year's trip to New Hampshire and back.. it still feels like I haven't ridden anywhere this year. Sure, I've gone back and forth to work but that's riding for practical reasons. Commuting. That's not riding for the soul. There have been a few rides here and there within the state. Many of them were to places I had already been but wanted to return to for the sake of doing video or taking pictures. I went on a few rides with the local HOG people but even those rides seemed to be down. Even the ride to the biggest thing I've done all year.. the Smokeout Rally.. was.. okay. The Smokeout itself is always a party but the ride there and back was a little uninspiring. I'm not sure if it was because of the million photography things going through my head on the way up or maybe the exhaustion on the way home when it was done.
So I have to ask myself, "Why the riding funk?" Am I losing interest? Oh, no. That's not it. I want to ride so bad that it almost burns in a non-penicillin curing way. At the end of the Winter, I made out a list of ride destinations. I broke them down into 3 day, 5 day and week-long rides. And I decided that I want to ride all 50 states. I've got a decent start, much of which came from my run to New Hampshire. So it's not that I don't want to ride. All the time. Writing this, I wonder if I've put too much pressure on reaching goals and haven't focused enough on just getting out.
And, of course, there's my effort to launch a photography and writing career that I can use as a vehicle (no pun intended) to allow me to go more places and produce more content. That's been a large amount of work and time. Getting established on social media, learning to make better content, keeping up with Instagram, etc. Even figuring out, specifically, what kind of photos I want to be shooting has taken time and, honestly, I don't have it all figured out yet. Or anything near "all figured out". I certainly don't have paid editorial work lined up. But my effort hasn't gone unrewarded. I've made contact with (and met) some great and talented people. And I've slowly and steadily started to build a following. That's extremely encouraging. It's an honor to think that what I'm doing is interesting enough to earn a place in someone's day. It's humbling. Honestly, the "people factor" has been the highlight. And there's the big cash! I've made a whole $24.75 off of my work.. this year. Not counting taxes. Or expenses. But it's not nothin'. It's also not riding. On the contrary, it might be another factor in why my wind time is down. That wasn't in the plan.
It's August already. And I feel the need for speed, as they say. Or at least mileage. I still have a few options up my sleeve and a few more months to get it done. I'd still like to ride to Texas for BBQ. I haven't been to Kentucky yet. I've still got time for the Charleston (SC) to Charleston (WV) in a day ride. And I've been wanting to go to Key West since last November. I guess there's still time. The roads are still there. Once you get past what you haven't done and start looking at what you can still do, it's not that bad.
But next year... next year's gonna be insane!