Fat Lady on a Bike: My Journey to Peace and Fitness

Join me and my wonderful Electra Townie bike on my continuing journey to inner peace and both inner and outer fitness.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Life with Lydia

Recently, I got a Droid phone, which I have been enjoying immensely.  One of the best things is the navigation feature of Google Maps and the associated programs that locate coffee shops, places of interest, etc. near where you are travelling.  Last month we put it through its paces on a road trip down to Virginia, and really enjoyed it, so much so that we felt moved to name the calm, female voice of the program, and the name we decided on was Lydia.

Lydia is a near perfect companion.  She is never ruffled, never loses her temper, and is immediately responsive to changes in the route.  Unlike some GPS units we've experienced, she is very willing to follow your lead if you ignore one of her instructions and come up with the route you had in mind rather than the one she had worked out for you.  Without losing a beat, she tells you the next thing to do along the path you've chosen. 

Yesterday, I persistently ignored her instructions on the way to the house of a friend.  I basically knew how to get there, except for exactly where on the street my friend's house was located.  For once, Lydia's chosen route made no sense to me, so I went my normal way, and at every turn, she very calmly gave me the next instruction to get to her route, which was parallel to the one I was taking, until at last she gave up and went with the flow.  But at no time did she raise her voice or admonish me for not sticking to the plan.

It occurred to me, as this was happening, that what I was experiencing in my relationship with Lydia was a useful life lesson.  I am a planner, in general, and specifically at this moment in my life I am focusing a lot of energy into planning:  my time, my food, my activities.  Only it seems as though every time I decide on something, be it an activity or a schedule or the next food to add, something happens to get in my way and make that decision impossible to follow.  Unfortunately, I don't have Lydia's equanimity and I sometimes do give myself a hard time when thwarted by circumstance.  I would be much better off if I could do as she does and just quickly re-evaluate my situation and adapt to the new route.

I look forward to spending more time with this delightful guide and learning from her worthy example.

A hui hou.


  1. Our GPS lady is named Darlene. She sounds like a hard-drinking, cigarette-smoking middle-aged broad. If you cross her, she says, "Recalculating route" in a ever-so-slightly long-suffering tone (or could I be projecting?) that makes me feel guilty. "I'm sorry!" I tell her. "So sue me!"