This year, I built a bike.  I finished it in January, and haven't ridden it since!  Snow, early sunsets, knee pain... I come up with a lot of reasons not to commute by bike, though I'm passionate about reducing my carbon footprint

Today (finally) I woke up and decided to ride my bike to do my errands.

I got all bundled up, took my bike out of storage, put on my helmet, and grabbed my handy U-lock... then I tested the key.  It didn't fit.  Waah waahhh... I don't know where my new bike lock keys went, but they sure aren't on my keychain!  Discouraged, I stored my bike back in the garage and started my car. 

I drove halfway down the hill (I live a mile into the Rocky Mountain foothills), feeling bitter that the lovely cloudy day and brittle wildflower husks were passing by so quickly.

Then I remembered a quote from The Urban Homestead, "We're embarrassed to admit that we used to drive to our local ATM, which is only a half mile away... Everything within a mile is an easy walk." Oh, right - the grocery store is only 1 mile from the bottom of the road.  So I parked my car, got out, and started walking.
I felt my lungs and muscles work, smiled and said 'hi' to passer-by, noticed vines entwined in deep tree-bark fissures, faced-off with a rather large magpie... I enjoyed the walk.  Sure, I didn't get to make my maiden bike voyage, but it pays to be flexible with your plans and expectations.

Too often, especially in pursuit of passionate ideals, we can get down on ourselves for 'falling short'.  Too often, when faced with the mountainous task of saving the world, our individual sense of helplessness takes over.  We have to remember to do what we can, when we can, as much as we can - no more, no less.

Sure, I could have walked the whole way.  But I wasn't ready for that, not today.  So instead of dumping the whole notion, thinking, "Well that was a bust!" and defaulting to my gasoline habits, I found a middle way.  Instead of driving 4 miles, I drove 2 miles.  I did what I could - not all, not nothing.  Just enough.

Nob0dy expects you to do it all, except maybe yourself.  Just don't get discouraged and end up doing nothing.  Remember - something is better than nothing, so just do something.  It can be miniscule, hardly worth mentioning:  Anything.   
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