Personal Finance column: Motivation can change on a dime
We looked at the weather app and saw a three-hour window to get our bike ride in with only a 20% chance of rain. With the early summer weather being less than conducive for weekend riding, we enthusiastically grabbed the opportunity. Exercise, enjoying the beautiful day, some time at Strawberry Days, running into friends all sounded like good motivation to get out on our bikes.
Enjoying the ride
Mark and I geared up and headed toward Glenwood Canyon, knowing we would have to turn around where the Colorado was up and over the bike path. A light sprinkle greeted us at Grizzly Creek, refreshing as we pressed on up toward Shoshone. Rain clouds and blue moved quickly across the sky. We stopped to look at familiar boating territory raging with this season’s snow melt. We watched a hard-working marmot with a mouth full of nest fodder. A guiding mantra in my life is: “It’s what you make of the journey, not the destination.” Yes, we were getting exercise, but really enjoying the ride.
Coming back towards town, a sheet of rain was visibly coming up through the canyon, and we were headed straight toward it. Should we turn around and hold up at the Grizzly rest stop? Will it dissipate before we get to it? Questions ran through my head to discern a decision as I pedaled. I was ahead, and I thought, “Maybe it won’t be too rough; let’s press on.”
As the downpour started, we rode on alongside the kayakers in the water. I thought, “Well, a little more water doesn’t matter much to them.” The cold pellets of water hit hard. While my sunglasses protected my eyes, my vision was blurred as water covered the lenses.
We decided to take refuge. Jumping off the path, we carried the bikes and traipsed through the mud to get under the l-70 overhang. The wall of water subsided in about seven minutes, and the sun followed. We spent a few minutes walking through some big puddles to get the mud off our shoes and bikes.
I peeled a wet layer of clothing off, and we headed towards town enjoying the warmth of the sun. Stomachs growling, we were anticipating some well-earned “fair food” as we got close to Sayre Park. Then we looked west. We pulled out the weather app, and the rain potential had increased to 40%. The ominous black clouds were making their way towards town. I did not see any sun peeking through them.
After what we had just experienced in the canyon, we decided to head towards home, knowing it would take another half hour to get up valley.
My motivation for the ride had changed. What started out as enjoying the beauty of this place we call home, getting some exercise, spending time with my husband and savoring fun food, shifted dramatically. Now, I wanted to get home, to the safety of a roof over my head before we got drenched to the bone. I didn’t want to ride and deal with dangerous conditions.
The wind picked up as a strong headwind instead of tailwind. The bike path was wet from a previous downpour. We rode hard. My husband is a stronger rider, and I pushed myself to keep up. Occasionally looking over to the west, the whole sky was consumed with dark, pregnant clouds.
We pulled into our driveway, put the bikes away in the garage, and before I could pour a glass of water, to ebb my thirst, the hail storm started. Followed by about a half hour of hard rain and wind, I was so grateful to be home.
What motivates you?
Can you see the analogies of my changing motivation on this simple bike ride to your financial journey heading toward or into retirement? What is your motivation for looking at the tools, techniques and temperaments that you will utilize during your fall season of life? What joys do you want to experience? What clouds do you see on the horizon that may impact your experience? What do you want to do to navigate the terrain as best possible, knowing there are things both within and outside of your control?
Danielle Howard is a CFP® and CKA® with Wealth By Design LLC in Basalt. Check out her retirement podcasts and blogs at daniellehoward4u.com.
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