I don’t remember learning to ride a bike, but I do know how to ride one. I remember spending a lot of time circling our neighborhood with my friend as a kid. It was a special kind of feeling so be so free flying around on two wheels. I remember the joy in helping my children and grandchildren learn to ride. I watched them experience that first sense of freedom. Throughout my life I have owned bikes from time to time. It is true, you know-you never forgot how to ride a bike. In fact, there is a well-known cliché that says, “It’s just like riding a bike.”
This morning I walked into the office building where I worked until last September. It had been a huge part of my life for a very long time. I am going to be working there again part time. I saw a few old faces as I entered the building. One of the women and I joked about the elevator that seems to have a mind of its own. I made my way to my office area and walked in to a truly familiar setting. Honestly, I have been a little nervous about coming back. I wondered if I would remember everything. I made my way to the desk and logged into the appropriate software for the different systems. I sat back and was ready to go. The Executive Director walked by and said, “It’s so good to see you here again. Sorry I have to run but I have a meeting. Love you.” I laughed as I replied, “Nice to see nothing has changed.” Another coworker arrived and we began chatting about some clients and ways of dealing with them. We talked about old times and caught up for a bit. There were only a couple of technical things I needed help remembering. It felt good to be back. It’s just like riding a bike.
In January, I became a freshman at the College of Charleston. I am a bit older than most of the students; actually I am bit older than many of the professors. I haven’t been in a college classroom in over forty years. I took some classes at a technical school years ago, but that was nothing like this. I have had to remember how to read schedules, find classrooms, take notes, study, do homework, write papers, and more. I wondered if I would remember everything. So far I am doing pretty well. I am making much better grades than I did in high school. It’s just like riding a bike.
In September last year, I became single again. I have had to learn to live single. I am very fortunate to be able to live with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson so I am not truly alone. There is an old country song, “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed,” and that is a change. I have to think about things like work, car repairs, paying bills, taxes, retirement, and health insurance by myself. I buy groceries for one and I cook for one, that is if I ever cook. I spend a lot of time with friends and we eat together often. I wondered if I would remember everything I needed to live single. I am adjusting and finding my way. It’s just like riding a bike.
March is the month of two significant losses in my life. Today is the anniversary of my “other” mother, Mamma Pearl’s death and earlier this month was the anniversary of the death of my best friend. As I look at my life changes I know more will come. I know that close friends and family might move away and some may die. I know there will financial challenges, physical problems, issues with aging, and life challenges. I have faced them all before. I have had some huge obstacles to overcome, but I did. I have a God, friends, and family who never give up on me. I wonder if I can remember everything that has helped me get here when those times come. I think I will. After all, it’s just like riding a bike.