The Birthday Present that got me thinking.


Recently I had a birthday, yes, another one!


My children bought me a pushbike. I have bought a few bikes over the years for my 3 kids, but wasn’t expecting to get one for my 50 something birthday!


I had said a few times, I wish I had a bike to use on all those lovely bike tracks that are near my house, right along the ocean front. I sought of meant it….


It’s been at least 10 years since I have been on a bike, maybe 15 and even then it wasn’t a big part of my life, but they say

It’s just like riding a bike, you never forget”


So with the weight of popular opinion on my side, that despite my long absence I would hop on and peddle off into the distance with no more than a slight wobble, I got into my bike riding gear, a must for such a serious cycle enthusiast, donned the fashion accessory extraordinaire, known as a helmet, and took a deep breath, ready to take the challenge.


I found out it’s true!!!

I could still do it!

You don’t forget. Somehow what was put into our memory so long ago just came right to the top and took over. I can’t say there wasn’t a wobble or two, but I’m all for providing a bit of community entertainment, so soon enough I was off.


The part about remembering what to do, how to do it and the co ordination and balance wasn’t a big issue, but the fitness level was perhaps the greatest limitation.

I can however get better in that area with just good old experience,

doing it,



It did make me think though about other things I had learned as a child. Some that were good and true and helpful and still relevant, even essential for successful happy life today, like manners and thinking of how others feel, and respecting everyone’s right to an opinion. I am so glad they are my first response in everyday situations, it makes me glad that I learned them.

There are things that I learned as a child though that aren’t helpful to my everyday life, that don’t bring success and peace and harmony into my world. If it’s so easy to draw on the bike riding memory, then maybe that’s why sometimes we react in ways that surprise even us.


Anyone else been there?


Our reactions can come quickly from deep inside us out of something we allowed to be built into our lives as a child. So if left unchallenged when we get into the situation, e.g. get on the bike, it comes back like second nature, and we don’t really even have to think.

Some of us learnt as children to feel shame for what we did or even who we are. Some learnt that anger gets results; some learnt the only person I can trust or rely on is myself. While those things may have seemed true at the time, it’s time to unlearn them and not revert to that way of thinking quickly and automatically when the opportunity arises.


Some things need to be unlearned so that we can find peace, freedom from fear, stress, and anxiety. We might need some new ways of thinking rather than those ones we picked up years ago, or yesterday, that are actually keeping us from responding out of who we want to be, keeping us tied to our past way of thinking.


Unlearning happens when we replace those thoughts with different ones, helpful ones and true ones.


Will that be easy? Maybe not but you know things in life can improve when I apply the old fashioned idea of practice,

doing it,



It might not be easy to change thinking patterns and automatic responses, but it is possible, it is necessary and it is something only you can do.


So hop on the bike, be prepared for some wobbles, and practice the sort of thinking that you want in your life and in your future, choose it.


Don’t just accept and operate with the stuff that was put there by past experience.


Remember it’s just like riding a bike……


2 thoughts on “The Birthday Present that got me thinking.

  1. Excellent

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Great post Jen. Reminds me of the Alvin Toffler quote “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”
    If I had a bike, I’d join you for a ride…


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