Any Certainty Will Do

A ride taking in Christmas Common and that’s it for 2011, my year’s target of 4,400 miles by bike met. A northerly route to go by Christmas Common just seemed appropriate for the time of year.

(No, it’s not 100 miles a week but that’s the way a whole year works out – life intervenes. From work to holidays, illness to bad weather, there will always be some weeks where riding 100 miles just isn’t possible. This year ended up with 4,400 miles as a target that was achievable – as long as I remained reasonably disciplined.)

So, is meeting that target satisfying? How does the year feel, generally, looking back now? What for next year? And so on – all those normal ‘end of year’ issues.

Perhaps it would be better to ask if reflections on the past and goals for the future matter. What’s done is done, the future’s unknowable and plans are all too often overtaken by different realities.

What I should be taking time over is the prior question of how best to live life. If there is a ready formula for striking the right balance between living for now and allowing for the future, I’ve yet to hear of it.

All the world’s more onerous religions, in part at least, seem to be about not living for the now nor the reasonably knowable future, with just the uncertainty of some promised afterlife as bait. The only certainty they do offer, of a corporal life lived to the benefit of an establishment – and thus a small caste of individuals – of one sort or another, is rarely given much attention.

I can’t see that that’s hard to deduce. I can only assume the persistence of religions nevertheless is testimony to the difficulty of finding an alternative set of rules –and any certainty, for many people, is better than none. That’s understandable.