Up at 6 am everyday, without an alarm.
My wife needs to take meds, so she is fast asleep.
I toss on my bike shorts, my wool jersey, and don my helmet.
Head west, up the 1,400 foot climb to Caribou. I can do it in 25-30 minutes.
Watch the morning light on the tundra.
Head over to the Gulch trail and enjoy the wizzing ride down.
Bop over to 12-valver, and up the mining cut home. Gone for one hour fifteen flat.
Back to the caboose by 7:30 am. Sleep in with my wife.
Wake up, eat granola and drink tea.
Feed the dog.
Take Stella for a walk with Elaine.
Maybe do some writing, maybe go lift, maybe go to the bakery for a muffin.
Head to town with Elaine.
Hang out till the last minute possible, and then it's goodbye until evening.
Stack produce, move boxes, help customers get the best fruits and vegetables possible.
Elaine comes over for a half-hour dinner. Generally pizza or soup or salad from the place I work.
Back to the produce line.
Work till closing.
Head to the coffee shop where my wife is writing, and then the highlight of the day.
Walk in, see her beaming smile, get a big hug.
Walk with her, taking in the sights, watching the street performers, listening to the evening music performers and sounds of the night and catching up on our days. She'll be going to school soon and I can't wait to hear about everything she'll learn.
Head home, listen to music, go to sleep.
On days off, we hike, or write stories for each other to edit, or do errands, or in the winter go skiing.
It's not glamorous. It's not the flashy life of a pro bike racer or a CEO or anything like that. It doesn't even have the esteem of being a teacher, or the "perks" of working at a cool place like IMBA. Money is tight and we work hard. But the elements I need are all there: love, creativity, health, family. Love being central. There is a bit of an "us-against-the-world" attitude – we know we have critics and we are absolutely determined to prove everybody wrong.
As I sit here at 12:45 pm (it's a day off) listening to the thunder roll in over to the mountains, I realize this is all I need. That work is just a job, and the things that determine happiness are much simpler.
The simple life is the best life.