The slow road to complacency

Ever thought about how things can break down so slowly that you don’t even notice?

I put my bike into the shop to get it serviced a couple of days back. It needed a number of parts replaced, which Mark, the bike mechanic, set about doing. When I went to pick the bike up he told me that the parts were very badly worn and that I should notice a big difference. I told him that the bike was still riding just fine before. I knew that things needed a bit of work and that some parts were beyond useless but it was still running reasonably well.

Of course it was a different story when I wheeled the bike out of the shop and saddled up to ride into the sunset. I’ve got to say that the trip home from the bike shop was amazing. The gears worked so incredibly well, it was very smooth to pedal, everything just worked as it was meant to work. It felt like I was on a brand new bike. There’s no way I’d want to go back to how it was even a few hours beforehand, yet at the time I was satisfied with the way my bike was riding.

I wonder how many things in our lives change so slowly that we don’t even notice until it’s too late. How many times do we become complacent in our careers or our relationships?

Time after time I’ve heard of marriages breaking down with one partner saying they didn’t see it coming. They were just getting on with life as normal and were so surprised that the other person in the relationship didn’t see it that way.

We can become blinded to the things that are going on right under our noses. It’s often not enough to feel that ‘everything’s just fine’. We need to be proactively working to not only maintain many areas of our lives, especially relationships, but to reassess, adjust and improve. We must absolutely refuse to let comfortable routines rob us of a full life.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • I know what you´re talking of, Rodney! When I got my job I had to drive over 200km a day. So I moved to the town I still live in.
    The job wasn´t safe at first so I went into flat-sharing, that´s easier to give up in case I loose the job. No real kitchen, no privacy and I stayed there for around three years! My boyfriend, too, accepted the situation every second weekend.
    It took a really nasty new flatmate to make the situation clear to me. I can´t understand why it took me so long to move on….

  • Excellent post, Rodney.

    I think perhaps it has to do with “comfort zones.” I think we all look for them, and the deeper into we can wedge ourselves, the better we feel…and the more clueless we can be come about what is REALLY going on around us.

    I know I’m guilty of losing touch with reality at times.

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