I’ve been riding bicycles off and on since I was a boy. We had in my elementary year’s one bicycle for my sisters and me to share. It was a girl’s bicycle with plastic sunflowers on the front portion of the metal basket mounted to the handlebars. It had a back brake which meant you’d better plan way in advance if you planned to stop at a certain point. Did it make me feel odd to ride a girl’s bicycle as a boy? Not really. It was freedom to travel greater distances away from my childhood home. I did a lot of neighborhood exploring on that bicycle and learned quite a few things along the way. These days, I will bicycle to a further bus stop a couple of times a week to catch an evening bus home from my office building. The local public buses have a bicycle rack on the front of the bus which lets riders like me bring their bicycles along.

Earlier this month, my longest tenured employee left my business. His departure for a great opportunity with another local business means I am working seven days a week while I reallocate clients among my remaining staff. It’s also meant all my chess study time has evaporated for the last two weeks as I pick up the work slack.

I fell off the family bicycle many times as a boy, I brushed the dirt off my skinned knees and elbows to ride again. This next week I’ll be brushing off any dust which may have accumulated on the chess books I had been studying. I may not be able to devote the same amount of time as before in the short term but consistent study and practice is better than none at all or sporadic at best. Maybe life has created temporary obstacles for you to play and study chess. It’s okay. Get back to it as soon as you can and continue learning this wonderful game which you can play as a child all the way up to your elderly years.

Breaks are a funny thing. The longer you stay idle, the harder it is to get moving forward again.