Tag Archives: confidence

Alone But Not Lonely

I have been thinking a lot about being single at 57 years of age, lately.  Without going into unnecessary detail, I was briefly married a long time ago to an unpleasant woman.  I have never felt compelled to take a chance on repeating that mistake.  That is why I find myself single well after the half-century mark.

Here’s the thing:  I am not bothered by being alone.  I have always been comfortable with my own company.  I believe that this has fostered in me a certain self-sufficiency.  I answer to no schedule but that which I choose, and I find a lot of satisfaction in that.   I would probably make a really good hermit, as long as my cave had WiFi.

Frankly at my age, it’s hard to imagine having someone around all the time.  I have work, church, and friends, so I’m not planning on changing any time soon.   I am, as Mary Chapin Carpenter sang, alone but not lonely.

Solitude need not be isolation.

What Motivates You?

I strenuously exercise on a regular basis because I want to be healthy.  I eat vegan because I don’t want animals to suffer on my behalf.  I decrappify  because I want less stuff cluttering up my house and attention.  I do 90 percent of the repairs on my house to save money and frankly, because I can.  So there you have it, the motivations for four of the big ticket items in my life.

Here’s the thing:  motivation is all at once personal and situation-specific.  At the end of the day, each of us must identify that which we value and how much we value it.  For example, if you want to lose weight but aren’t willing to move a bit more and eat a bit less, you like the idea of losing weight but you aren’t motivated enough to do the necessary work.  I lost count of the number of times someone has told me they’d love to drop a few pounds, but when I suggest easy ways to start, they balk.

They are not motivated so much as they are wishful.  Well guess what, there ain’t no genie in a magic lamp here.

It isn’t just weight loss, either.  Anything that can or should matter to you (and I leave it to you to make that distinction) is subject to motivation.  And, that which is subject to motivation is also subject to its loss.  So how do you find and maintain motivation?  Here is what works for me: keep the reason I started something in mind (I keep my “before” photo on my fridge to remind myself why I exercise), I participate in online accountability groups for support and feedback, I view challenges (like home repairs) as opportunities not limitations, and I don’t let setbacks define my level of success (speed bumps are not the end of the road).

So, what motivates you?

A bear chasing a cyclis-that's motivation!

       Motivation isn’t always this obvious-luckily!

Decide to Decide

There’s a lot of commentary going on about President Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris climate agreement.  I’m not a big fan of this decision, but you know what?  This may be an opportunity for us as citizens.  As Bill Nye used to say, please consider the following.

Over the past two or three decades, the folks we send to Washington, D.C. have had a really poor performance record.  Each administration and concurrent Congress in that period have had their failures, many of which were spectacular.  In fact, the last recession can be laid on their collective doorstep for accommodating mortgages that never should have been written.  The current administration and Congress are not shaping up any better.  Why in the world would we trust them with our daily lives?

Here’s the thing: we don’t need anyone in Washington, D.C. to tell us how to live our lives on a day to day basis.  We do not need politicians to limit our choices or tell us how and what to think.  We Americans are by and large intelligent people who are fully capable of making decisions for our own actions, all kidding aside.  The big factor here, in my view, is that we need to collectively decide to do so.  We need to stop letting the government take over our daily lives, in this case, with respect to climate change.  It is all about personal responsibility, as are so many things in life.

We can decide to drive fuel efficient (or electric) vehicles.  We can decide to ride bikes or walk instead of driving short distances.  We can decide to insulate our homes.  We can choose to go meatless one day per week (meat production being a big methane producer and water user).  And so on.  My point is, we don’t need Washington, D.C. or the Paris climate agreement in order to make our own decisions and control our own actions.

In fact, we never did.  #MakeAmericaOursAgain

The Truth-Just Ahead!

Truth is truth even if one does not believe the truth.

Five Things I Learned This Week

In no particular order of importance here are some things that I learned this past week.

  • If you have it, you hardly notice it. If you don’t have it, it’s sorely missed.  What is it?  Good health!  Issues lately with my knees and my eye- all mostly resolved-have made that clear to me.
  • I can only do so much, which has become clear to me at work and in my private life. I’ve recently been maxed out at my job and my off-work “free” time has been appropriated.  I need to learn to say “no”.  Or perhaps, “NO!”.
  • The downside to cooking a lot of something to eat all week is culinary boredom. A better choice may be to cook smaller batches of several things.  And hot sauce-hot sauce is good!
  • Worry is a total bummer. Worry about things you can’t control or even influence, more so.
  • A simple “thank you” and card can really make someone’s day, which makes both parties happy.

    Learn to say no…it’s OK to say!

Change Ain’t Easy

We’ve all heard it: “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always gotten.” Deciding to change your habits in favor of something that is beneficial-or at least less damaging-is about as easy as it gets.  It’s actually changing that is tough.

You can read all the self-help books and magazines you want, but if you don’t act then all that reading didn’t matter.

You can make all the New Year’s resolutions and other self-promises you want, but if you don’t act then they were in vain.

You can set as many goals and targets as you can imagine, but if you don’t act then the thought was wasted.

The only way to change is to actually get out there, wherever your “there” is, and do it.  Nike’s well known ad campaign from years ago was simple but on point: “Just Do It.”  That’s a bit blunt.  I prefer what Yoda told Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back:  Do or do not.  There is no try.”  And if you need help to “do”, by all means ask for it.  We are all in this together.