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Posts Tagged ‘#Start’

Every couple has pet names for each other. One of my wife’s farvorite names for me is Eeyore. And before you go getting all offended over how callous that sounds, she is right. The state of mind I live in is much like A.A. Milne’s description of Eeyore’s home in the Hundred Acre Wood, Eeyore’s Gloomy Place – Rather Boggy and Sad.

 photo WinniethePooh.jpg

I don’t know why I have chosen this gloomy, rather boggy and sad place to live. But, here I am, in classic Eeyore monotone saying “I’ll never amount to anything, this is as good as it gets for me.” “It doesn’t matter what I do, no one cares what a gloomy old donkey has to say.”

And yet, here I am on a blog telling people what it feels like to live with depression. I have depression, I have no doubts. What I don’t have is the good sense to get the treatment to fix it. It’s a fear thing, it’s listening to that little voice in the back of my head that says “If you go to the doctor and he gives you a pill to fix your brain chemistry, you will never be able to stop taking that pill, because really, you aren’t sick, you’re just weak.”And,”All you really need to do is quit moping around and do something with your life. You are depressed because you want to be depressed, you are playing the “Woe is me” martyr card.”

I am finding out a lot about those voices. “OK, Jim, what are the voices telling you?” – the orderly at the mental ward asks. Just kidding. Jon Acuff, in his book Start talks a lot about how fear is one of those voices. Fear tells us that life is safer living in average, fear tells us that any new venture we set out on must be accomplished with perfection and mastery of the task, fear tells us that we are the only one who has these thoughts and doubts, don’t risk it, you’ll just get hurt. The truth is, and I am finding it to be more and more true, I am not alone. There are a lot of people with far worse situations, my fears and insecurities pale in comparison to some. Humans aren’t perfect, no one learned to ride a bike without skinning his knees more than once. Figure out what you did wrong and try again. A turtle moves slow, but he never gets anywhere without sticking his neck out.

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Finding Myself

This summer has been enlightening. For a multitude of reasons, most of which are still hidden to me, I have been on an interesting journey. Call it my mid-life crisis, or middle-aged crazy, or whatever. In the last month or so, I have decided to do a couple of big things, big for me. First, I have decided to finish my degree. Not in anything that will end up making me rich, but in something that speaks to my heart. I am going to get my bachelors degree online in philosophy. I may never use it, some people will say it is not a practical degree. Well, it isn’t your degree, and I’m not getting it for you. It is for me. And it speaks to me in a way that engineering or marketing, or business management never have.

Earlier this summer, Sally bought the book “Start” by Jon Acuff. It’s subtitle is “Punch Fear in the Face; Escape Average, Do Work That Matters.” It’s about getting past the voices in your head, your fears and doubts, and beginning to do those things that you want to do. I read the book and I would commend it to all my friends and family.

Then, a month ago, Sally took a leap of faith to go on a bit of an adventure putting the principles of this book into practice for 24 days. I didn’t go with her, but I got to read all of her postcards from her journey. (She didn’t go anywhere, just down into her office.) I began to plot my own adventure.

Today is a big day for me. Today I start my own 24 day adventure. My goal is to write on this blog at least twice a week and to begin to share those little scraps of paper that have accumulated in my brain all of these years. The scary part is that I have invited a few thousand people to come and see if what I have to say is coherent, let alone relevant, and to share an insight or two that might be of help to someone else along the way.

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