A Season of Fatigue

My wife and I have been running hard this past few years caring for aging parents, working at our jobs, supporting our kids, and helping each other through one challenge after another.  I’ve finally hit the wall.  I’m fatigued by life’s seemingly endless parade of difficulties and problems.   I’m running out of ambition, energy, focus, determination, and resilience.  I think it’s time for a season of rest and renewal.

I’ve come to a place where it feels like my sailboat is dead in the water– stopped in the great ocean of life with no breeze in sight.  I can hear the clanking of the halliard on the mast, the water lapping on the side of the hull, and the sound of the ocean surge moving my boat from side to side.  It’s a peaceful place–maybe I’ll stay here for a while and just enjoy the warmth of the sun.   Things to do, places to be, goals to accomplish, work to be done and all I feel like doing is sitting back and watching the light dance on the quiet waters of the ocean.  I’m sure the trade winds of life will return soon but for now I’m going to just enjoy this beautiful and serene place.

Course Corrections

Life requires course corrections from time to time.  Over the years I’ve made some wrong turns and ended up off course–sometimes way off course.  Captains know that a few degrees of error can cause a ship to miss its destination by hundreds or thousands of miles.  Not correcting our course along the way can cause us to miss our target and end up somewhere other than we intended.

The good news is that we all have the power to make course corrections anytime!  It’s never too late, no matter how off course we find ourselves.  We all have the power to change direction and set our sails for a different destination.

I’ve learned that it’s easier to make small course corrections along the way instead of big ones.   Remember how difficult it was for the Titanic to drastically change course and avoid the iceberg at the last-minute? If the crew had seen the iceberg sooner, they would have had time to successfully navigate past the treacherous obstacle through a series of smaller course corrections.

As a result, I’ve decided that it’s time for another course correction in my life.  This time it’s about my health.  I’m finally ready to deal with those extra lbs that my doctor has been encouraging me to lose for years.  As a result, my wife and I have signed up for Weight Watchers.   This involves changing our daily eating habits while attending weekly support meetings.  This combination of personal effort and group support really works.  They even have eTools (online) that make it easier to identify and track daily food choices using a personal computer, tablet, or smart phone.  Since I love technology, this approach is right up my alley.

I made this course correction on March 3rd.   In the first two weeks, I’ve been able to lose 7.4 lbs.   In this past week alone I was able to lose 3.8 lbs.  With an average weight loss of  about 2 lbs per week, I should reach my goal in about 6 or 7 months.  Since time marches on regardless, I might as well lose the weight and enjoy the benefits along the way.  For me there are significant benefits to weighing less.  It’s been fun to focus on them.

Here are some of the benefits:

  1. More energy
  2. Lower cholesterol
  3. Lower blood pressure
  4. Better sleep
  5. More time (less time eating)
  6. More money (spending less on food).   This more than pays for WW fees.
  7. Longer life span (I hope)
  8. Better mood
  9. More clothes choices
  10. Reminder that all things are possible–including losing weight

Having had some initial success, I’m very encouraged.  I’m realizing that small course corrections can have significant consequences.  I’m also realizing that any journey worth taking takes time.

So, make those course corrections and enjoy the scenery along the way–nothing to fear!

Bon Voyage!

UPDATES:
  • March 24 – I’ve lost 10 lbs total as of today–so encouraged.
  • March 30 – Gained 1.2 lbs this week (ouch)–total lost is now 8.8 lbs.
  • April 7 – Lost 2.0 lbs this week–total lost is now 10.6 lbs.
  • April 14- Lost 2.6 lbs this week–total lost is now 13.2 lbs.
  • April 21- Gained 0.2 lbs this week–total lost holding at 13.0 lbs.
  • April 28- Lost 1.4 lbs this week–total lost is now 14.4 lbs.
  • May 5 – Lost 1.2 lbs this week–total lost is now 15.6 lbs.
  • May 12 – Lost 1.6 lbs this week–total lost is now up to 17.2 lbs!
  • May 19 – Lost 0.8 lbs this week–total lost is now 18.0 lbs!
  • May 26 – Lost 0.8 lbs this week –total lost is now 18.8 lbs!
  • June 2 – Gained 0.2 lbs this week–total l0st is now 18.6 lbs.
  • June 9 -Lost 0.4 lbs this week –total lost is now 19.0 lbs.
  • June 16 – Lost 1.2 lbs this week–total lost is now 20.2 lbs.
  • June 23 -Lost 1.6 lbs this week–total lost is now 21.8 lbs.
  • June 30- Gained 3.0 lbs this week–aargh!
  • July 7 – Lost 4.6 lbs this week — total lost is now 23.4 lbs
  • July 30 – Lost 5.8 lbs this week — total lost is now 30.8 lbs
  • August 11 – Total lost is now at 32.0 lbs
  • September 1 – Total lost is now at 34.2 lbs
  • September 8 – Lost 0.2 lbs this week.  Total lost now at 34.4 lbs
  • September 15 – Lost 0.8 lbs this week.  Total lost now at 35.2 lbs
  • September 22- Lost 0.6 lbs this week.  Total lost now at 35.8 lbs
  • October 6 — Gained 2.4 lbs this past two weeks.  Total lost now at 33.4 lbs.  Time to step it up!
  • October 20–Lost 0.4 lbs this past two weeks.  Total lost now at 33.8 lbs.
  • December 1 – Introducing daily exercise to get past this plateau
  • January 12 — Total lost now at 35.6 lbs.
  • March 31 – Total lost now at 42.4 lbs.
  • August 6 – Total lost now at 40.4 lbs.

People Who Tailgate in the Carpool Lane

My wife and I use the carpool lane traveling to and from work most everyday.   It saves us about 25-30 minutes each way.  It’s not perfect but it really has shortened our commute–saving time and money.

There is only one problem–people who tailgate.  I REALLY don’t understand the logic of tailgating in the carpool lane. What are they trying to accomplish?  I can’t change lanes and let them pass because it is illegal to cross the double lines–this is only allowed every few miles so people can exit and enter. I suppose they just want me to go faster and close any gap in front of me.  For what purpose, to save one or two seconds?  These people really should do the math and realize that those few seconds are not worth the risk of traveling 70mph and leaving only a few feet of clearance between cars–particularly MY car.

When people tailgate me in normal traffic I simply move over and let them pass.   In the carpool lane I simply slow down.  The closer they are the slower I go.  This serves two purposes.  First it limits my risk by lowing both of our speeds.  Secondly, it sends a message.  Most of the time these people back off.  Sometimes they get angry and leave the car pool lane.  Either way the problem is resolved.

Have you ever experienced this?  What do you think?

Building Blocks

“There are only 3 colors, 10 digits, and 7 notes; it’s what we do with them that’s important.”
Jim Rohn

This quote says so much.  What we do with the simpliest resources can greatly impact our lives and the lives of others.  Create something good with what you have right now!

Ideas That I Never Posted

Here’s a list of ideas that never saw the light of day–mostly for obvious reasons.  I thought it was at least worth giving them an honorable mention.  Some would actually have been interesting to write about–if only I had more time.

  • Do toilet seat covers really protect you?
  • Spring knows nothing about the 2011 economy.
  • 2011 has been a very difficult year!
  • What to do when life kicks you in the stomach.
  • JONESVIEW passes the 200,000 page view mark.
  • More about people who don’t want to work.
  • What’s with all the tornadoes?  Global Warming?
  • Why can’t the Republican Party produce any serious candidates?
  • What’s up with high gasoline prices?
  • The world didn’t end in May 2011–now what?
  • Why you shouldn’t make fun of short people and others.
  • Why it takes a lot of faith to be an atheist.
  • Favorite practical jokes.
  • 10 ways to ruin your life.
  • The principle of grace.
  • Why are there so many movies about alien invasions of Earth?
  • Why giving is good for you.
  • The age of video.
  • The abuse of power.
  • How you handle privilege says a lot about who you are.
  • Thank you John McCain for launching Sarah Palin (sarcastically said of course).
  • Life by the numbers.
  • My favorite foods.

Maybe you’ll see one of these topics in my next post.   Which ones sound most interesting to you?

The Art of Drawing Without An Eraser

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.

John W. Gardner

A radio psychologist that I listened to frequently in the 80′s used to say that “life was not a dress rehearsal”.  This is so true.  We only have one opportunity to move through life.  With this in mind, make sure you live each day to it’s fullest,  not spending a lot of time and energy going to the “woulda coulda shoulda” place.  We all fail, make mistakes, and end up with regrets–this is life. Learn to forgive yourself and others; giving yourself grace and permission to continue making mistakes while growing.

Live in the past and you’ll get stuck.  Live in the future and you’ll miss opportunities that are happening now.  Seize the moment and you’ll have a richer, fuller, happier life.  Don’t be afraid to made decisions, step out in faith, make mistakes or fail.

This will keep you moving forward.  Remember, life is a journey and you never know what is just around the bend.

Keep drawing!

Attitude is Everything!

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

Charles R. Swindoll

The way we react to any situation in life  impacts the ultimate outcome.  We get to choose how we will respond.  Life is full of disappointment, rejection, and failure.   What we do with all of this ultimately determines our destiny.   Be open.   Use each experience as an opportunity to learn and grow.

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