Fear + Suffering

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.” Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”

– The Alchemist

Note To Self

Am I in a mid life crisis?

I wanted a wife to love and build a family.

What is wrong?

Why so much doubt?

Who I am and who I wanted to be doesn’t jive with the person I’ve become

This isn’t a mid life crisis if I have had these questions and doubts for a long time now

uncertainty and ambivalent

What is it about me that is so contradicting to everyone else including myself?

How many people have I walked away from and not kept up with because of my fear of opening myself up to them?

Why don’t I care?

I am a husband and a father, where is my responsibility to them?

Why am I so alone and why do I keep fighting everything?

is it because I don’t accept situations that I think other people are wrong for accepting them? Why can I not accept them? What makes me right when I have been so wrong?

I made up and follow my own rules. It is easier to break or change them if they are mine. No accountability that way.

The first half of my life will not define the rest of it. My hesitation has been damaging to those around me and I accept responsibility for it

I got what I wanted but it was too much for me so I lost everything.

Maybe I did run away or maybe not. Maybe I left to find answers. Once I find the answers, can I go home?

Where is home?

To: Me

I was recently reading an article about a hospice nurse that wrote down conversations with her dying patients and some of the things they wished they had done or would have chosen to do differently. Here are the top five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I’ve read another book on life, choices and responsibilities. That we cannot blame others for the choices we make.

Notice how I am not talking about regret, but simply a desire to make a course correction and learn from the past.

One of the more memorable quotes of a very forgettable Star Trek movie:

Damn it, Bones, you’re a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away! I need my pain!

There are some choices and decisions that I would change, sure. I wish I didn’t have to experience some of the resulting trials as a result. I wish my family didn’t have to endure them with me.

But it is those situations that help me learn and grow to become a better person.

 

Four Challenges

Can I really tackle four life changing tasks at once? I suppose that is why they are challenges.

My challenges will be focused on mental, physical, spiritual and social disciplines.

I’ve squandered opportunities and have become complacent. No more.

I will do what it takes to better myself and those around me even if it kills me (it won’t).

There will be daily posts of updates, setbacks and scenarios overcoming those daily challenges. I am not committing to facing all four each day (not yet). Categories will be added and catalogued that way for better organization.

By way of pumping myself up, I am adding a promo video from this year’s Tough Mudder events. Also, that will be a challenge and a goal in itself. I’ve already done 2 different adventure races and now I need to prepare for this one. Whew. Here goes.

Digital Tattoo

I was listening to a podcast the other day, and I cannot remember which one or even credit the source (apologies) but it really got me thinking about some of the unforeseen consequences of digital sharing. Everyday most of us put ourselves out there with various posts, tweets, pictures and comments.

Let’s not forget photos and social media. We can snap someone and with facial recognition as advanced as it is, locate who it is and their entire social media personas without speaking a word to them.

We don’t realize is that anything shared online rarely goes unnoticed or permanently deleted.

The speaker goes on to compare this to a tattoo. For those of us who have ink, it is a conscience choice. For others, they add this to their bodies without thinking of future considerations such as relevance, appropriateness or regret.

Will I regret some of the content I put out there for the world to see? You betcha.

Do I make conscience choices to avoid such embarrassment? Oh yeah.

In light of these, I’ll just have to make smarter choices on what what is public and what is private.

 

 

The Mad Ones

“THE ONLY PEOPLE FOR ME ARE THE MAD ONES, THE ONES WHO ARE MAD TO LIVE, MAD TO TALK, MAD TO BE SAVED, DESIROUS OF EVERYTHING AT THE SAME TIME, THE ONES WHO NEVER YAWN OR SAY A COMMONPLACE THING, BUT BURN, BURN, BURN, LIKE FABULOUS YELLOW ROMAN CANDLES EXPLODING LIKE SPIDERS ACROSS THE STARS AND IN THE MIDDLE YOU SEE THE BLUE CENTERLIGHT POP AND EVERYBODY GOES ‘AWWW!’”

— JACK KEROUAC, ON THE ROAD

In The Midst

“Just occasionally you find yourself in an odd situation. You get into it by degrees and in the most natural way. But when you are right in the midst of it you are suddenly astonished and ask yourself how in the world it all came about”.

– Thor Heyerdahl from Kon-Tiki

Climb

Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that damn mountain.

– Jack Kerouac.