Category Archives: Fear

Giving up…

Published / by Tim / 1 Comment on Giving up…

When it comes to “giving up” the first thing I think is, it’s a quitters phrase. I was raised, like many of us were, are, or will be, thinking that quitting is BAD. It’s a societal thing. Quitting is frowned upon.

When I think of giving up I initially think of defeat. Someone beaten down who can no longer muster the courage to stand back up. It’s a melancholy state of being. But then… I have to think a little more.

Giving up. Is it ALWAYS bad? Is giving up cowardly? Is giving up weakness? After the initial thoughts fade I consider some of the following:

Giving up cigarettes, booze or other chemicals that have garnered too much control in our lives. Giving up on relationships that are, one-sided, controlling, abusive. Giving up on a job that is a sad compromise at best. Giving up on habits like overeating, gambling, and watching porn that can be pretty destructive. Giving up on trying to accumulate things instead of living abundantly.

All of these require courage, commitment to an ideal, a plan, support and time. The outcome for any of these give ups will likely be a more fulfilling and pleasant life which isn’t a bad thing. As a matter of fact, I think if we could see the good outcome in advance, clearly, we would be less inclined to have fear around giving up.

I think one of the biggest problems is when we allow others perceptions of us shape how we think, act and feel. If we worry how people will think of us if we give up, we will likely never be free of that trouble.

Others perceptions play a huge role when one has to admit to being an alcoholic or long-term drug user. It’s scary to out the skeletons from the closet of a lifetime of living with an abusive partner. No one wants to be considered an addict. It’s hard to admit when the job one has worked a lifetime to keep has really been a source of pain and displeasure. We all end up wanting to save face.

My struggle is beer. I am not an alcoholic, but beer plays a pretty significant role in many of my social situations. I like to brew beer. I think I’m pretty good at it.  I have MANY friends with whom I associate around beer. They are great people. Love all of them. I worry though, if I make the decision to “give up” beer, we may not have anything to talk about and they may find me to be a bore, or a prude or a teetotaler, yet… when I don’t drink beer, I feel better, physically and mentally. It’s right there, I am ultimately worried about what they will think about me. And maybe, it doesn’t matter. If they are truly my friends, they will understand.

Giving up… maybe it’s ok.

It’s all going to work out, remember that.

Published / by Tim

There have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long but now I think I’m able to carry on. It’s been a long, a long time coming but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.

-Sam Cooke

Change. 25 years ago I was minding my business, graduating from high school, getting a part-time job, going to school and somehow I never stopped to think that everything I knew would be completely different just a few years later.

People I thought would be my lifelong friends found new, exciting and yet different paths than I was on. School changed the way I think. Marriage changed my identity. A career changed my course in life. Children changed my worldview. Age has changed my dreams. The changes are not all bad, gray hair and belly fat are not too great, admittedly, but I am healthy and comfortable and happy. Change has not done me in.

I think change gets a bad rap. Often people talk about how uncomfortable, painful, awful, icky, horrible change is. The thing is… It’s not the change that’s the problem. I think the transitions that compose change are what is difficult, uncomfortable, painful. Transitions are that period of time that I associate with growing pains. Remember growing pains? Those horrible, dull, throbbing pains that nothing really seemed to help. The pains that indicated that new heights would be achieved. We all love getting taller (change) but we would all just as soon avoid the growing pains (transitions).

Even when transitions aren’t painful, they take time. I am not a patient man. I do not like to wait. Sometimes all I really want is the change to happen. I don’t want to wait. I don’t want to struggle. Exercise… yeah, you know where I’m going with that… Losing that last 5 pounds takes… FOREVER… or so it would seem.

Transitions are the difficulty of change and I have a Transitionfew things I’ve noticed help transitions go easier. First, mindset is key. If you let yourself be in a fixed mindset you will consciously and unconsciously fight change and ultimately extend the transition time. Mindset aimed at Growth (Thanks Carol Dweck) helps us embrace change and the difficult transition periods that occur when change happens. Dewitt Jones, national geographic photographer, says we should reshape problems into opportunities. I think that’s the mindset we need to adopt to best deal with transitions and change.

My other observation is that it is helpful to look for ways to promote change in the quickest way possible. If you start to feel like your job is not going so well, it might be a good idea to look for ways to begin transition on your own terms. Take a class. Network with people. Read the want ads… move in a direction that suits you, but don’t sit idly by and wait. Action is always better than reaction.

Finally, if you find yourself in a transition that is especially difficult, find someone you trust to support you. Share your story. loneliness breeds melancholy. A counselor or therapist may be just who you need to make sense of your transition. Sometimes a listening friend who has earned the right to hear your story can be a great help. Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong was a read that helped me think through this aspect of having trusted people in my life.

Change and the transitions that get us there are all gonna come. How we approach them can make all the difference.

Fortuitios circumstances…

Published / by Tim

Ever had one of those moments where it seemed like everything was going wrong, but as you inspect the situation, you realize that perhaps you were the beneficiary of a sort of protection?

I had a Wednesday post all ready to show up around 4 am today. It didn’t publish. It was my mistake. I was a little irked by the fact when I initially realized the post had not published. As I looked into the problem and realized my mistake I was even more perturbed. Then I reread the post and I didn’t like it. All of a sudden my angst turned to relief.

I want to work on this post a bit more. But I also want to acknowledge that sometimes bad or annoying things turn out to be good things after all.

Wednesday post coming soon to a Thursday or Friday for you…

Cheers

Wandering in the world…

Published / by Tim / 4 Comments on Wandering in the world…

So, if you have been following this blog at all, you have probably guessed that it is a huge experiment and exercise in… something… for me. Faith? Perseverance? Courage? I don’t know…

What I do know is that for the last two weeks I have been trying to make the blog fit my life and it has been resistant. I have been dealing with issues of trust and friendship and I wanted to write about those things, but they were too… personal… too…raw… too… private.

What I have discovered about blogging is that blogging people fit in to one of two categories (well… there are probably more categories, but I only think I want to talk about two…) There are the “I will tell you everything about me” bloggers and the “I have something I want to say, but I want to remain kind of private too…” bloggers. I am one of the latter.

I have things I want to talk about, but at the same time I don’t necessarily want everyone to know every little thing about me. There have been many times that I have actually wanted to completely unplug and just not have a presence online. But then I think about the blogs I read and I  imagine that some of the folks I read regularly have felt the same way. Then they write, share and connect and it is all very beneficial to everyone.

Sometimes the fact that I have a blog and my own little “web space” kind of freaks me out. What am I thinking? What do I have to offer? Who do I think I am putting stuff out there for people to read? Well… the answer is, I’m just a guy who likes to talk and think and read and share. So it seems like writing for my little no-name blog is reasonable. Even if Brenda, Amy, Nancy, Renee, Apreil, and Luann are the only ones reading, it’s still worth while. The act of writing is… healthy, beneficial, cathartic.

I feel like a wanderer who has wandered far from home. This blog has proven itself both inspiring to me and lonely. I missed my Monday deadline for the first time this week. No one said anything. Initially I figured, what’s the point? Why bother? I soon remembered that when I started this blog, I am writing for me. I invited everyone else to come along and read, comment, or whatever.

I am back. I am not going to write about trust because I don’t really have anything to say about it now. I have issues trusting people, that’s it. It’s not because they are’;t worthy of trust, but because I am cynical and jaded for now. I suppose I could explore that a bit, but I don’t really want to. I just want to keep wandering and looking for the gems that appeal to me to consider here.

If you want to participate, I love hearing from you… if you just want to read and be silent, that’s fine too. I’m still here. I haven’t given up. I just needed to remember why I started doing this in the first place… It’s for the fun of writing and sharing.

On that note, if you have something you would like to write and share, let me know. I’d be glad to let you post here… It’s not a high pressure place… The people who are reading regularly are really quite wonderful. I’d love to have guests post if you have something to say…

Who we are.

Published / by Tim / 3 Comments on Who we are.

What defines you?

Is it your job? Your family? Your career? Your degrees? Your bank account? Your network?

I used to think it was these things that define me. I imagined that when people looked at me, they saw these other things.

I  no longer think that is true. I believe that the people who see me at all, see me for who I am in relationship to them. Husband. Father. Friend. Boss. These are all titles but underlying each title is a relationship.

I don’t actually think anyone cares about my degrees, or my network or any of those things that I once thought defined who I was in the world. It seems people care that I know them and that I can be trusted with who the are. I think if I were to violate that trust, it would also work to define me.

I believe that we best known by how we treat people not by what we have or have accomplished.

Who we are is defined by how we can be trusted. Everything we think, say and do with each other stems from trust. Influence comes from trust. Responsibility comes from trust. Relationships grow with trust.

We are creatures that thrive in environments of trust but do we act that way?

Who we are is defined by our willingness to trust and to be trustworthy.

This week I’ll be looking at trust in a few posts. Stay tuned.