I have kept quiet for some time now (almost 4 months) and lately I have had several people asking when I would post again. Well, here you go. In the past four months, things have really not changed a lot in my life. I’ve lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers. I try not to be too obsessive about it. I especially don’t broadcast to the world that I am on WW, and I don’t recite point values to everyone. I try to stay within my limits, and make smart choices when I can.
One of the biggest things that I have noticed, and I commented on this in a previous blog, is that I don’t feel compelled to eat everything. I used to have a coworker who would bring in a box of cookies and have them sitting on his desk. He would eat one or two a day, but have the open package sitting on his desk. I could never understand how he could do that. I could never have an open box of cookies or treats on my desk and not automatically have my hands constantly going to between that box and my mouth. It was a mindless activity, and the main reason why I ended up where I am today. I have noticed, however, that I am no longer automatically or mindlessly eating. I am conscious of every bite I take. Sometimes that can be a problem. There are times that we don’t feel like cooking, and it’s just my wife and I, and I cannot make up my mind what to get because I can only see the negative point values that we would be choosing between. In some ways WW has made my relationship with food worse. But maybe it is just evolving and I haven’t figured out how to deal with it yet.
Work has become a source of frustration. I’m not loving it like I once did. There are a lot of reasons why this is happening, I think. This has gone downhill since we were merged with the Global help desk two years ago. Out of the 10-12 people that came over at that time, there are two of us still here. The whole transition was a cockup of major proportions from all sides. We were a helpdesk that operated by our own rules. This was good from the standpoint of the users in the field because we got things done in a timely and efficient manner. It was bad from the Global standpoint because we didn’t fit their model. It was a real-life example of jamming a square peg into a round hole. And I recently discovered that I did not perform as I was expected, and didn’t provide the “leadership” and “guidance” in making the transition a smooth one. From my perspective, whenever I tried to give input, it was dismissed, so I stopped giving it. In their eyes, I failed to perform to my expectations. Since that time, any strengths that I had have been discounted as poor attitude and a failure to involve. I’m still a little bitter over this assessment, and although I am assured that this perception can change quickly, several other signs point to it being a long row to hoe before that will ever come to pass. When you are put into a situation where your are being scrutinized for imperfections, doing your job is seen as nothing more than the calm before the storm.
However, be that as it may, life is good. I tend to take a dim view of most things lately and that is largely due to my allowing my situation to dominate my thoughts. If I really take into account all that is going on in my life, I can’t complain and, if I’m completely honest, my life is pretty great. I have a beautiful wife who loves me in spite of my many failings and the trials I put her through; I have four amazing children who in spite of all the crap I put them through are cheering me on through the whole weight battle; I have a job that provides for my family and, for the most part, doesn’t suck; I have incredible health considering my weight; I have a safe and happy home; I have a wonderful ward that I live in; I have friends who, for some unknown reason, love me for who I am (or, perhaps more accurately, in spite of who I am). I really can’t complain. An yet I do…
That is perhaps the hardest thing for those around me, and for myself: my pig-headed insistence that despite the bright silver lining there is still a cloud in the sky. I haven’t always been this way. I was never this way in high school. I had a great time in high school. And I was that way for most of my young adulthood. It is only as I realized what my “misspent” youth (fairly tame by all standards, but misspent, nonetheless) had given me (obesity, low tolerance to movement, flop sweat that could wash away a small Guatemalan village, etc.) that this malaise afflicted me. I have been prone to semi-regular bouts of depression in the past, some requiring medication to control, but I have avoided that since the last spell when I decided that I would rather feel sad than feel nothing. That has been the worst part of antidepressants to me: You don’t feel sad, but you don’t feel anything. And it got to the point that I’d rather feel like crying than feel nothing at all. Not to get all religiony Latter-Day-Sainty or anything, but that always struck me as how life would have been under Satan’s plan for happiness: no good or evil, no virtue or vice, no pleasure or pain. It stinks.
Anywho, as I go through this latest little ice age it has taken me some time to come to the realization that I am the one who controls how I feel about the “little injustices” of life. In particular, it was something that my dear wife sent me that helped me to start to turn the corner on this. To paraphrase what she sent me, there are three main causes of unhappiness:
- Dissatisfaction with what is happening in your life: craving things/events/circumstances you don’t have in your life but wish you did, or that you have in your life that you wish you didn’t.
- Fear about either your future or your past: holding onto fear about past experiences or choosing to worry about future events
- Choosing to be unhappy because unhappiness benefits you in some way: unhappiness gets you love/attention/sympathy/etc.
That last one is the one that I find most troubling. I have always hated that trait in others and one of the reasons I don’t really do much on Facebook. I had a Facebook friend that I finally removed because all their posts were about how miserable their life was or how unfair their partner was or how unloved they were. There were plenty of people who cooed loving words to them and gave them the attention they craved, but it just made me sick and I finally couldn’t take it anymore. The sad thing is that I saw some of that in my life after reading this. I don’t take to Facebook, but I put my family through it. It’s unhealthy. This is not to say that there isn’t good in unburdening your soul, but it the sort of thing that you get out and it’s gone. If you are constantly, incessantly “unburdening” your soul, and in a very public way, to the same people and frequently saying the same things, over and over again, you are doing no good, either to yourself or others. And it takes a lot to get to that point. But I think that like a lot of mental and emotional issues, if you are aware that you might be slipping into that behavior, you’re probably safe. It’s when you can’t see that you are participating in that behavior that you are most likely up to you tits in it. So now my challenge is to pull myself out of it and keep away from the morass that is self-pity.
And to all of you, who come to this site and care about what I have to say, I thank you. You keep me honest and, for the most part, on track. I try to be open and honest in my posts on this blog, although I don’t exactly lay my soul bare here. I also try to inject a little humor, sometimes more that others. But thank you for your love and support. And for the kind comments that I have received as this journey has progressed. I appreciate it more than you know.
Quote of the day:
“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. – Helen Keller”
“Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. ‘How everything affects me’ is the center of all that matters – self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking. – Ezra Taft Benson”