Autumnal Musings & Yearnings

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I am conflicted.

This comes as no surprise to anyone who has known me for, oh, three or four minutes.

We’re going to ramble along together here, from being conflicted over what soothes me to not enjoying my career. Yearning for past times and trying to look forward. From being convinced I can’t go back to school, to being convinced there is no other way.

Bear with me, if you are able.

I really enjoy my commute through the farmland of mid-Michigan. I love the barns, the trees, the crops, the occasional wildlife. It is deeply comforting to be surrounded by rolling fields bordered by big woods. The sight of tractors and combines working in the sunset wells up such satisfaction and contentment.

As the seasons change, so does the commute. In spring, the farmers plow the soil and sow their crops. The trees bud, flowers blossom. Everything is giddy with life. Summer rolls in with its deep greens and lush fields, relaxed and lazy, basking in the sun. As we turn to fall, the trees change their colors, the tractors and combines harvest the plants, the air becomes clear and crisp, the sunsets ever more vibrant. In winter, we still, we calm. We quiet. The magical blanket of snow envelopes everything in its slumber. Deer poke through the fields, looking for left-over tidbits. It is nothing short of amazing and spiritual.

And yet.

It is this very plowing of the earth, the spraying of pesticides on the crops, the spewing of exhaust into the air that contributes to so many of the world’s troubles. We lose much topsoil annually to plowing, we do incalculable damage with herbicides and genetically modified crops. I am taking comfort in the very things that disturb me most.

Still, it is where I grew up, that to which I am accustomed on a core level. It is my comfort zone.

Farming sustained many friends and relatives, and I have always enjoyed being out in “the heartlands.”

One of the books I’m reading currently is Wendell Berry’s The Art of the Commonplace. Berry’s essays continue to evoke in me such a profound yearning for simpler times, for honest work, for respect for the planet, for the animals, for ourselves and for our fellow humans. The greed machine churns along, distancing us from our roots, from meaning.

I realized long ago I hate working in the field of computer support. It’s not who I am, it’s not anything at which I am naturally talented. I loathe this work, and I have nearly since I began it back in the early nineties. Taking the five-ish year break away from it was the most rewarding Job Time I have ever had.  The problem is, it’s the only marketable skill I really have, and at this late juncture, I don’t have the time, money or energy to devote to Going Back to School to Learn A New Trade.

What would be more rewarding that computers? Biology. Paleontology. Botany. Archaeology. Writing. Photography. Ornithology. Wildlife sciences. Environmental sciences. Nursing. Habitat restoration. And yes, agriculture.

Careers involving living things (or formerly living things.)

I know I would be happier doing many other things besides computers, but I don’t think I can get there – not at this point in time. Perhaps in the future (when it’s even later to begin anew.) Certainly, we hear from time to time of people who remade themselves from the ground up in their forties, fifties and sixties, but those are the exceptions – not the rule. Pre-nursing was no exception – there were plenty of people my age or older in my classes. Still… could I do it? I don’t know.

I have a great deal of regret, bumbling into this line of work, stumbling through the University of Michigan with as little effort as possible, escaping without much of an education despite my seven years there. The thing is, though, had I not been in computers, I would not have been employed by Liquid Web and I would not have met Mike Neir. Thus, the sacrifice is worthwhile.

Still, I wonder what I am capable of moving toward now. I am not convinced, despite my 4.0 GPA in sciences when I briefly went back to school several years ago, that I could succeed academically and find a new actual career. It would take a lot of effort to overhaul my life and put myself somewhere I could focus intensely on school again, and back to school I would have to go. One does not blithely stumble into any of the careers above (writing and photography excepted, perhaps.)

Too, working in computers feeds my Apathy. I sit all day in a reasonably comfortable place, typing away and Not Doing Much Real Stuff. I have plenty of time for personal browsing, research, even playing the odd game or two. It’s kind of unconscionable. Wendell Berry notices this trend, and abhors it. So many of us in this culture have been conditioned to eschew physical labor, and I consider myself an extreme case. Getting up and going downstairs to fix a problem is such an inconvenience! I have to stop what I’m doing (which again, is Not Much.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Computers have ruined me. It would suit me well to quit playing any computer games at all, but it would take quite a feat to yank me away from EVE. My time “in space” is diminishing, though, so I feel I’m on the right track.

In any of the jobs I crave, there would be a hell of a lot more work, and my body is aging. My body is fat. Losing weight would do me orders of magnitude of good, and perhaps my energy would return. When working at Wolf Haven, I busted ass physically, every day. And I loved that job. It remains the best job I’ve ever had.

I am increasingly dissatisfied with computers and my somewhat hectic pace because of them. “Hectic” isn’t the right word… it feels hectic, because there are always new stimuli, and if there aren’t, by god I seek them out! If Twitter, IM and email are not feeding me enough shiny things, I go off and find some on my own. I have conditioned my attention span to be minute.

Listening to The Story on NPR, or the Diane Rehm Show, I often hear interviews with people who absolutely love their jobs, and this floors me. What it must be like to wake up and go to a job one adores and is passionate about every day! I remember that at Wolf Haven, and for awhile at the alpaca ranch, and it was glorious. But I think I always knew those times were fleeting. This, right here, is a happy girl:

I want that happiness back.

The question being, of course – how do I get there?

Now granted, I find working at the library more rewarding than working at LW, simply because the end product is more meaningful to me. The environment is far more peaceful, the people more relaxed. The pace is almost 100% less frenetic. We provide important services to our patrons, fosters growing and learning and community. While literally millions of people rely upon the services LW provides, how many of them did I meet, how many were just out to make a buck, how many offered meaningful Services of Value?

Many of LW’s employees love computers and enjoy working with them, and good on them for it. Mike Neir is one of them. I’m not. It’s not enough.

Doing something else would take immense discipline, but would hold vast rewards. Still, as with many Huge, Vast Yearnings… it’s hard to make a plan for it. More “scary” than “hard,” I suppose.

Let’s take my weight. I’d be back at my ideal weight were I to lose 70-ish pounds. I would be healthier and probably have more energy. I would live longer. I would enjoy life more. I’d do more stuff. And yet, when I contemplate cutting back on tasty foods, and exercising more, my inner computer-addled lazy brain says, “yeah, but what’s in it for me?”

>.<

What’s in it for you? See the previous list, bucko. The whole “my entire life would be better” scenario. I know losing weight will not fix all my woes and worries, but it’s a damn fine start. I’ve been working more on accepting my age, size and shape with some success, but as I do so, I wonder, “What the hell for? Why accept something that’s so far away from what’s best for me?” My post on moving toward self-acceptance focused largely on my weight, and I remain conflicted there, as well. I am all about size acceptance and self-acceptance and Being Who We Are, but I think I’m just being lazy. I’m not fulfilling myself. I’m not living up to what I can be.

That’s what it comes down to in so many regards.

The yearning I feel is self-induced, with heavy influence from Our Stupid Culture. If I had one area of my life pretty well lined up, were I fulfilled by doing something meaningful to me really well, perhaps it would fill the void that is not only within me, but which encompasses me.

While I enjoy radical change (of which I am in control, mind you,) I’ve usually found it’s not sustainable. Thus, we go back to the Baby Steps Method.

Right now, I’m playing computer games less and reading more. I’m trying to explore what would truly fulfil me, what would give my life deeper meaning. For too long, I’ve been a jack-of-many-trades-master-of-none. There are very few things I’m good at anymore, because I stopped pursuing the things that used to make up my life BC (Before Computers.)

I am good with animals. I am good at analyzing things. I enjoy living systems. I can see many sides to every situation. When I’m on a roll, I’m a decent writer.  When I apply myself, I’m a pretty good cook. I read people well. I am trusting.

Those are my Meaningful Skills. What the hell do I pay the bills with there?

Indeed.

If “loving my dogs” would pay the bills, I reckon everyone would just be doing that, inserting whatever variable for “dogs” is appropriate.

This is, I suppose, why we have Hobbies. More people might define themselves by their recreational activities than by their career. I haven’t made a lot of time for hobbies in the last decade, especially since selling my motorcycle. A lot of that was lack of finances to do much of anything. I slipped and slid into being sedentary over time. In truth, I have probably always had that tendency, but it is certainly more pronounced in recent years. Part of it is, I feel, that my career sucks so much life and energy out of me by virtue of its frustrations and lack of meaning, that I just want to hole up and recuperate when I’m not at work. It takes Real Effort to motivate myself, because I just want to retreat. And yet, some of that getting away (nay, a large portion of it) involves sitting in front of a computer.

So here I am, throwing myself against computer systems I will probably never come close to fully understanding. In truth, I have little desire to understand them beyond fixing the problems that crop up, because I don’t like or care about them.

Boy howdy, am I ever in the wrong line of work.

In my successful scholarship application when I was pursuing nursing school, I wrote, “It is a profound thing to realize one’s life calling when one is nearly forty.” While I may have been exaggerating a bit about nursing being My Life’s Calling (I know how to pitch things, as well, but a salesperson I will never be,) I was at least on the right track.

Overcoming fear and apathy are immense tasks; even starting to try is intimidating, which feels extremely weird to write having jumped out of airplanes, undertaken cross-country motorcycle rides alone and having made rash, life-altering decisions with swiftness.

The things that will only better myself are perhaps the most intimidating undertakings. What is that about?!

It’s ridiculous.

It’s silly.

So… now what?

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Posts at least a little bit like this one:

Failures, Lifestyle, Mental Well-Being, Musing, Nature, Stress

22 responses to Autumnal Musings & Yearnings


  1. Oh, man, I can totally feel where you’re at. I haven’t read some of your more recent blog entries and this is the one I start back up with? I went to school for my job because I thought it would be something I’d love. I’m not 100% sure it is now, but I’ve been in a branch of it that feeds my apathy and computer addiction for most of my short professional career. I’d love to work with nature, but going back to school when I’ve been out less than a few years feels like a failed effort waiting to happen.

    It’s good to hear I’m not alone in wanting to do more, but not quite being able to.

    Good luck!

  2. Michigan Heather

    I’m thinking about a lot of this stuff, too, as we continue to contemplate a move to Maine. But I’m coming at it from a different place: I love so much about my job, and moving means leaving that behind and probably going to a job I like a lot less (while picking up other things I like more outside of that).

    So, I’m thinking thinking thinking about what I like about my job, what I need to be fulfilled, and then trying to figure out how to find that in Maine, where there are just. not. many. jobs.

    I think we’re going to up and move to Maine on faith, and I’m not going to know if it will work out before we go.

    My family better not drive me crazy, as they’re a big reason I’m moving back there…!!

  3. Erin D.

    Hi April/Sarah? I completely understand not wanting to go back to school, especially so recently having come out. For me, I like not having pressing homework/studying – in my current job, I leave it all at the end of the business day, and that is *great*. School is hard. You are definitely not alone! Thanks for leaving a comment, and if you post about your process, I’d love to read it.

  4. Erin D.

    Heather heather heather, my heather. I think our really good conversation about your possible move really stirred things up in me, because you *do* love your job so much! Your eyes light up and you find meaning and fulfilment, and I was really blown away.

    Ultimately, I really feel moving will be such a huge, awesome thing for you guys, for all the reasons we discussed, but I completely understand why it’s scary. I’m so envious of all the upcoming excitement for you and Keith.

    You better believe I’m going to be rooting for you! And of course, there is always that magical device, The Phone, my avoidance of which I will happily put aside to talk to you anytime. 🙂 <3

  5. Severin

    Interesting post. Random comments:

    + I like listening to The Story. It always makes the mind wander when hearing about people and their choices & rationale. The memorable ones being a poverty-stricken miner and a prostitute.

    + I can’t sit through a Diane Rehm show without stewing in how much I disapprove of her voice and how it affects the show.

    + Though I have a ways to go, my weight loss efforts have gone nicely. With all of the perks behind why you’ve considered going for it, have you considered the simplest? The sheer satisfaction of accomplishing what many Americans can’t (read: won’t) is fulfilling. A couple weeks ago, I realized I could fit into the same size pants I wore in highschool (-2 sizes from before I began the endeavour). I was beaming afterwards. Lastly, the physical activity I do is far from strenuous, IMO just establishing the habit is the important part. On a daily basis now, I feel awkward if I haven’t done my laps or lifted weights, since I’ve gotten accustomed to those interruptions from my other stuff.

  6. Erin D.

    Severin – Obligatory: You will always be my little fritter dumpling.

    Relevant: How awesome you’ve been shrinking your pants. I mean… your size. I mean… ok, you know what I mean. >.< The Story is a great show - I get to listen to it every night on the way home, and I usually end up in tears at one point or another. I adore Diane Rehm, even with her quasi-paralyzed voice box. She's a bastion of civility and integrity. I do understand where you're coming from, though - at first, it kind of grated on me, too, kind of like, "what is someone with *that* voice doing on the radio?" I suspect you're right about Establishing the Habit, but man - getting there is Pain. Full. I haven't even been doing the Wii fit in forfrickinever, because it seems like "too much effort." It's in my LIVING ROOM, how much stupid effort is that?! >.< Anyhow, thanks for the thoughts, looking forward to seeing you soon. 🙂

  7. I know exactly what you mean. I also stumbled into IT, and it was hard to leave. The work made me miserable 9 days out of 10, but turning away from a stable and relatively comfortable career is hard to justify. Erin and I made the decision to get ourselves qualified for professions that are (hopefully) more enjoyable.

    It took us the better part of 2 years to work out the details, and in that time I somehow managed to convince myself that school would be different the second time around. That I would take advantage of it, that I would actually like it. To be honest, it isn’t that different, and I didn’t really have the patience for academia back then, either.

    I think we’ve made the right move, and I think in a couple years we’ll be grateful, but I’m not certain. I’ve never had a GREAT job, one that I love. Honestly, I’m not certain one exists for me. I’m still searching, but what I’m learning is that the in-between time is where life happens. I’m getting better at finding the things that are rewarding and leaving the rest at work. It’s about a good relationship, some enjoyable hobbies, and racking up some varied experience along the way.

    And about varied experience: Don’t think for a second that being a jack-of-all trades is a flaw. There are opportunity costs to be considered, and breadth of experience is just as valuable as depth.

    • Erin D.

      Msapak – thanks for the thoughts. 🙂 I really miss our conversations a great deal. What you and Erin are doing is inspiring and courageous. I am also not certain I’ll ever find another job that I *love*, and as much as I like the idea of going back to school, I know the reality will be tedious and require a great deal of focus, time, energy and patience – all of which have been in short supply. I absolutely value the breadth of my experience a great deal, having dabbled in a great many things, but I do wish there were something I was just *great* at. I haven’t found it yet, but perhaps some day.

  8. Get out of my head! I know exactly how you feel, really.

    If you want to lose weight martial arts may not be a bad idea. I’ve lost about 30 lbs since I started.

    • Erin D.

      Mwatters – Martial arts have always intrigued me, but I never got beyond signing up for Aikido classes I did not attend. I like the idea of Tai Chi, Yoga and other meditative physical arts… I just have to Get There, somehow. Thanks. 🙂

  9. Judith

    What about being the IT person somewhere more interesting? Museums are lookings for ways to make themselves more accessible and relevant and computers are the pipeline to much of that. Take the IT stuff you’re doing in your sleep and do it for a business that excites you. Is there a natural history museum within reach? Even in reach via the intertoobz? Ask what they need from someone with your skills.

    • Erin D.

      Hi Judith – Thank you for your thoughts. This is something I have thought about, too, parlaying my experience into another (more personally rewarding) field, but the thing is – I just absolutely hate what I’m doing. Rather than being fulfilled and sustained by my job, it sucks the life out of me, and it always has. Being at the library is far, far better than places I have been in the past, but it is still the same work. This may be a path I have to end up taking, though, if it pays the bills, but we shall see.

  10. George

    Here’s five words that helped me, measurably. Get. On. The. Damn. Bike.

    Because of the bike, and more importantly, the willingness to suffer (and enjoy) on it for 2-5 hours a week, I’ve lost 35 lbs in about 18 months. And it would have been faster if I didn’t enjoy cheeseburgers quite so much. And the measurables: -35 lbs. -11+% bodyfat. 53+ VO2max. -3+inches in waist size. All without having to jog. And I’m considering another 5 lbs off, just because I can.

    But just as much as the measurable gain, the bigger gain, probably from your perspective, is the confirmation that one has control over one’s body, and by extension, one’s life. Especially as we age, it’s easy to think that decrepitude is something we simply surrender to and have little control over. But its simply untrue, especially at the rate the average American falls apart. There’s no question that while intellectually I knew I could do this, I wasn’t sure I believed it, simply because I didn’t know how it would go. And while being healthy is its own reward, the knowledge that you have that dominion over your own body is just as worthy and worth all of work and yes, suffering. Plus, you get to be outside!

    So take heart. If you want to take control of your life, the easiest thing to do is to take control of the one thing that is not subject to what other people do with theirs: your body. Start there, and maybe you can work the rest out.

    • Erin D.

      Hi George, and thanks. We have talked repeatedly about getting bikes, but have not gotten down to it. Since we live in the country, I think it is the perfect mode of getting out of the house, getting a little exercise and enjoying the countryside. How awesome that you’ve lost that much weight and made yourself that much healthier, holy cow! The last time I got myself into shape, it was through running, and I hated every damn second of it, even though I was running on a gorgeous rails-to-trails path through the Washington woods and meadows. I’m not cut out for running, and I hate hate hate it. Biking is a very nice alternative. Getting control over my body and my eating is a great first step, and I’ve started working on the mental part of it lately – trying to break snacky habits, getting out of “must get mocha frappe on way to work,” that sort of thing. It’s difficult, but I can do it.

      I completely agree the typical American diet/body/lifestyle are train wrecks and that we fall apart faster than we should. I’d like to buck that trend, too.

      Thank you, my friend. 🙂

  11. Travis W.

    I’ve had an insanely diverse experience in IT, most of which was actually not spent behind a desk. When I worked as an IT outsourcer for a bunch of small companies out West, on any given day I could find myself engaged in: networking with PTP wireless in a rock quarry wash plant, hiking all over a hospital to survey the WiFi CAN, climbing on roofs to reposition WiFi antennae, or bumbling around in ceiling plenums running cable.

    I love building stuff with technology, so I’m in the right field, but I still share a lot of your sentiments about how computers can “ruin” our minds. I try to offset that by getting the hell outside and taking long breaks from phone and terminal alike.

    But what really drove me when I was doing the outsourcing stuff was the physical and social fun of it. I met some of the most fascinating people I would have never met otherwise, and was able to experience industries first-hand that I’d always been curious about. Of all my jobs in IT, I think that one was the most personally rewarding. Working as a systems engineer is a blast and all, but so desk-bound and political that I have to make time for physical and social activity outside of the workplace.

    When I was a kid I wanted to be a veterinarian. Jim Kjelgaard was my favorite author (Big Red, et al). I lived in rural Illinois and spent more time outdoors than indoors.

    I had an old pine tree that lightning had blown the top off of, and I used to sit up there for hours listening to the cicadas and reading books. I spent time communing with nature and listening to those quiet parts of my mind.

    One thing I realized a few years ago, after being into computers for 15 years, is that the quiet part of my mind became so much harder to hear over the electric hum of all the cyberpunky noise. My patience and ability to delay gratification had dwindled, and my need for immediate feedback had started overriding my respect for other people.

    Coming from an agrarian background, where being neighborly and enjoying the slow pace of the seasons was a real part of life, I realized I had found one of the professional hazards of IT. Working with technology, projecting one’s mind into the computer, and constant exposure to all the high-frequency noise creates a kind of high that leaves me feeling ungrounded.

    I have found that just going outside and laying in the grass has a profoundly calming effect on my psyche. When I have friends who need help moving, I always volunteer. Physical exertion drops me back into my body and makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. Walking in the rain is awesome too.

    And yet, when I’m doing those things, I feel like they’re alien to what I’ve become over the 20+ years I’ve put into IT. The more I do them, though, the less alien they feel, so I think what it boils down to is a question of balance, and I’m slowly finding the answer.

    I know people in IT who go out and SCUBA or climb mountains or surf, but they are in that minority of well-grounded IT people. It took me 15 years to get to that realization, and I think it was the most important discovery I made regarding my career. We need to stay grounded.

    That voice in your head telling you what a pain in the ass it is to go downstairs to fix something is only there because it’s grown accustomed to being able to press a few keys to affect a large perceived change. Perception is reality and all that. I’m not super-ace at telling that voice to shut up its stupid face, but the more I do, the happier I feel and the more time seems to slow down. Eventually I suppose I’ll feel somewhat like I did when I was a kid sitting on top of my lightning tree.

    The other thing you brought up was changing careers at midlife. I think it’s bullshit that people who do so are in some kind of tiny minority. I’ve known many, many people in my life, several in my own family, who have changed careers at least three times. My own mom, who has been an RN for something like 36 years, finally went back to get her PhD in emotional intelligence and transpersonal psychology, and has since been involved with DoD studies into workplace hostility, written numerous articles for various journals, and has received a lot of recognition for her work in a somewhat niche, but altogether interesting field. She never thought she’d go back to school or change her career, for that same reason you poo-poo’d the idea: self-doubt.

    Yeah, I’ll call you out on it. I think the only reason you’re not doing what you really want and love to do right now is because of self-doubt and that foolish, impatient, computer voice telling you it’s too much work to go downstairs, closer to the ground, and fix it. 😀

    BTW – can we all go out and get some beers again sometime? That was a lot of fun, and I want more friends to hang out with.

    • Erin D.

      Twitchert – I also wanted to be a veterinarian, until I started seeing behind the scenes at vets’ offices and soon realized I would end up in prison on multiple homicide charges for killing the assholes who abuse and neglect their animals. Although I knew I would be helping the animals, I couldn’t face their intense sufferings every day. Sadly, I’m not that strong a person. And I’m pretty much not kidding about ending up in prison, either – I could not abide the inhumanity people inflict upon animals.

      It’s wonderful you’re in the right field, and you seem so well suited to it. In the LW environment, most of us are (well, “were” in my case) desk-bound and have little opportunity to get in any reasonable amount of physical activity. Plenty of the staff have active outside lives, and I admire their ability to do it.

      I can see you sitting up in that old tree, reading and listening and watching, and it reminds me of moments in my own childhood, when my best-friend-neighbor, Lisa, and I would spend all hours up in trees and in the woods. It was glorious and rewarding and it felt great. I haven’t climbed a tree in decades, alas.

      You raise a good point about being outside of our bodies – I have always had the tendency to be very “in my head”-oriented, but it’s been taken to such extremes in the last twenty years, I can’t even remember what it feels like *not* to be in here full-time anymore. I do feel a profound change in myself when I go out and just sit with the chickens for awhile, watch the dogs play in the yard or watch dragonflies and all the myriad other critters come and go from plant to plant. When I’m out there, watching the complexity and perfection of the ecological systems, I am so humbled and I think, “Why the hell do I need anything more than what’s right here?” And then I go inside to check email, or Twitter, or whatever… and the cycle begins anew, the dragonflies reprioritized.

      Self-doubt is very likely one of the strongest factors compelling me toward apathy and non-change, I agree. I was looking at the courses required to get something like an Environmental Sciences degree, so I could do habitat restoration or environmental impact studies and I became completely awash in terror – “I CAN’T DO THIS!” – and immediately began questioning my ability to see anything like that through. Were I watching anyone else go through the process I am beginning, I would tell them that’s just their insecurities talking, that they could do it, just needed to focus, et cetera. Well, yes. Yes, I do need to do that.

      Also, we can absolutely go hang out sometime. 🙂

      Thanks very much for the insight and thoughts.

  12. Seth

    Agreed Travis. The simple fact is that all of us who spend this much time around technology, seeing how we can break it and fix it and put it back together again to make it work how we want it to…makes us sedentary and stale. The fact of the matter is that we all need to find our ground, our inner and happy place. It takes time and discipline to get to that place.

    • Erin D.

      Thanks, Seth – I think part of me just assumed I would find this natural flow, have balance without effort, et cetera and that has let me get wildly out of whack. It will indeed take a lot of time and discipline (which I have yet to cultivate) to bring things back around.

  13. Judith

    Erin, you need to turn just one “can’t” into a “can” to get started.

    At our office we have a yoga teacher come and give a class at lunch time once a week. We take over a seminar room and spread out our mats. We split the cost on a session of several months. You could call yoga studios in the general area and ask if anyone would teach such a class.

    Maybe take one night class and try school on again for size, get a bike, whatever, but stop denying yourself the chance to change and (maybe) have some fun. You’re in a grump-rut, my girl. I recognize the signs!

  14. Erin D.

    Oh, no – a grump-rut?!?! Am I doomed? 🙂

    I agree – I need to get a little momentum going and get the wheels turning. Yesterday, I went out and put a deposit on a new bicycle. If I can get my body and my mind back in shape, get more energy, be healthier, et cetera, I think that will open a bunch of doors and help me to reframe my attitude more positively.

    What a great idea to have someone come in and do a class! I’m not sure how many of The Ladies here would be interested in such a thing, but it’s surely worth a try. I’m a little too intimidated right now to buy classes at a proper studio and go humiliate myself in front of a bunch of fitter people.

    I really do want to claw my way out of this place. Thank you very, very much for your help and your thoughts!

  15. Bob Hole

    Begin! The most difficult concept in self transformation. Stop wondering. Stop planning. Stop making excuses. Stop thinking of all the reasons why not. Begin!

    If biking is your thing, get a cheap one to begin! Carigslist, or the local bike shop will have a used bike for cheap. Get one and begin.

    Losing weight requires no equipment, no special training, it requires eating less. Strive for the perfection of a single bite. I know you love to cook. Prepare a perfect one bite experience. In place of seeking to feel good while feeling full, learn that feeling slightly hungry is really a better feeling. Constant reinforcement of a slight hunger is knowing you are winning the battle every day, every moment. Begin stopping before you are sated.

    Begin the search for a new, fulfilling career. Paying the bills is important so keep your current work, but begin volunteering in a field you would like to try. Experience something of the reality of a thing before committing to it. Become a gardening consultant for your area, helping people plan and create gardens. Become a backyard chicken consultant helping new chicken owners. Do is as a community service to begin. No one complains about free service (well most don’t :-)) Put a flyer in the local feed store, put one on the library bulletin board. Don’t make excuses why you can’t do it. Begin!

    You are a planner, an analyzer, a thinker, a worrier. All of which is to say a procrastinator.

    Begin!

  16. Erin D.

    Hi Bob. 🙂 I am indeed Beginning. You’re right – I am absolutely a procrastinator by nature, but when I decide to do something, I do it. The hemming and hawing is usually reserved for less important stuff.

    So, I’ve got an application in to MSU (pre-declared as Environmental Sciences/Plant Biology, but I’ll adjust as needed,) I’ve got the deposit on a bike, and I’m shifting my “browsing for pleasure” topics. I’ve been working on a couple of fictional pieces to feed the creative urges.

    The Perfect Bite is an interesting concept – I may gave that a shot.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

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