Second Chances

I find myself going through a hard time recently. I don’t share all of it on this blog, to my friends, regardless of what some think. I let it out in small pieces, comments, little insights to my psyche at times, but most are not aware of the inner turmoil I feel on my days. Some are more adept at picking up on these subtle clues; Jennifer being one of them, Meghan to some extent, especially as it affects my health and wellness, but most people don’t see the signs. And that’s OK.

I hesitate to call it “depression”, because (1) I think it’s an overused term, and (2) I have gone through depression, the sort when I crawled in bed and didn’t come out for three days, and this feels different. This is, a feeling of being overwhelmed. A feeling of being trapped in circumstances and you cannot see a way out. It’s a feeling of …. just being tired …. of everything and of everyone. I don’t like feeling like this. It manifests itself in numerous ways … being late to work everyday, and really not caring if I am … needing a haircut but not getting one … letting the beard grow … saying what I think at all times to whoever I want to with no regard as to who they are …

Well, to be honest, that last one is part of my make-up so I cannot attribute that to this current issue.

“The lesson will always repeat itself, unless you see yourself as the problem–not others.” ~Shannon L. Alder

I have never had a hard time accepting responsibility for my own predicaments, or assigning a blame to others when they had something to do with said predicament, to the point that I hurt feelings. It bothers me that I am like this. I know it as I am doing it, yet I still do it, then become so stubborn in it I refuse to back off. It is not a good trait. The bottom line is that no matter what the situation is that I find myself, the base decision to be there was still my own, and regardless of what outside influences funneled me to that spot, I allowed myself to be funneled. Blaming others for it is a cowards way, and I know this, so I accept the responsibility for it all. I chose to put myself in the situation where my position was removed and I ended up unemployed for a long period of time. Others had a hand in it for certain, but I allowed myself to be placed in that position by trusting too much and not making the correct decisions even though it may have hurt people, because those that it would have hurt ended up just fine afterwards. The only person I hurt was myself.

Even when it comes to health and racing, the results declining, the injuries, are the results of actions and decisions I make every day when I decide whether or not to actually do my training and stick to my eating plan. If I adhere to the plan 100% I will perform well and lose the weight I want. when I deviate, which only I control, the opposite happens. No one to blame but myself. It doesn’t matter what crap food is in my pantry … I decide whether or not to eat it.

“Live Today! Do not allow your spirit to be softened of your happiness to be limited by a day you cannot have back or a day that does not yet exist.” ~Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering where I went wrong and what I could have done to prevent the situation I am currently in, or the life I have led to this point. Though I know this is pointless, and an exercise only ending in depression and misery, I still do it. I was doing it in this very article. At my age, worrying about mistakes I have made, roads I have taken, is pointless and only serves to prevent me from living what remains of my life in happiness. Would I have been a different person if my father had not been killed when I was three? Maybe … but who’s to say what that person would have been, better or worse? The sum of our past makes us who we are, so it is just a matter of accepting who we are and learning to like that person, not ruminate over choices of what may have been (not that my father’s death was a choice … but you get my point). This also goes to others I have affected during my days. As a father I have to understand that any errors I made while raising my son is in the past, and at some point he has to make his own choices. I cannot continue to accept the blame for choices that they make as an adult. As children we tend to blame our parents for our short-comings. My issues with money, both good and bad, come from my parents relationship with money, or lack there of, but at 52 it is pretty ridiculous to blame my upbringing on current issues. Those were caused by my actions, again both good and bad.

In health, especially around diet, there is a belief that basically states that when you fall off the wagon, or make a choice that is innately unhealthy, you forget about it and make a better choice at the next meal. You don’t dwell on the mistake, but instead accept it and move on, resolving not to make the same mistake again.

The world is full of second chances, the ability to reset yourself and start all over again. In the endurance sport world I find myself in this is not a principle that is often related. The “alpha-male” syndrome of “no failure”, “no pain no gain”, etc. is still alive and well …. and it is wrong. There is nothing wrong with saying to yourself, “yes, I fucked up, but I am starting over as of right now”. Nothing stands in your way. Learning to just be kind to ourselves, the same way we are kind to others, is a hard lesson, and one I am still trying to learn.

My Second Chance starts today …

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