Today I’m grateful that I have trouble maintaining any form of personal development because I get so tired. And since I know that, I can do something about it.
I know that I get wrapped up in my own brain and wear out my mental energy fighting with myself – “Am I doing the right thing?” “Should do this other thing instead?” “Is it even possible for me to have anything resembling success?”
I already have a lot of things in my life that resemble success, but I also have a lot of things that resemble failure. Maybe what I’m accomplishing now is all that I can accomplish. It’s possible, but since there’s no way for me to know unless I keep trying… I’ll keep trying.
Today I’m grateful that I failed in my goal to write here every morning.
It’s been 17 days – on day one I failed to reach my goal, and for the sixteen days after that I failed to get back on the horse.
Failure isn’t a dirty word. It’s a reality – I planned on doing one thing, and by my own actions I didn’t get it done. I failed.
I’m grateful that I can face the reality of the situation, and that I can learn from it.
I’m jumping back on the horse today. But I’m not just jumping on and riding it the way that I did last time – I’m adjusting the saddle, changing how snug the stirrups are, communicating with the horse a bit differently. If I just hop back on and ride the same way that I rode before, I’ll fall off again. As I first learned in AA – I’m not going to do the same thing and expect different results.
I’m grateful that I learned that.
These are the changes that I’m making:
- The biggest adjustment has to do with the direction of the blog. The purpose of this blog was to Amor Fati – to develop the habit of not just accepting, but loving my fate. Loving everything that happens to me and everything that is currently in my life. I was only focusing on being grateful for the “bad”, since that’s the part of my life that needed that most work – the positive stuff is easy to love. Now, I’m going to acknowledge the positive as well, especially since the “good” things in our lives outnumber the “bad” by at least a hundred to one. Our brains are wired to look for what’s wrong. I think that the theory that it’s an evolutionary trait is right, since for our ancestors it was much more important to keep an eye out for the lion than to appreciate the beauty of the sunset. Although it still exists, in modern, developed countries physical threats are a much smaller problem, regardless of what the news tries to tell us. My life requires that I appreciate the good on a regular basis, if only to combat the negatives that are shoved down our throats on a regular basis so that people with power can feast on the foie gras of our fear. (Wow, Lyman, quite the rant there… take it out or leave it in? Leave it in for honesty’s sake.)
- Sometimes it’s the people in our lives that we end up not being grateful for. To call them out publicly because of a small, silly, private slight or annoyance would cause misunderstanding and harm, and I want live my life causing as little harm as possible (I’ve already caused more than my share). So I was avoiding writing about these things but still stewing about them, and therefore not doing the exercise honestly. I still need work in that area, but if I choose to write about it, it will go in a private journal.
- I’m going to get away from using the word “thanksgiving.” I’ve been starting most entries with the phrase “Today I’m thankful for…”; I thought I had to because that’s the name of the fricking blog. That doesn’t feel right to me, and never has. “Today I’m grateful for…” feels better.
I’m grateful that I’ve identified these issues, and that I can implement them and move forward.
So, to recap – today I’m grateful that I failed, I’m grateful that I got back on the horse, and I’m grateful that I’ve identified the problems that caused that failure.
Fate permitting, I’ll be back tomorrow. I hope you’ll join me.
Today I give thanks for the struggle that I have with accepting support from people.
I’m specifically talking about support in creative endeavors, and specifically thinking about my wife and her sister, and even more specifically thinking about their support for this little project of mine.
I’m learning to simply say “Thank You” when my wife tells me how much she loves a day’s entry. Getting those two words out can be difficult, because my self doubt is triggered hard when she compliments my work. “She’s blinded to my idiocy because of love,” I think. “This whole project really is a dumb idea, why can’t she see that?” comes next. Followed by a sprinkling of “She’s a damn PhD candidate… can’t she see what a shitty writer I am?”
And yesterday, my sister-in-law said that she was impressed that I’m sticking to my goal of doing this everyday. “Yeah, but the big quit is coming,” say the thoughts.
It’s a struggle, but this blog is about be grateful for the struggle. So I’m grateful.
Thank you, Tracy and Tammy, for all of your support.
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?
This morning I’m thankful that this is becoming quite the chore… and I’m not even 10% done with the project yet.
I’ve never liked when things become a chore. I like the excitement and the possibility of things when they are new. When they start to become actual work, where I have to put any kind of effort into them, I lose interest.
I’m grateful that I know that now, and that I can work with it to continue not only this little “year of thanksgiving” project, but also with any other worthwhile projects I may take on. Just because I’ve always been one way in the past doesn’t mean that I have to continue to be that way in the future. Change usually isn’t immediate. It more often happens slowly, almost imperceptibly, like water running over rock. Suddenly, almost out of nowhere, you realize that you’ve got the makings of a Grand Canyon.