Photo is of me playing what little I remember of The Entertainer, by Scott Joplin, on a piano in Ft. Collins. CO
I would be happy, stop drinking all the time, get rid of the toxic people in my life, save more money, quit whining, be happy and go about creating a life I loved. It wasn’t until a cold dreadful day in December of 2011, when I found myself at a precarious point at a train track, that I made a bold and rather drastic decision.
Up until then I was stuck in self-improvement purgatory. Living this shitty life, yet always consuming self-help books and videos, with nothing ever changing.
I found solace from my pain in the words of self-improvement books and “gurus”. For a brief time the words provided me with a rush of inspiration, that my life really would be okay. However, inspiration is fleeting and once I closed the books I was back to grumbling about my life.
I didn’t need inspiration. I needed a good kick in the ass.
My life was the fault of everyone around me. If only someone had not done this, or said that. For decades I blamed my parents for my life.
Here is the truth — I really didn’t want my life to change. Perhaps on the surface I did but in order for my life to change, I had to take full responsibly for my actions and my decisions. That meant work and I had become jaded and lazy about my life.
I let the constant consumption of self-improvement become my escape from reality.
Begin. With the humility of someone who’s not sure, and the excitement of someone who knows that it’s possible. ~ Seth Godin
When I ran off to Colorado for the eight months, I had very little. I had a car, which I still had car payments. I had no job out there, I had about $1,000 to my name and I knew two people.
What I did have, was the decision I had made to finally do something about my life.
I was fed up with myself.
I knew I was killing myself with my drinking
I feared I would one day give into this profound sadness and end my life
Yet, many feel the way I do and still will not move forward. Why is that?
There are many articles out there that address this question but here is my opinion. We are comfortable where we are, regardless of how much we complain. There is a certain level of faith in this day-to-day. The complaining even is a comfort, because we feel better after we spew, although short lived. Letting go of the comfortable can be a very scary thing. It is a known quantity for us. Changing the way we operate, no matter how dysfunctional, is like being dropped into a foreign land where we do not know the culture or speak the language.
And sometimes the wanting to want to change is enough.
Coming into our 50’s is the best time to make changes, and it may be the hardest. As we shed many of the old ideas and notions, kids leaving home, perhaps getting out of a marriage that doesn’t suit us anymore; we also have many decades old entrenched habits and patterns.
So, the best advice I can give you, from someone who has been there, and made significant changes — Start small, start where you are, start with imperfect plans, but just start.