The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men…lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain.
Robert Burns (1785)
Those of my Dear Readers who follow Light at Sea may remember an earlier version of this post I published 365 days ago. Why post it again? Because it’s a reminder that New Year’s resolutions are a two-edged sword and should be made, if at all, carefully and realistically. Second, I’ve been working on humility, and reading it again reminds me that I have a strong streak of hypocrisy that evokes this clever saying I heard in an AA meeting recently: “Take my advice; I’m not using it.” To wit, last December 31, although I cautioned against making New Year’s resolutions at all, I still made some, and then failed to keep most of ’em. That a few were torpedoed by forces majeure (a wildfire followed by a breakthrough Delta case) is a lame excuse.
So, here we go again, with cites to some updated studies, one of my own silly stories, and some thoughts on mitigating the frustrations involved in making these insane promises to ourselves (and to others–who don’t care anyway).
Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill
In my December 5, 2020 post, I took a look at strategies and perspectives that are key to achieving victory in the war against our old enemy, impostor syndrome. Today, I have the syndrome’s frequent partner in crime, fear of failure, in the cross-hairs.
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.
If, Rudyard Kipling
Fred Rogers may have liked us just the way we are, but most of us don’t share his upbeat opinion. We gnash our teeth and silently scream, “I hate myself!” We’re sure that any success that might have drifted our way was just luck, not ability.
“It takes a village.” “There’s strength in numbers.” These wise cliches notwithstanding, so many of us lead lives of isolation, a physical reality and harmful state of mind that are being exacerbated day after day as COVID cases increase. Today, I will talk about combating the depression and fear that loneliness often brings.
In my cozy, book-lined blog workshop, I have been trying to write a post on meditation and its first cousin, mindfulness. Because I am a neophyte practitioner of these time-honored arts, I decided to start with a subject that I know more about: tennis. What has that time-honored sport got to do with mindfulness, you may ask? Please read on.
There are few things that you can’t do if you are willing to apply yourself.
“Go get some exercise!” Great advice! After all, the mental and physical health benefits of daily exercise are tremendous. For folks like me who practice self-care to manage depression, it has been wonderful to experience directly what studies show: Regular, modest exercise is at least as effective as antidepressants. Healthy Living.
So, why is it sometimes so bloody hard to follow this great advice? What follows are some thoughts on how to actually look forward to exercising rather than dreaming up excuses not to.
In the middle of one of my selfish woe-is-me rants about being cooped up during the pandemic, I ran across this beautiful prayer written by Cameron Wiggins Bellm, a Seattle mother of two, a Russian instructor, and a blogger with a great first name.
Having talked a bit about bike riding in my last post, Cycling For Justice, I want to share some risk mitigation tips I have learned training for and struggling through long organized rides since 1996. Note that I am not using the words “safe” or “safety.” As with anything worth doing, cycling has a number of risks. Although they can’t be eliminated (even by the most zealous helicopter parents), here are some tips for reducing them:
I had intended in this week’s post to explore mindfulness and meditation, strategies in the self-care tool kit. Instead, I want to talk today about issues of racism that have been highlighted yet again by the May 25 murder of George Floyd, and by the homicides of so many other innocent black victims, by police sworn to serve and protect them. These slayings have re-focused national attention on, and raised fundamental questions about, the deeply embedded racism against blacks in this country:
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear…is fear itself.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
I can’t remember when I first heard those famous words, but I’m glad I remember them now. They will live in famy. (This is my blog so I can make up words if I jolly well like.) They are as timely, necessary, and inspirational now as they were when FDR addressed a terrified nation in 1933.