Friday, August 01, 2008

My own backyard

I do a lot of complaining, I realize that. I'm sure many people get sick of hearing me complain about this or complain about that, tho in my own defense, it is rarely just for the sake of complaint itself. There's just a whole lot of things, small scale to large, that I think need significant improvement.

The first is me.

Like any human being, I am chalk full of imperfections...some of them quite significant. I generally try to point out, when I'm complaining about something, that I realize I am far from perfect. I thought I'd just take a moment on this blog, though, to point the finger specifically inward.

The first foible that I must share, is one of the biggest possible. I am a smoker of cigarettes. Sometimes lightly, sometimes quite heavily. This is the thing I am least proud of about myself. Why I remain a smoker is probably a sum of a few of my other foibles. It is a nasty circle too, because working on those other foibles tends to cause stress which tends to lead to more smoking. And without fixing some of those other foibles, quitting this evil and disgusting habit is an unlikely prospect.

Foible #2 is the fact that, for all my enviro-pushing, I still use bottled water. And not even an innocuous, I drink Dasani bottled water...a Coca-Cola product. I also slug back far too much Coca-Cola itself, I must admit. I don't like this habit but it seems to be a lot easier to deal with than the water issue.

Next is the fact that I have let myself get sadly out of shape. I am not so far gone as many individuals, but 3 flights of stairs and I'm out of breath for 5 minutes. As I grew up on a fairly manual farm and played some seasonal sports, I was in pretty good shape, in regards to muscle and cardio. This is no longer the case, and at late 34 it will probably take me a year of hard work and no smoking to get anywhere near where I used to be.

I also have too much of a temper. This is not to say a violent temper, as it takes a great deal to lead me to a violent temper. It is to say that I let myself "get worked up", which makes rational thought difficult or near impossible. I often think I have made significant progress in this area, but then something happens to show there is still a LONG way to go.

The next two will be listed together, as I think they are the core of my flaws, and perhaps of everybody's flaws. They are lack of willpower and lack of focus. Most of the projects I am working on require a significant amount of both of these things, and I can be desperately out of balance with both. These are probably my weakest areas, overall, and I HAVE to address them in order to have any hope with the others.

Obviously this list could be a lot longer, but these are the main personal issues that I feel are huge priorities in my life right now. These are the main things that I complain to myself about, regularly.

Just thought I'd share.

Be well Sisters and Brothers


MoonRaven said...

Thank you for being so open and honest about your own foibles. I know mine are often in my face and I work on them enough. I spent some time many years back with a political group that had the slogan, 'Change yourself to change the world'. I've since realized you've got to do both--work on yourself while working on changing the world.

At the risk of dealing with the specks in your eye while ignoring the beam in mine, I'll offer a few suggestions (that sounds so much better than advice): First of all, get some support. Changing anything you do is so much easier when you don't have to do it alone. There are generally support groups available at area health clinics for stopping smoking. And realize that it's an addiction. Don't dump on yourself for smoking, get help.

Get support for drinking nonbottled water as well. The tap water in most communities is as good or better than the bottled stuff and far better for you than Coke or other 'soft drinks'. And I'd bet that the thing that would help you the most would be getting more exercise--walking, running, swimming, whatever works for you. It would get you in better shape, help with letting go of the smoking, and probably help with your temper as well (sometimes when I'm frustrated it helps to just walk it off). Sometimes you can find someone in the same boat and walk or run or whatever together.

And, as far as willpower and focus, I'll say again, get support. Talk to a friend, make plans and organize with them. Also, start listing your strengths and pay attention to those. Sometimes, focusing on what you do well and what works for you is a better place to start than obsessively looking at what you don't do as well.

I'm sure you know most, if not all, of this. And all this is easy for me to say from my chair on the other side of the continent--but I'll offer what support I can. I think one of my strengths is cheerleading, so I'll end with: "Go, man, go. You can do it. You can make changes. You can get the support you need. And, remember, you're worth it. We need you to help wake the rest of us up."

Theresa said...

This is a courageous post. It's hard to look oneself in the mirror like that, let alone post it 'out there' where others can read about it. I see a lot of my own flaws in what you've written. I've just begun to read your blog so I'm not sure what your feelings are on this topic, but I find that meditation helps me to focus and de-stress (when I remember to do it!) and I have also found that reading the Tao Te Ching has helped me to change my perspective such that will power isn't as much of an issue anymore, for some things.

Ok, back to reading some more....

Amber said...

Hey there! Just discovered your blog from Pondering the Myriad Things. I love finding more Cancon in the blogosphere! Thanks for sharing this post. It's easy to come to the conclusion that green bloggers have got it all figured out and do all the right things, all the time, when many posts focus on encouraging others to take positive action and make lifestyle changes. I think the risk in that, is people sometimes feel that an impossible example is being set that they can't follow or live up to. Sharing those parts of you that you're still working on reminds people that it's not about being perfect, it's about trying to do the best you can!
I know my own list of things I need to work on is pretty darn long too. (Confession: I still smoke the occasional cigarette!)

SoapBoxTech said...

Thank you all for your comments, both in response to my little confession and just because it is nice to finally know a few people are reading what I write.

It has been wonderful to discover your pages as well. I feel invigorated to know there really are other like-minded and active folks around. It gets pretty lonely from that perspective, here in oil country. Most people look at me as some kind of liberal hippie lunatic when I discuss these thoughts socially.

Anonymous said...

Why not put tap water in bottles and drink? One easy thing then all your left is the rest..

New reader, also working on own changes