Most people don’t lead their life, they accept their life.
John Maxwell writes about business and life. As I was reading I came across the quote above and it made me stop and think. I decided that I am someone who tends to accept their life, rather than lead it, but I thought of 3 times in my life where I really had to step out of my comfort zone to change things - where I had to 'lead' my life.
Of course there have been other changes such as getting married and having children, but these were all changes that came as a result of accepting things as they happened along the path of life. They weren't things that I had to work particularly hard to make happen. They just happened - one step at a time, without stepping outside my comfort zone. And I had other big changes thrust on me, such as being made redundant when I was living on my own with a single income. But these weren't changes I deliberately set out to make.
The first big change I had to make in my life was when I was 18. I had been a reasonably outgoing child and was school captain at my primary school. But towards the end of year 8 things began to go down hill. For various reasons, including a genetic predisposition, I began to suffer from a major bout of depression which would become worse the next year.
I knew I was becoming quiet and introverted but didn't seem to be able to do anything about it and I was mortified in year 10 when one of the comments from one of my teachers on my yearly report said that I was 'a quiet girl'. That was the last thing I wanted to be.
Two more years passed and it was time for university. I was going to a different university from most of my peers so I saw it as a chance to remake myself - and I did. I really moved out of my comfort zone. I did a lot of things on my own. I joined clubs and went to all the social events. I made myself talk in tutorials. University work came second to my social life. And it worked. I made lots of friends, had a great social life and married at the end of my third year. And I obtained my degree - but I often wonder what I could have done if I had really put my heart into my university work. That was the first time I really had to work to change the direction of my life. I no longer saw myself as 'quiet'.
The second time I really had to move out of my comfort zone was when I was 40. I had been happily married for 20 years and had 2 teenage daughters. I had been an English and History teacher. I battled depression but kept it under control. But unfortunately it reared its ugly head in my daughters. It became too difficult for me to work when they were not well. I had to home-school my daughters and I was very worried. A psychiatrist my daughter was seeing said I needed to do something for myself, and my whole family would be better off. So after some thought I decided to go back to university and did a Master's Degree in psychology. It was hard work. This time I took the work a lot more seriously than my first time at University. Again I had to step outside my comfort zone, but my new studies led me into a new job. I began teaching at a small school for year 10 students with major behavioural problems. I could do this and home-school my daughter. I worked there for 16 years.
The third and hardest big change I had to make was when I was 51. After 30 years of what I thought had been a happy marriage my husband left me for somebody else. I fell into a dark abyss and knew I had to make a new life for the sake of my daughters, if not for myself. I became very involved in my church and decided to go online to look for romance. This was really going outside my comfort zone and surprised a lot of people, but I chose to view this as an adventure and had some interesting times along the way. Eventually I met Peter and we have now been together for 10 years.
I am quite proud of the way I made myself a new life but I don't think I have enough energy to remake my life again. I'm just taking it as it comes.
The past week
Last Friday, Peter and I went to see a musical, We Will Rock You at Wollongong Entertainment Centre. It was written by Ben Elton and is based on the music of Queen. We really enjoyed it.
We had coffee in the park at Helensburgh, where some cockatoos joined us.
On Monday we went for a walk on Towradgi Beach.
We had to be careful of the bluebottles near the water's edge.
There were a few yachts out on the water which was beautiful and clear.
The Plant Paradox
|Kelly Clarkson (Photo source)|
After seeing Kelly Clarkson talking about her dramatic weight loss on television, and her adherence to the Plant Paradox diet, I decided to give it a go.
I was especially interested since the eating regime was supposed to have a positive affect on auto immune diseases. I have brachial neuritis, also known as Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, which is thought to be an auto immune disease.
Anyway, I bought the book and accompanying recipe book. Although I am not completely convinced yet, I have lost 5 kilos in 7 weeks without being excruciatingly hungry, as I usually have to be to lose weight. But it has meant a whole new way of cooking and eating.
More about this next week.
1. Borneo cave art may be the oldest in the world
2. Finland publishes its citizens' taxes.
3.Coffee may reduce risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's