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Walking Man 2

Getting Through

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There are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.

— Clare Boothe Luce

What is hopelessness?  It’s the feeling that nothing will change.  It’s the ultimate in discouragement.

We all get discouraged sometimes.  Hopelessness takes that discouragement and makes it feel permanent.

Back in August, I wrote of how I had managed to walk an average of 10K steps every day.  I had decided that walking was one of the few things I could control and I had made a point of walking every single day.

That all changed when I got a bad cold in September.  With the cold, came the usual tiredness and struggle to keep going.  Colds can be a nuisance or a major challenge and this one fell somewhere in between.  What I’ve found is that having a commute that is at least an hour each way severely limits my ability to recover quickly.  Unless I just give up and stay home, a cold can drag on for quite a while.  As a result, I stopped walking.  I just didn’t have the energy and when I walked, I coughed.  The cough was more wearing than anything and I gave up walking, temporarily.

But, as you know, the days were getting shorter and that made it harder to find daylight for my walks.  Deadlines were looming and I just never got back to it.  Now, it’s cold and foggy and the deadlines are looming bigger and I just never get around to walking.  Before I had walked to the ladies room at the other side of the building.  Now, I run to the closest one to be able to get back to work quickly.  (It’s also close to the microwave where I reheat my coffee.  I drink coffee for the warmth, not the caffeine, so cold coffee is no good.)

I had lost weight.  Now, it’s creeping back and I feel hopeless about my ability to lose it and keep it off.

Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings…

In my intellectual brain, I know that what’s going on here is temporary discouragement.  I know that when the holidays are over and the deadlines have passed (do deadlines ever really pass?), I will get back to walking.  In reality, my success from my walking program was really encouraging.  I didn’t have to give up chocolate or food (notice the order there) in order to lose weight.  Walking actually worked.  And, I didn’t have to be a fanatic about it.  I just needed to find ways to increase the amount of movement in my day.

I didn’t need to run.

I didn’t need to lift weights.

I didn’t need to do sit ups (I HATE sit ups!).

I just needed to walk.  All the walking parts work just fine.

So, what’s with all this hopelessness?

Fog – in My Brain… on the Ground… Everywhere!

I’m one of those people who are SAD (seasonally affective disorder).  Ignoring all those who believe I’m just disordered, what this means is that I need sunshine.  When I don’t have sunshine, I’m not sunny (of disposition).  I’m foggy.  I don’t think straight.  I have to fight my way through the fog to put a couple of positive thoughts together.  It’s not that I’m not thinking, I have “stinkin’ thinkin’” as defined by Zig Ziglar.  The little voice inside my head keeps telling me just how awful things are and how they’ll never get any better.  AND IT NEVER SHUTS UP.

See, when one thing isn’t working, the hopelessness spreads across everything.  It’s more contagious than the flu.  Soon, not only am I not walking, but I’ll never make the deadlines and we’ll go over the fiscal cliff and…  See, I’m very good at this.

When I’m suffering from stinkin’ thinkin’, a long commute is the last thing I need.  It gives me waaay too much time to “think” – even with the radio on.

So, what am I to do?

Well, this morning, the sun is out.  YAAAY!  That will help some.

And, I’m aware that my head is screwed on backwards.  Knowing that I’m not myself helps too.

But, more than anything, I need to keep reminding myself that this is not permanent.  It’s a temporary feeling and I need to just keep going until it passes.  It’s not lifelong reality, just like the walking and the weight loss weren’t permanent either.  Every day is a new opportunity to move towards where I want to be.

After all, the fog won’t last forever.  The sun’ll come out tomorrow!  (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.)

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