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Monday, 15 May 2017

You can't turn a freight train around in a moment

I mentioned on Facebook that I was reading the book, Left for Dead by Beck Weathers and that I would be writing a series of posts on it, so if anyone wants to join in as a book club type discussion, grab a copy and read it. (A&R $16.99 for Oz or Amazon for the US).

The book is written by one of the people in the 1996 Everest disaster, who was left for dead. It is the story of his rescue, but more than that, it is a brutally honest look at a marriage, depression and the effect neglect and the high cost of a selfish pursuit of dreams. Those are the issues I'll be discussing in a series of posts.

Towards the end of the book, Beck writes "You don't turn a fifty-something freight train around in a moment, even with an epiphany as profound as mine...I remind myself of what is important to me."

Yesterday, I came in late to a post on facebook since deleted by a mum struggling with her teen and her situation. I think as hard as life gets, we need to remember what is important, and that change, all change, takes a time. With people, we can't instantly 'fix' things. There is no overnight cure to ANYTHING. But little by little we can modify behaviour and slowly the change shines through.

When we feel lost or overwhelmed, we need to remember what is important and focus on that, and maybe that alone, if that is all we are strong enough for at that moment. Maybe that is enough to anchor us through the storm.

Have you read Left for Dead? How do you keep perspective when the going gets tough?

Linking with #MLSTL. Not specifically linked to anything, just have to write a short story today. Good luck for those of you in the States easing restrictions. Stay safe and vigilant on Social Distancing. (and remember the app doesn't work properly on iPhones so don't wait for that to alert you to get tested.)

24 comments:

  1. I haven't read the book, but I think you're right about focusing on the things that matter, and remembering we can do anything but we can't do everything. I think there's so much pressure on humans these days that sometimes we just need to cut ourselves some slack.

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  2. Totally agree with comment number one!

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  3. No one is perfect and I believe we over stress ourselves trying to maintain perfection. Really like your post and assessment. God bless

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  4. I haven't read that one. I have read about our young Aussie girl who climbed Everest though. SO I'm learning a lot about mountain climbing and the dangers of altitude and the elements. There are so many life metaphors that can be drawn from these mountain climber biographies.

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  5. That sounds like a book both my husband and I would be interested in. When life gets overwhelming and hard I do try to focus on my family and those simple things that aren't so simple at all. #teamIBOT

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  6. A good reminder that nothing is fixed instantly but oh my how "I" would like that to be the case sometimes. Agree with the premise that you cannot turn that freight train around. When making changes they can be so small they're not even registered by us but 'little by little' they can work for us in the long run.

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    1. Had to check what I said back here Lydia...I was "told" I didn't have oral cancer that day...but got the news on 17.5.17 I did. I sure spent some time before then wanting things to have changed! Denyse #mlstl 2020

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  7. I can really relate to that idea. That you can learn very profound things through extraordinary circumstances but it's not so easy to change, no matter what you learn.

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  8. Change is hard. But sometimes is it for the better. Sometimes now, sometimes in the long run.
    #stayclassymama

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  9. Oh gosh, I've read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, and that was harrowing enough. I'm not sure that I could handle this one as well.

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    1. This one is much less focused on the mountain - less than a third of the book. I was quite surprised.

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    2. OK, I might go pick it up from the library then :)

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  10. I've not read this book but I love the quote and it's definitely giving me something to think about. I like change to be instant but it's not always possible or easy to do #kcacols

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  11. I definitely find that focusing on the positives in my life gets me through my hard times. I also have mantras which I say every morning when sadness hits that helpe turn my focus back to what is important toe in my life. Think I might get my hands on a copy of this book!

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  12. Keeping the end goal in mind helps me keep perspective when the going gets tough. That doesn't mean I don't lose it (cry, wallow) along the way, that's a part of coping as well, for me anyway. It's also a learning experience, to know what to do next time, to do better.

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  13. I haven't read this book but it sounds very good. I agree with you about change. One needs to be patience because no one or anything ever changes from night to day. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

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  14. A great perspective and certainly something to bear in mind
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

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  15. I haven't read it but completely agree with the perspective that we can't change 'big' things or long term habits easily or quickly. It's like the whole eating the elephant analogy I guess. I've always hoped for a lightbulb moment that would change my life drastically but realise that's never coming.

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  16. I haven't read Left for Dead but I've had experience with trauma and developed high resilience afterwards. When the going gets tough, I think about my past experiences, the fact that I'm alive, stay focused, and deal with one thing at a time. #MLSTL

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  17. I'm so glad I didn't have FB and my blog when my kids were teenagers. I didn't have to worry about posting something "honest" that I later had to regret and delete. Life moves on and those teenagers are fantastic adults - and that sums our journey up IMHO - life moves on and we learn and grow and become better people (unless we waste hundreds of thousands of dollars to get stuck on mountainsides in avalanches!)
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM 😊

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  18. Sounds like an interesting read Lydia and I love that comment about not turning a freight train around! It says it very well. #mlstl

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  19. The title of your post caught my attention and I caught some wisdom for my own life. Thank you.

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  20. A great reminder that change takes time. I've been working on changing my thought patterns and reactive behaviors... so it's nice to hear this reminder. And now, keeping with the freight train metaphor.... life has shifted the rails, so going forward. is feeling a bit wobbly on the tracks too!

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  21. I think you're right about their being no overnight solutions to 'fixing things' in a relationship, that it is more about modifying behaviours to reach a true understanding, and empathy, and acting from there. #MLSTL

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