I don’t have a “my life totally sucked” story. Because, in spite of my best efforts to make it suck, it generally hasn’t. It’s not easy living in my body and my brain, but I’ve also made it much harder than it had to be.
Fortunately, I have different quirks and neuroses that offset each other, working together to keep me out of utter ruin in spite of myself. Plus my wife, standing by with a lifeline for almost thirty years.
I also don’t have a “my life got magically better when I learned this one thing” story, because life is never that simple. Even if there was a single thing to learn, I’d have to learn and re-learn it so many times that it would seem like a hundred things.
Humans tend to do things the hard way I and tend to do things the hardest way possible.
Even slow learners eventually get smart
It has taken me an incredibly long time to learn some lessons that should have been obvious. But I’ve also grasped many solutions to problems that most people have never even identified as problems.
Like you, I’ve been moving ahead one mistake at a time.
So here’s the short backstory of my life. It sounds pretty interesting when I write it all down, although at the time it seemed less exciting.
The short, glowing version of my life
In other words, the stuff I would post on social media if I was into that.
I was raised through high school on a small farm outside a very small town in Idaho. If you are ever driving through southern Idaho, you could swing through Jerome if you have a few minutes.
They say “All roads lead to Rome,” 1 but they don’t lead to Jerome unless you make a point of exiting the freeway.
Note: Always click on these → 2 for additional, slightly off topic but still interesting stuff. Go ahead, try it.
I graduated from college at the University of Idaho, married Betsy and went straight off to the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant for about five years. Several badges earned, including Airborne and Ranger. Platoon leader jobs in both mechanized infantry and the 2nd Ranger Battalion.
That led to over twenty years in the insurance claims adjusting field 3, while we raised two boys, remodeled a house ourselves, and volunteered for 14 years as Scout leaders.
As our children began their own life journeys, my wife and I started Classroom Caboodle, an online business serving elementary school teachers. This has enabled a second phase of our lives, opening up options for independence after the kids left the house.
There. I’ve just written my own obituary.
Like all obituaries, it paints a simplistic picture of a life lived without stress, a road with an inexorable upward trajectory and no potholes.
The non-obituary version
Without the struggles, the version above is a lie, or at least leaves a false impression. Here’s a favorite image that is much more accurate:
I wish I knew who came up with this so I could give them credit.
Our journey through life is tangles within tangles. Some line is always kinking even when others are smoothing out. And those kinks and how to straighten them… well that’s what I like to share with you.
The truth is in the tangles: the struggles with depression, with binge-eating, with OCD, with vexing medical problems. I like to write about the tangles because the tangles are what make us human. They are what teach us how to get ahead.Untangling a life is much harder than tangling it. Click To Tweet
I know that I’m breaking the first rule of social media, which appears to be making your life look awesome no matter what. The only filters I apply have the opposite effect: they remove gloss and soft focus, exposing harsh edges and awkward poses.
I trust you to look and not laugh. Too much.
From my first article:
Maybe the rules we are playing by aren’t the real rules. Maybe there aren’t really “5 simple steps to weight loss/happiness/career advancement/whiter teeth.
I’m against any conventional wisdom that says it’s easy, that we just have to know one simple truth or one secret method to change our lives. Frankly, that one-size-fits-all advice is a lie. Change can be very hard… but it’s not impossible.
And the sooner we start working on the hard stuff rather than jumping from lie to lie, the sooner we reach our goals.
I encourage you to read my first article. I think you’ll see yourself in the journey I’ve taken to reach this point in my life.
A relentless focus on moving forward
So here it is. My life in raw form, dissected so we can learn together how to make things better. My hope is to help you avoid some of the pain that is waiting for you every day so you can find your way to better health and happiness in the shortest time possible.
Because there is no problem that we can’t solve if we are willing to learn together.
PS – My last name (Weigle) is pronounced “why-gull.” Not all those other ways you were imagining. It’s a German thing.
The unexamined life is not worth living is a now famous dictum apparently uttered by Socrates at his trial for impiety and corrupting the youth, for which he was subsequently sentenced to die, as described in Plato’s Apology.
Never Miss an OverExamined Life Article
If you want to be sure to NOT miss anything I write, this is the place to do it. You'll get about 2 emails a month. Your address is never shared or sold.
Note: If you've signed up for ANY of my offers, you are already on this list.