Painting ©2018 John Clark III
A chilly breeze and bright sunshine this morning in central Texas, after cold rain and dampness all day yesterday. Too cold still for playing golf with my buddy, Gator, so I'm off to the gym here in a little while for another calorie-busting workout. About six weeks ago, I spent a fantastic three-day weekend down in Galveston with two old school chums, Joe and Bobby, playing golf and eating seafood, watching college football on TV. We'd all put on a few extra pounds -- OK, more than just a few pounds -- since the last time we'd seen each other, and we made a vow to all be a little smaller when we got together again over the Christmas holidays. Apparently, we've all made good on that vow, and so it will be interesting to see next weekend down at The Woodlands.
I've known Bobby since the first grade. We grew up three blocks apart on the northwest side of Houston, near Spring Branch. Joe came along when we were in seventh grade. The three of us are very different people, in many ways, but for some unexplainable reason, there is a strong bond between us and we are closer than close friends. They love me and I love them. They inspire me to be better. I'm not sure what I do for them, but I am extremely grateful to have them.
It's Christmas vacation from school right now, and life is good. So far, I've dropped about 15 pounds, and I'm getting stronger and fitter every time I work out. It feels good. For a couple of years there, I was in quite a slump, even entertaining the idea of joining the Peace Corps, mostly just to get the hell away from it all. But things have improved tremendously, and I'm learning to have a more positive outlook on life, and on myself.
I've always cringed when people talked about loving yourself. That always just sounded way too strange for me -- "I love myself!" Oh, really? Well, let me tell you something. You ain't all that great.
But I recently have started figuring out that loving yourself is not a bad thing. It doesn't mean you're a flaming egomaniac. It just means that you think you're a good person, warts and all. You always try and treat others with love and kindness. Hard to do, and not always possible for me, but I'm workin' on it. Now, if I could just learn to smile a little more ...
A few reviews of John's books
The 30-Day Optimism Solution:
“Part memoir, part informative text. You get both when reading 'Depression Blues' by John H. Clark III. Mr. Clark shares his struggles with depression in an honest and real way, and as the book progresses, so does his hope. Woven into the story as jumping off points are bits of information about depression and ways to "conquer" the sadness, loneliness, and despair that comes with it.
Mr. Clark becomes more than an author in this book; he becomes a friend who understands the pain of depression and provides light. I recommend this book to anyone looking for light or to anyone who knows someone with depression and wants to learn more.”
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