I remember saying to myself several times in the past year that because of all the walking I have been doing, that I’m in pretty good shape. Maybe I could even go back to work…get a full time job.
My balloon is shot down yesterday as I get out in my yard and do some digging, and leaf raking, and moving bricks and rocks around. I find my heart racing a couple of times, and had to sit down and take a couple of breaks. Mind you, there was no pain. The four new vessels my heart surgeon sewed into my chest five years ago still seem to be working well. But, the dream of doing “real work” anymore is just that…a dream. The truth is that I could probably actually DO the physical parts, but it’s the stress which I couldn’t take. Let me explain.
My jobs over the past 20 years before I was forced to retire for health reasons, have been ones where performance at the highest level was required. I was in charge of the quality of products going to demanding customers. I was constantly under pressure to make sure things were perfect. There were always tense meetings with company executives and customer reps. Looking back now, I firmly believe the thing which actually caused my heart disease was being under constant anxiety, which recent research has proven to be true. I would have therefore been better off digging ditches, and exercising my heart muscle than I was doing what I was doing.
But…that’s water under the bridge, because I did what I did…what I had to do in order to “make a living”. My advice to anyone out there working now though, is to try anyway possible, no matter what you do as a job or career, to somehow to reduce your stress.
You don’t wanna end up like me…sitting at the bottom of your steps with your heart beating out of your chest, knowing that the best you can do is to maintain the status quo. There is no miraculous way this body of mine is going to “improve”. Only working diligently every day, walking and meditating is gonna keep me living. That, and perhaps the increasing skills of the medical world. The funny thing is, that without the previous anxiety I had, I feel pretty good about my chances of staying around for a good bit longer. I want all you younger people out there to know about the dangers of anxiety though.
Do whatever you can to reduce it…you will live longer and healthier.