It doesn’t seem possible – my 40th birthday is just around the corner! For years I had stressed about approaching this next decade, nervous that my mid 40’s would quickly draw near – an age that no one in the family who has had a heart condition similar to mine has lived past. It’s funny how a simple number can create so much stress and anxiety. To put it simply, I was completely freaked me out!! I felt like I was waiting for my expiration date to approach. But I didn’t want to be like that. Even though the fear of death in my 40’s still laid inside my head, I spent much of my 30’s bound determined to find ways to work through my condition so that I wouldn’t end up with the same fate. What can I say, I have been and always will be stubborn and will push myself to the limits rather than give up and throw the towel in. Regardless of what was going on in my head, I had to go above and beyond just to prove to myself and others that even though I was “sick”, I could still do everything a normal, healthy individual could do. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of times of frustration, but I have always tried to remain optimistic. Wouldn’t you know, that stubborn attitude paid off! My health has improved slightly and the thought of an expiration date in my mid 40’s has subsided. The big 4-0…an age that I had been scared of has now become one that I am actually looking forward to. Through various types of therapy and the love and support of family and friends, I have cast my fears aside and I am ready to live life to the fullest; ready to live on through my 40’s, my 50’s and many years beyond. Age truly is a number. It’s time to forget those numbers and simply live. New opportunities await each one of us and new adventures are ready to be had. To my fellow friends and family also hitting a milestone this year – forgot those numbers. Set some new goals and dream some new dreams. One decade of your life may be ending, but a new one has just begun. Embrace it and enjoy it.
Happy Milestone Birthday to all those having one!!
It is not death that man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.Marcus Aurelius
It’s official! With what seemed like an endless amount of essays, papers, and projects to write, hundreds of pages of textbooks to read, and discussion groups that seemed to go on forever – I am finally done!! Ironically, I was also looking at my calendar and realized exactly five years ago, I was laying on the operating table, having an ICD put in, not knowing where my life would be headed after. Scared and unsure, I truly didn’t know what to expect at that time or have any idea whether my health would actually get better or continue to get worse. Nor did I know what path I would continue on in life itself or expect to be going back to school to work towards another degree! But here I am, closing yet another chapter of my life. Once all the formalities are done over the next few weeks, I will have my Bachelors Degree in hand, along with a sense of accomplishment in achieving a goal I had set out to do just a few years ago. Sure, there were some days I was completely exhausted, other days I struggled to keeps my eyes open. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed out sometimes – who wouldn’t be. Trying to balance being a mom with working full time and going to school full time was a challenge. Anxiety did mount and there were a few times I questioned whether I was putting myself under too much stress, stress that wasn’t good for my heart.
Know your limits, but never stop trying to exceed them.
But I made it – and with great grades to boot! I could have easily chosen not to go to school, or I could have chosen to quit when the road go tough…but I didn’t. I had a wonderful family who supported my decision to go back, an incredible son and boyfriend who took care of things at home while I studied and concentrated on school, and incredibly understanding friends who understood my social life would have to be put on hold. Now I can finally turn my attention to writing my blog and book in my spare time; setting out on yet another couple of goals I want to work towards to complete. What a nice change of pace it will be to write what I want to write about rather than what I have to write about.
How do you fix a really bad day? Wear A Smile!
How can you relieve the stress that you face? Wear A Smile!
How can you lift your spirits when you’re feeling down? Wear A Smile!
How in the world can you fix a frown? Wear A Smile!
How do you ease the pain of being apart? Wear A Smile!
How can you ease a broken heart? Wear A Smile!
How can you fight through the salty tears? Wear A Smile!
How can you face your ultimate fears? Wear A Smile!
How can you make the pain go away? Wear A Smile!
How can you make someone else’s day? Wear A Smile!
How can you live a better life? Wear A Smile!
How can you have a better time? Wear A Smile!
If life chooses to hand you lemons, what do you do?
You make lemonade, drink up, and Smile!
As a cardiac patient, keeping stress levels low is probably just as important to heart health as exercising or eating a healthy diet. Oh how I wish that life was completely stress free, but as we all know, every day we face introduces us to countless triggers; whether its wondering how to pay your bills each month to dealing with the driver who just cut you off in traffic; the list is essentially endless and each one of us handles these situations in different ways. The key is that we have to find a way to deal with stress so that it doesn’t devour us like the plague; find those things that bring us joy and counteract the stress the we face daily.
So…I would like to share some of the ways that I keep my stress levels in check, starting with the music that I listen to…song’s that help calm my nerves, soothes the soul and touches the heart. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all kinds of music. But on those really stressful days when I need to calm down and relax, these are the musicians that I enjoy listening to the most….Enjoy!!
Enya, Wild Child
Enya has become one of my top 3 artists, if not my favorite of all. I would love to see her perform this song with an entire orchestra, live in concert, along with many of her other songs. It’s a mixture of her Irish/Celt roots, a little folk and a bit of synthesized musical background all mixed together into one. It’s just the type of music you can sit back and relax to, letting all your worries drift away.
Karl Jenkins, Adiemus
Karl Jenkins is a wonderful composer! I have actually never figured out the words to this song or the meaning behind them, but there is just something about this music that gives me goose bumps when I listen to it. It’s classical meets ethnic and it just sounds amazing when you crank the surround sound system up and allow the music to surround you.
Jeff Buckley’s rendition of Hallelujah
I don’t know what it is about his voice, but I just find this version of the song to be my all time favorite! On days when you just need to let out those tears (and we all have those days once in a while) this is the song that I’ll listen to.
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”