Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Get out of your rut

Health wise feeling pretty good these days. Now the weather has finally improved, have a regular walking program built into my day. Not even going to mention how much or how far I walk as most people would just laugh thinking.”he calls that a walking program”. Found I have to set a specific time for it or somehow it just seems to slip away. I take my cane with me, not that I need it for walking but it gives me something to lean on when I need to take a bit of a breather. Hey, every night at about 7:00pm I get to Mcphillips off of Bannerman and stroll north, how far depends on the day. If you see me out there, honk and wave as you go by.

Have been getting a lot of medical attention the past few days. Just tests being done for my upcoming visit to my cardiologist in early June. Wore a holter monitor for a 24 hour period. That is no big deal, you just have a bunch of electrodes attached to your chest, that lead to a tape recorded type thing you wear on your belt. It monitors your heart activity for the time, so the doctor can see its actions over that extended period without you having to be in the hospital. Also went for a MRI on my heart. The gentleman running it was kind enough afterwards to let me see a few images of my heart as they see it on in the test. He took a moment to point out the various chambers of the heart etc.. It is really neat seeing images that you know are of your own heart and seeing it beating away. So here is my “totally unqualified opinion”, I could see it was beating away so I am fine, end of story.

Vi is away at least until next Monday, she is attending the funeral of her ex mother-in-law. This was a lady that did plan a big part in her life for many years and is the grandmother to Vi’s children. So she is I suppose partly there for herself and partly there for her kids. My condolences to the entire Ouellette family.

I watched a very interesting TV show last night. As its title “Mayday” may indicate it is about disasters or near disasters in which an airplane is in desperate trouble and possibly crashes. It is a documentary sort of program and not fiction. It contains dramatizations of actual events and even interviews with survivors. This episode in particular caught my attention as it happened right here. A passenger jet bound for here in Winnipeg was forced to make an emergency landing in Gimli a small town north of here. It was the tremendous skill of the pilot that saved the day. The plane was brought down safely.

What really caught my eye was the interviews with some of the passengers. Obviously, they knew the plane was in trouble and that they were making an emergency landing. They spoke of the fear they felt and of the feeling they were about to die. One man spoke of how he was filled with regrets, regrets of things done or not done, things said or unsaid. They spoke of how their lives were changed from that moment on, life was no longer seen in the same way. One gentleman even went as far as to say words to the effect, that with the exception of the birth of his child or children, he sees it as one of the greatest days of his life. Obviously, it was a great day in that he and all others survived. It went beyond that to being one of the greatest days of his life because of the profound effect it had on him. Life became more appreciated, seen from different eyes and appreciated.

I have heard a saying, “you never really appreciate something until you loose it or are about to loose it.” I am not sure when that phrase was coined if it was intended to include life, but it certainly does apply.

Why does it seem to take something as serious as a near death experience to make so many of us realize what we have or can have in this life. I have had 4 heart attacks, each was a wake up call to me but I just didn’t see it that way at the time. Instead of seeing it as a wake up call, I chose to see it as a hindrance almost like an inconvenience that I just didn’t have the time to deal with. I went as far as to do my best not to even let it get in the way of my life and I just carried on business as usual. With time I even began to almost wear my “suffering” like a badge of honor. Sort of like, look at me and how much I have had to endure. I wasn’t really looking for pity or sympathy or anything like that. I am not even sure what it was I was looking for if anything. Maybe, respect and admiration for how “tough” I was. I wore my suffering “badge” with pride. I strutted around proudly proclaiming: “Four heart attacks, bi-pass surgery…….. couldn’t put me down I am to strong to tough for that.” Granted 2 of the heart attacks were relatively minor as heart attacks go but the other 2 were massive. OK, I am not totally stupid, I did realize each time that this was another sign I must change my life and life style and after the first two, I did change it at least for a couple of weeks. I discovered that actually making a real change to your life, take time, energy, work and determination. I always used the excuse, I just don’t have the time or the energy and quickly slipped back into my old ways, fast food etc.. I guess that shows a lack of determination or will to actually bring changes into my life. It almost seemed some how that I became complacent about this whole issue, by the time heart attack numbers 3 and 4 came along, I just seemed to accept them. It became almost like I just accepted that this was the way my life was intended to be and there was really nothing I could do about it anyway or if there actually was anything I could do about it, it was to late now to even bother. I just I suppose accepted that this is my life and there is really nothing I can do about it, I am just destined to my fate, might as well just accept the fact. Poor me, I have a bad heart and will not live to a ripe old age.” Now I look back with regret at each of the wake calls I got and didn’t heed. I regret having somehow allowed my life to I suppose get into a rut when it came to life style as it pertained to my health. I knew I should be making changes but somehow became to familiar with the rut I was in. It was my rut and I was comfortable there as unhealthy as it was. It was just easier to stay in and follow “my rut” to where ever it took me. Now that I am hear and can see where my rut has led me the regrets come in. I knew I was continuing to stoke the furnace in an unhealthy way, but just carried on in my rut. Seeming to lack the strength, the courage, the determination, the very will to get out and improve my life. Looking back now it all does seems so ridiculous, but that is where my head was at that time and I can say at that time because I am a different person today.

If you are going to make changes in your life be they big or small, first and foremost it takes the desire to do so. I think this can come about by first recognizing any unhealthy areas in your life. Looking at these areas to see if you have yourself just slowly become complacent about accepting an unhealthy life style. I hope when this is seen it will create a desire or wish to change. Please, if any part or even all of your life is in an unhealthy rut, have the courage, the strength, the energy and the determination to get out. Granted our individual rut in life is our rut and is possibly come to be within our comfort zone. With enough time we can be taught to accept anything, no matter how bad and it gradually becomes a part of our comfort zone, our individual rut, that with which we are familiar.

First off making any change can seem scary, it takes us out of our familiar area of feelings. It does take courage but it is so worth it. How often have I heard or read someone say: “I just don’t have the strength or the energy any more, it is just easier to give in and accept.” Also I have real others may often oppose us making changes in our life’s, likely I think mostly out of selfish or fear based thinking. So yes, it will take courage, strength and determination. But, we do all have that in us, we really do, believe it or not, depending on how you feel right now, know you do have it in you.

I am not sure if I hear this somewhere or read it or maybe it is my own creation, I am not sure. I will make up a totally wild scenario to illustrate my point. Think about a day in which you have been at your lowest for energy, so beat down, so tired you could do nothing but accept and endure what ever is thrown at you. Just no energy to fight or even object to really anything.

Now, keeping in mind your energy levels at that moment, and picture this. You suddenly see a child across the street in great danger, you know you can save the child from great harm by having the strength and energy to rush over there, I think that energy would suddenly be found within, drawn on an you would have it in you to rush over. Picture this again, you are at that same energy level and a loved one or a close friend calls in true dire and desperate need of help. Somehow, I think it is most likely that the hidden apparently hidden energy would appear to do for another what you knew needed to be done. Everyone knows that given the right circumstances and an issue that is important enough, we find the energy from within. I am certainly not trying to make it sound like it would be easy, but it can be done and deep inside we all know that. It is just easier to give in to the feelings of the moment, to exhausted. We know if forced to we could in fact find this hidden energy to help another, why can’t we use that same energy to help ourselves. It is not necessary or healthy to always put the needs of others before those of ourselves.

If you see any part of your life, your relationships, your work environment as being unhealthy, recognize it for what it is and resolve to stop it. Start making positive changes and start now, you do have the energy to do it. It may even start with little baby steps, but each step is in fact a step in the right direction, you can do it.

Depending on the type of changes you are making, you very well may need outside support. Seek out and go to that support, utilize that support, take comfort and support where it is offered and available. It is not a sign of weakness to turn to others for help when needed. It is in fact a sign of strength, acknowledging a problem and taking what ever steps are necessary to correct it.

Each of us individually is ultimately responsible for our own lives, our own actions or inactions. Please, see this. It is easier to just give in to life, give in to others, let them basically make our decisions for us. With that we are giving up responsibility for our own lives. I suppose making your own decisions can be more difficult as then we no longer have the excuse when if one of our decisions didn’t work out, “well it is not my fault, he/she made me do it. He/she is not ultimately responsible for the decisions in our lives, each of us individually are. It is our life to live, our happiness to find or our unhappiness to accept

Accept responsibility for your life, you can only grow to become a stronger, a better, a healthier person and happier person. It is worth the effort, PLEASE DO IT, FOR YOUSELF

7 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Get out of your rut

  1. Catherine says:

    Glad you’re out walking. The sunshine and a little exercise are amazing medicine!!!! Change is hard……I’m working on that too.

    Hi Catherine, I am enjoying both the sunshine and the walking. Good luck with what ever changes you are working on. You can do it.

  2. It is too easy to get into a rut Bill, you are right about that. Something to look out for, and conifrms my like of ‘shaking things up’ regularly.

    Martha you are so right about how easy it is to fall into a rut, to bad it is so much harder to get out. You keep shaking things up.
    Hope all is well with you

  3. Jo Hart says:

    A walk is great to clear the head. Glad you are enjoying your daily walking session. Big or little it’s still all good.
    I’ve taken on board all you are saying here today. I have been thinking alot about changing my position in life lately, but not quite sure how to do it. I work for my parents, and my brother is there as well. We are a really close family, but I am just really over working with the family. As much as I love them, things are really strained. I love my brother to bits, but it’s all sort of gone to his head, and all of a sudden he is running the whole show, and non of us get any sort of say in the whole matter. There’s been arguments, debates, fights etc, and I have no doubt he is doing a great job, but I keep saying, this is actually dad’s business, I think he has a right to have a say into the direction of the business etc….. It’s all a very long story, but I just feel so tired from it. It feels so draining. Sometimes I just feel like walking out, as it takes over my life, as work never switches off, as it is a family business, the home phone constantly rings, either dad or my brother and it’s like, Ok, I’d like to just switch off now….. Not sure how I am going to handle it, at this stage, but I know changes need to be made….. I’ll keep you posted.

    Thanks Mel and Bill for the cheers for my little one’s 6th birthday. At the present I don’t know if she will make it to 7, as all of a sudden we have turned 6 and are 10 foot tall and bullet proof, and seem to think we can say whatever we feel like…….. Ahhhhh the joys of children. What were those rules again Bill…….

    Hi Jo, you have a real issue there, with the family business and all. Working in a family business obviously has pro’s and con’s. One of the biggest con’s I think would be that your time is more put upon. You are never really off work as you would be working else where. I am sure though that there are many pro’s. I know you will do what is right for you. Good luck my friend

  4. Pia says:

    You are a very wise man, Bill and you have so much to teach us. Thank you!

    Pia, I am very flattered, I thank you for your kind words. I am not sure if I am teaching or more just sharing my thoughts as they may be.
    Hope all is well with you

  5. Jennie says:

    Thanks Bill. I needed to hear that.

    Today when I didn’t feel like putting out the effort to do what I know I need to do, I kept thinking about your post – and then I got up and did something. Small steps, but definitely better than ruminating. More satisfying too!

    I realize I have been focusing more on what I don’t want, than what it is I do want, i.e. my desires. Switching my focus to my desires seems to pull me in that direction much more effectively.


    Hi Jennie, I thank you for this thought provoking comment. I used it as part of my post of today. I admire you for what you are doing, thank you for sharing as you have.

  6. Sharon says:

    Thanks Bill, I have been in a rut. Most people who know me will find that hard to believe. I am thinking of making some changes too.

    Hi Sharon, thank you for the visit and the comment. Good luck with any changes you are thinking of making.

  7. Mel says:

    Ah the ruts in the road…..just speed bumps to slow me down and get me to pay attention to the road and where I’m headed.

    And dangit that I don’t get to wave attcha, Bill.
    Imagine it’s me one fine morning, eh?


    Hi Mel, imagine me waving back. As always you are right about the bumps in the road that slow us down. Right on when you say it make you pay attention to the road and where you are headed. If we don’t have a destination in mind, how will be be able to work towards and head for it.
    Still waving.

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