I realized I was actually lying on the floor and looking at the walls and ceiling. Sweat seemed to be pouring down my face. I reached up to wiped the perspiration, only to discover it was blood. Soon a physical therapist appeared, asking me to follow his finger with my eyes. He asked me to raise my hands above my head, then to smile. He said I didn’t have a stroke or heart attack.
As he helped me to the restroom to clean up, fear possessed me. My thoughts raced. I went to the emergency room and spent three nights in the hospital. I had numerous tests.
I reflected on my life while I waited for the results. I had great parents and a loving family. I got married to a loving wife. We share great children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Nothing has been more enjoyable than seeing my family grow. I’ve also been lucky to see our family business grow.
Balancing my family, church responsibilities, and work has not always kept me busy. I walk 4-5 miles every Saturday. At 74 years old, I didn’t feel old. Sure, I take pills for hypertension and cholesterol. I knew I needed to lose 40 pounds. Still, I thought I was in good health. I felt good.
Sitting in the hospital, I wondered: Do I have a legacy to pass on to my family? Are my affairs in order? How do I make the most of my remaining years? Questions kept arising.
Happily, my medical tests came back negative. Six months have now passed since my blackout.
I’ve been trying to make the most of this second chance to change my lifestyle. I walk three times a week. It helps me with my balance. I’ve cut down on carbs — including rice. I eat only one big meal a day. The other two meals are small meals. I eat no junkies, except to keep my wife company during our TV nights.
I introduced naps into my afternoon routine. My naps normally last between two and three hours. Occasionally I can nap for five hours. Now I realize there is great value in taking this time to refresh myself.
I’ve slowed down my life, even though some still think I’m working too hard. This is what happens when you love what you do, I suppose. My new business is gratifying; I love going to work. My wife claims that I don’t work but just go to talk stories.
I hope sharing this one can help inspire you to slow down a bit, too. Life is too short anyway.