I’ve had a few friends ask me how and why I am living life at the pace I’m currently living. Busy and goal oriented.
Some of this pace is beyond my control . . .
I have to do this much dialysis right now – to maintain the benefit I derived from starting this “aggressive dialysis” experiment. I originally started this schedule (20 hours a week) as an experiment to see if more dialysis would reverse my heart failure. Lucky for me, it did reverse the damage – dramatically!! Once we saw the benefit the goal has been to maintain this benefit or even increase it. So that means sticking to a draining and demanding schedule until my next transplant.
I have to do this much exercise right now too. Part of the benefit that I gained (reversal of heart failure) is from incorporating exercise to my life – through what I learned at the Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinic. Having a healthy heart and being fit, in general, sets me up for success with my upcoming (fingers crossed) kidney transplant. And I’ve learned that even after my transplant there will be benefit to keeping up with my schedule. Studies show that a fit and active life can contribute to a longer life for my kidney.
Dialysis and fitness are musts right now.
Let’s look at the optional variables; work and volunteer work.
If I’m completely honest . . . I didn’t expect to live this long.
All my life I figured I’d die in my 30’s, like my Mom and brother did.
I’ve lived life NOT thinking of bigger, longer-term dreams because I didn’t believe I was going to get that time.
It’s the reason I didn’t fight to have children. (Despite my health challenges, I might have been able to do it?)
It’s the reason I didn’t settle on one particular professional goal. I didn’t think I had to. I thought I’d try different things and then die having experienced a range of jobs.
Now in my early 40’s I’m looking at life differently for the first time.
I am believing that I may have a lot of time ahead of me. It’s a new thought but something I am accepting and welcoming.
I’m thinking I need to dig my heels in and get things accomplished if I’m going to be here.
A part of me wishes I’d known I’d live this long so I could have focused on accomplishing professional goals earlier in life.
Another part of me understands that all of those transient professional experiences, that have lead me up to this moment, are the experiences that will set me up to SUCCEED now.
Having studied and gotten a classical theatre training helps me with my public speaking and is the foundation of my confidence. Being in front of the camera as an actor makes me very comfortable being in front of the camera now as an advocate. I can look back on how acting gave me a holistic (mental, physical and spiritual) idea of success. To understand the power of being the “whole package”.
Having traveled and lived in other cities gives me a larger perspective on the world and a confidence to set my goals bigger and without mental or geographical boundaries. I see my current goals in a global perspective.
Having worked in PR and Communication I feel equipped me to deal with the media. I’m not intimidated when I speak with the press because I’ve done it before.
My past writing experience built me up to succeed now too. All of the articles I wrote in the past for random magazines gave me confidence that I have a voice and that it can use that voice now to share my messages.
My work as a wardrobe stylist even comes into play now. I am so aware of the power in how you present yourself. Dressing myself for conferences or TV appearances is very different than putting looks together for music videos or pop culture magazine covers but the principle is the same . . . the point is to make an impression speaking only through your clothes.
I have been granted more life than I expected and I am going to make use of this time wisely.
Some of this pace is enthusiasm. I am thrilled to still be here!! The prospect of what I can do with the rest of my life is very exciting.
Some of this pace is trying to catch up. I am trying hard not to compare myself to a timeline that society dictates but . . .
Some of this pace is working to power through the tough stuff so I can start to reap the benefits I am dreaming of.
Doing the work to plant seeds for a successful harvest.
It’s nice to feel like time is on my side.