Author Topic: Changing priorities and assumptions  (Read 8358 times)

Offline libertee

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Changing priorities and assumptions
« on: May 20, 2011, 12:47:10 AM »
As a child your priorities are all about getting what you want without getting into trouble, you dont think about what might happen in the future, you just live for the moment and dont even give whatever is around the next corner any thought.  You dont think that what you might do will affect anyone else or their lives, you just do it because you want to.  And to a certain extent that is expected and accepted as part of childhood...you makes mistakes and learn from them (maybe) and grow as a person. Money is something that is there for you to have fun with, who cares where it comes from so long as it keeps coming. You expect certain things to happen like planning for a birthday party 6 months ahead, there is no reason for you to think it wont happen after all it is your birthday and therefore there will be a party. 'Assuming' is part of being a kid.

As you get older other things start to take priority, you start to look to your peers and socialise...making more mistakes and probably being as selfish but as a young adult the consequences of your actions can start to be more serious ...being rude and cocky with your mum might be fairly safe but say the same things in a pub to a complete stranger and you will probably get punched!  Money takes on more value especially when you have to earn it and the 'bank of mum and dad' shuts for business...suddenly you realise that if you want to spend all your wages the moment you get it on complete junk 'just because you can' then you may not be able to pay the rent.  Ultimately though your money, time and energy is still your own to do with as you want.  You are still immortal.

Then comes kids, nothing is your own anymore.  every moment of your life revolves around their needs and expectations, every penny you have goes on them first...and we arent talking just buying toys but mortgage, gas, electric and everything else associated with keeping a child from nappies through to childcare to school uniform...the list is endless.  Things you used to take for granted like hour-long baths, cash in your pocket, music turned up loud at all hours, freedom to do what you want when you want to do it without the military precision planning that comes hand in hand with the child carseats and the 'roomier' cars.  You plan for 'what if's'...you take out insurance, get wills done and do your best to protect them from the really scary evil people that you know lurk around every corner. and you dont begrudge a penny or a moment that you do this for them, because providing for them is your responsibility.  You work your butt off to lay foundations that will serve them through life.

However you still think you are immortal.........yeah okay everytime you look in the mirror you see a few more wrinkles, a few more grey hairs but that happens to everyone.  you tell yourself that the average age of living for females is 82yrs old and you are only halfway there so plenty of time to do x,y & z.  You still assume things like planning for a holiday next summer or a cruise when you decide to retire.

Then something happens.  For me it was two-fold, watching someone i loved be struck down with a condition that i am regularly tested for as it runs in my family through to returning from holiday to be accused of something that i didnt do but being powerless to stop that accusation damaging my kids.  The complete frustration of watching my children suffer at the hands of 'responsible adults' (even though i was proved innocent almost immediately) led to the suspected heart attack i had on 12th October 2010.  A cardiologist confirmed my heart was healthy but that the extreme and prolonged stress had at the time caused raised adrenaline levels in my body.  7 months on from the heart attack, this situation is still ongoing with almost daily interactions that affect all aspects of my life from sleeping to eating to reassuring small children that everything is going to be fine.

The only way to avoid further attacks is to avoid stress and eliminate the cause.   I carry a GTN spray permanently now as any form of stress at all causes my heart to literally skip a beat and i get pains that radiate across my chest as the adrenaline levels rise.  You suddenly realise that you arent immortal and that is scary.  Things that you used to take for granted like going to sleep and waking up each morning go completely out of the window, when you say goodnight to your kids you wonder if you will be there when they wake up.

Throw into this the pressures of a small business with its own ongoing issues to deal with and suddenly priorities change again.  Is it worth actually dying for?  Nothing is worth me risking leaving my kids for...i love my work most of the time and i like to make people happy but my responsibility is to my family, not toy soldiers.  Just because i love what i do doesnt mean i couldnt live without it, weighing up potential gains against probable losses is something that happens most days in businesses.

Its easy to be angry with others ....their selfishness, lack of grasp of reality, bad attitudes when their issues spill into your life making you adapt your priorities to fit their issues.  But when do you say "go sort your own head out, stop blaming me because you have had a bad day, stop looking for a scapegoat because you dont like consequences."  How do you tell people around you, even family members,  that they are literally playing games with your life and the welfare of your kids without sounding selfish and petty?  How can you say to someone that you get so scared to even go to bed some nights because you cant stop your heart from pounding and you have a paralysing pain down your left shoulder without being accused of trying to elicit sympathy and attention-seeking.

Changing priorities.  I don't think i have ever thought i was immortal but a year ago i don't think i ever imagined my life would be like living on a knife-edge waiting for the next 'issue' to rear its head.  My priority used to be trying to make life better for my kids, now it is about surviving on a daily basis to have a life with my kids.  Now i pray before sleep, not for winning the lottery like i used to years ago when i wanted a new car, but that i will wake in the morning.


What am i trying to say?  Don't worry it isnt a hint that we are dumping HF ...stop panicking you will still have toy soldiers for at least a little while longer!  However i really would advise people not to have their own businesses, its not all its cracked up to be.

Go out, live life, don't assume that it will be there tomorrow, look at what is valuable to you and hold on tight to it, get rid of things that don't reward your efforts, give your kids that extra 10 minutes when they want another story at bedtime, give your partner that extra big hug.   

don't argue, life is too short.   Never assume anything is certain
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline leadhead

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 01:31:02 AM »
I used to want to have my own store.  But as I got a bit older and looked at it, the type of business I wanted, the town I'm in, amount of work to put in, money to put it together and all the other things, I kind of realised what it would be like.  I look at my current job/career, look at what I make compared to what I would make with my own store, and yep, gonna keep my day job thanks.  I don't want all that kind of fun, I'll leave it to my employer and I'll just collect my pay.
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Offline Reaperman

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 05:17:49 AM »
Bloody hell! Has Sarah gotten onto the FOD via Sally's profile???
We seem to have the live life to the max and don't stop for anything chat every time my other half has to be rebooted.

I know everything has been getting to you hun and you know both Sarah and I are here for you what ever you need. But if there is one thing I've learnt very very quickly apart from kids and me don't mix is not to run a miniatures business. Working for one is fine and fun but it gives you an incite into how tough running a small business is, you feel very grateful your only employed.

At the very least you can look forward to the 3 hen nights Sarah is having, so the both of you can relax. :thumbup:
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Offline DRAGON

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 07:04:18 AM »
Sally you are truely a wise and wonderful person ! (cheers for the PM by the way).
Sometimes reading other peoples problems puts your own in sharp relief and you realise things are not as bad as you thought - ignore all those who try and hurt & put you down the only people who count are the people who genuinely care about you and in your case I suspect there are many !
I dont know you personally but you strike me as being a decent person always having time for others despite your own troubles which is a rarity these days - take heed of her words people she speaks a lot of sense !  :thumbup:
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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 11:30:38 AM »
I can whole heartily agree with the live life to the max ethos.

Lying in your bed, in Iraq, with rockets getting closer and closer really gives you a dose of reality and you think...is it my time?  When it isn't, it is a bit like being re-born.  You see things with a different perspective...

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Offline Brandlin

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 12:01:48 PM »
Quote
How do you tell people around you, even family members,  that they are literally playing games with your life and the welfare of your kids without sounding selfish and petty?

You get them to read this post.

If that doesn't work then they aren't worth the effort.

Hugs Sally please look after you first n then the kids.
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Offline Gangrel

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011, 01:26:12 PM »
A few years ago I was rushed into hospital with an odd blood disorder. I actually felt fine (until the treatment started, at least!), but it was painstakingly explained to me that the slightest bump could cause me to bleed to death without even breaking the skin. At the time I was at a really low ebb, doing a job I hated and unsatisfied with so many things. While I was in hospital two very good friends helped write an application for a new job and I left hospital determined to change things. Well, I got the job, met GB shortly after and changed a lot of other things. Life isn't perfect (if anyone finds a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, let me know!) but it's way better than it was. Sally's right; sometimes you have to just plough ahead and make those changes, because there's only you can do them. Good friends will always help you, but you have to make the decisions and have the motivation.
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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 08:54:55 PM »
Hi Sally,

That sure is one honest and heart-felt post.


When life gets dark for me, I try to remember to count my blessings.

The World Health Organisation estimate that tonight, eight-hundred and fifty million people will go to bed hungry.

I was lucky enough to learn that life is short when I was younger, when I joined the Fire Service.
When life's futility and fragility drag me down, I remember the car-full of teenage corpses, the man who died on the first day of his retirement and the girl who died as I held her hand and told her everything was going to be okay.
Suddenly life's hardships and unfairness seem to be put into perspective for me.

I think it's about reaching out and pulling the good towards you, as the bad weighs you down.

Today I worked in London. I saw many affluent and successful people full of misery and when I bought a copy of the Big Issue, the vendor was brimming full of positive mental attitude. He was smiling and joking and full of life (yet sober). I think it's about perspective.

Your words are great advice:
"Go out, live life, don't assume that it will be there tomorrow, look at what is valuable to you and hold on tight to it, get rid of things that don't reward your efforts, give your kids that extra 10 minutes when they want another story at bedtime, give your partner that extra big hug."

I enjoy the famous Macbeth quote, so full of insight, yet harshly true:
    
“Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Life is indeed short, but the moment you realise this, every other moment in time seems like a gift. I suppose I'm trying to say, don't pray to wake up in the morning, rather pray with thanks and gratitude that today you lived.

Steve Jobs really hit me in a great speech he once made. You should insist to yourself and ensure that you make 15 minutes of your time to watch this:

http://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die.html


It gives me the strength to carry on when I need it.

I don't apologise for wearing my heart on my sleeve with this post, but will leave you instead with the wise words of John Lennon:
"Life is what happens when you are making other plans"

The Duke.

« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 09:02:09 PM by The Duke »

Offline Wings

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2011, 10:58:08 PM »
A few years ago my youngest brother was diagnosed with psychosis, aged 13, and it tore my entire world apart. I ended up having a mental breakdown, developing an anxiety disorder and having to drop out of university for a year in order to get to the point where I could function without having a panic attack when I was in a remotely stressful situation. I'm now back at university and my brother's been out of mental hospitals and off anti-psychotic drugs for almost a year, but it's been really hard work for all of us and created serious tensions with friends and family who've criticised my brother and us.

Then one of my aunts got diagnosed with terminal cancer. She's got a seven year old daughter and has at most a couple of years to live, on constant chemo courses. I now realise whatever problems my immediate family have and had are *nothing* compared to what she's going through. And yet she somehow manages to remain cheerful, to fight every day, to do all the enjoyable things she can afford to do and be there for her daughter. She lives life to the full as much as she can manage so that her last months are worth living, and to leave wonderful memories with all her family and friends. I have serious respect for the effort that costs her, and everyone else in similar situations.

I've been constantly amazed with how much you manage to do Sally since I discovered Hasslefree (ironically I discovered minis when recovering on my year off). My best friend has ME and although its far better than it used to be, the mere thought of living the life you lead made her want to lie down and recover from the idea. Always do the best that you can whilst remaining sane and healthy - if you do that there's no possible grounds anyone can criticise you. Those that do really don't matter.

Offline Martini Henrie

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2011, 03:54:29 PM »
I can whole heartily agree with the live life to the max ethos.

Lying in your bed, in Iraq, with rockets getting closer and closer really gives you a dose of reality and you think...is it my time?  When it isn't, it is a bit like being re-born.  You see things with a different perspective...

Agreed, mortar shells are no fun either...  Sally, I believe you can have no worries about those of use on the forum who buy your stuff, and buy into the values that you guys show in adversity.  Part of it is loyalty to the family that you make of us, and the spirit and strength you guys always show during adversity.  I just wish you ghuys had less cause to show it.  The fact that your product is great helps, and I would expect that, like me, others wish that we could buy more thus easing finantial pressures.

Keep as you are, 'Keep calm, and have a cup of tea' is a great quote.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 04:01:02 PM by Martini Henrie »
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Offline fog99uk

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2011, 10:11:04 PM »
Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, an emotional event when I was younger has left me pretty cold hearted. I care about very few people, and those few I care for much more than I do myself. I don't care whether I am around tomorrow, I know my life is of no consequence to the universe.

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2011, 12:58:52 AM »

Thank you for your post, Sally. There's not much I can add, other than I agree.
I think perhaps 5 years ago on the other side of several events... I wouldn't have even understood your post (I'd have thought I did). But here and now... standing (mostly) on my own two feet, having made decisions and chosen my path I realise I never expected to end up here.

And you're right, realising your own mortality can put a real drive and perspective into your life. I've been given three chances now, three wake-up calls. On the last I finally paid attention. The first two, I honestly thought there was some mistake and I'd missed my time to die. How utterly selfish and stupid is that?


Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, an emotional event when I was younger has left me pretty cold hearted. I care about very few people, and those few I care for much more than I do myself. I don't care whether I am around tomorrow, I know my life is of no consequence to the universe.
Bollocks. Nobody is worthless, "of no consequence".... and the very fact you are here out of your own interest, talking to other people and pursuing something you care about proves you don't truly believe that either. Don't bash yourself.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 01:08:49 AM by Gothy Beans »
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Offline mcfonz

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2011, 08:09:11 PM »
A very striking, honest and insightful article Sally.

After my parents divorcing when I was around 12, I remember the thought that neither of them were there for ever hit me pretty hard. My dad worked crazy shifts for HM Customs and Excise and so I saw him even less after my parents divorce. I realised then that it had been teamwork that had got us that far but that the strain on my mum had been hard. When it was just mum I realised that should something happen to her I had no one. Talk about a cold slap of reality.

Some things are still tough for me to talk about though. As most people have (I guess), there are fractions within my extended family which mean that some things I bottle up such as the death of my stepfather getting on for three years ago - a week or so after me and my fiancée moved into our first house. Sadly a couple of days prior we had talked about inviting him up to see it - I thought a lot of him, and unfortunately you don't realise how much until they are gone and leave that hole in your life.

Never, ever value anything materially above those close to you. As a kid I just kept myself to myself at home, my mum and sister were much closer. But now - as corny as it sounds, I am the man of the family. They rely on my judgement and advice - which takes some getting used to I can assure you! But it's a new test, I can't sit in someone else's shadow any more.

Like you say, when you are a kid you are immortal. I think in my case though as a young adult, it wasn't that I was immortal, but that I had nothing to loose. Now I have a house, fiancée, god-daughter and close family to support emotionally etc I know that there is more to it.

All of this is magnified in my mind when it comes to my wedding on 5th August. One of the people I want the most to have been there isn't. That piles more onto me in the knowledge that although my actual father will be there and two rocks in best men, I will to a large extent have that hole present, one very close person whose guidance got me this far. It's not at all easy for me to explain, and I haven't spoken to anyone about it in great detail.

So thanks, a group therapy session. I would like to give you all a hug now!  :hug:

It's all good though. As it is the first time I have really felt worth anything. Sure I enjoyed living before, I am not an emo or anything! Just that as a child and young person like you say, you live for the moment, then you go through a period of thinking what do you really live for, or at least I did in London. And then you find out what you live for and it gives you another level of self belief.

Perhaps also because all of that guidance was given to me to prepare me for just this.

I have lost the passive edge, I snarl at other drivers when they drive crap or if they give Lucy an evil glance because through their bad driving they perceive her to be the one that has made a mistake. In short I think the alpha male is coming out in me . . . . . .  :crazy:
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Offline libertee

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2011, 04:13:26 PM »
I just found out that after a short illness the mother of one of Megans classmates died today, on her sons 9th birthday.  Two years ago another child in the same class lost her mum.

Just reminds you that nothing in life is certain.

RIP Lisa Stuart 24.11.11
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 04:14:09 PM by libertee »
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline agentmolar

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2011, 11:29:53 AM »
Having said all of that. Denial of the inevitable demise of our own existence is the one reason we have civilization, progress, technology and generally a working economy. If it wasn't for the poor schmoes who got up and did their thankless and necessary jobs every day, we wouldn't have all the mod cons around us. I think the ethos of enjoying today is an important one, but remember that we owe it to each other and our little ones to carry on with our lives and jobs regardless. If you take the pure nihilist view of life to its extreme, then you might as well not attempt any great task in life as its just pointless.  Frankly I would prefer to go to my grave doing something I love to the best of my ability. Friends, family, every  one you know and love will leave you at the end. At the end of it all , all you have is your life, achievements and your memories. A life without interesting memories is going to be a big disappointment when you are in your wheel chair in the nursing home.


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Offline libertee

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2011, 12:28:03 PM »
Having said all of that. Denial of the inevitable demise of our own existence is the one reason we have civilization, progress, technology and generally a working economy. If it wasn't for the poor schmoes who got up and did their thankless and necessary jobs every day, we wouldn't have all the mod cons around us. I think the ethos of enjoying today is an important one, but remember that we owe it to each other and our little ones to carry on with our lives and jobs regardless. If you take the pure nihilist view of life to its extreme, then you might as well not attempt any great task in life as its just pointless.  Frankly I would prefer to go to my grave doing something I love to the best of my ability. Friends, family, every  one you know and love will leave you at the end. At the end of it all , all you have is your life, achievements and your memories. A life without interesting memories is going to be a big disappointment when you are in your wheel chair in the nursing home.


Yes I am drinking at the moment.


A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline Toosh

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2011, 01:28:42 PM »
 :metoo:
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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2011, 02:36:52 PM »
Try not to let the baskets get you down Sally.

What was the diagnosis of the heart scares btw ? Sounds like classic panic attacks to me ( I know how they feel unfortunately.)

And yeah life can be cruel, the world can be cruel and people can be cruel. Cherrish those you love.

Offline libertee

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2011, 02:47:55 PM »
the heart scares were due to an increase of adrenaline where i was so stressed with stuff going on.  With the ME my body doesnt efficiently eliminate hormones/toxins etc so the adrenaline was building up .  I saw a heart consultant and had lots of tests and my heart is working perfectly fine ( touch wood dont want to jinx anything ) and my cholesterol levels are so low they are the same levels as a 19 year old athlete (which is all the vegetables/fruit/fish/pulses etc we eat apparrently)

I still have GTN spray but havent used it for a few months now.  we have identified the triggers and for the most part they arent in my life anymore so things are chugging along okayish!
A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather & ask for it back when it starts to rain. 

most mornings i wake up grumpy.   sometimes i just let him sleep.

my life consists of brief snatched moments of living my life hidden deep among chaos, confusion& the  going crazy, every night i go to sleep filled with hope & enthusiasm for the new day coming.  then i wake up & think "here I go again" & just aim to survive.

Offline Klute

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2011, 03:04:09 PM »
Good to know the ticker is working well. Sounds like your kepping your distance from as many stress triggers as possible too. Take care.

Offline agentmolar

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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2011, 05:12:22 AM »
Stay well Sally!  :)
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Re: Changing priorities and assumptions
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2011, 11:52:36 PM »
I still have GTN spray but havent used it for a few months now.  we have identified the triggers and for the most part they arent in my life anymore so things are chugging along okayish!

Really glad to hear it.
"That's interesting. Horses don't USUALLY explode, no matter how hard you hit them."

Hellboy - "Wake the Devil", Mike Mignola