I had a physical exam a couple of months ago, since it had been two years, and as part of my new life and loving myself, I owe it to me to maintain my health. Plus, I’m fifty frikkin’ nine years old, too. The PA ordered ultrasound exams of my abdomen and carotid arteries, something that I’ve never had before. Apparently, folks my age need these to check the internal organs and for blood flow to the brain. It turns out that I have up to a 60% narrowing of my right carotid artery, so the PA ordered an MRA, which I had done today.

An MRA is like an MRI except the study is of the arteries. When you get one of the carotids, you have to lie on the sliding platform with your head and neck in a kind of brace, and then they put a cage over your face and lock it down to prevent head movement. They then slide you into this narrow tunnel of a machine, and get to work. If you are prone to claustrophobia, (I’m not, normally,) it can be a very unpleasant experience. I’ve had at least three other MRI’s of either my head or my upper body, so I knew what to expect, and I had no real concerns about it.

So, I slide into the machine, and it starts making all the ungodly noises they do, which to me sounds for all the world like it’s trying to shake and bang itself apart. I mentally examined the possibility of getting claustrophobic, and I wasn’t, although I could feel panic just hovering around my mind, should I choose to let it in.

The technician was a big heavy affable guy named John, and at the start of the exam he spoke to me from the safe room through an intercom. I deliberately didn’t move, because I knew that if I lifted my hand or leg and felt how tightly I was wrapped in this big tube, I would start to feel trapped. Suddenly though, seemingly out of nowhere, came a thought: “John is so big, what if he has a heart attack and drops dead in that other room?” Instantly I could feel adrenaline starting to surge, and panic started poking at the edges of my mind, looking for a way in. I wondered if the machine would just keep on running until it fried my brain, or if I’d have to lie there until somebody came looking for John when he didn’t make his next appointment!

Then, the banging stopped. The bed moved a little. John was still alive! I felt foolish. Confused. A bit angry with myself. I was also curious though. Why had a ridiculous thought like that, unbidden, come crashing into my consciousness? Why had I entertained it for the few minutes that I had? Was there a life lesson in this for me? I think there was.

I believe in the Law of Attraction, and it has fundamentally changed my life. I’ve written here before though, that I often have trouble holding on to my faith in the law when I face adversity. In this instance, the Universe gave me a harmless lesson in how much work I still have to do, because my mind was so easily able to just disregard everything I’ve learned. I became consumed with worry about a completely irrational idea. It’s not a lesson that I’ll soon forget!

There was another lesson there for me too. As absurd as my worry was, I also had to examine my own mortality. Stranger things have happened than a guy getting his brain fried in an MRI machine. I was not scared of dying though. If that’s what came to pass, I figured my kids would make a pretty good chunk of money in the end. I accept now that when it’s my time, then my energy will return to the Universe. Maybe I’ll get to come back in another life. Maybe as a plant or animal, maybe on another planet in the Universe. We are all made of the same energy at the very core of our beings, so my form may change, but what I’m made of won’t. I find that comforting, and very much more logical than a vengeful god who’ll send my soul to suffer unspeakable anguish for eternity because I haven’t lived a perfect life.

I took a weekend trip to Vermont with my Lady to attend a wedding. With my newfound knowledge, I was able to dance and chat and enjoy myself with her, without worrying about how I looked dancing, or what other people might think. Vermont is beautiful, and I got some really nice photos.DSC_5532

It’s Been Awhile

So, I haven’t written anything here for awhile, and that’s in spite of my previous declaration that I would write daily. I have no excuse that I haven’t, only that I just wasn’t feeling it. Now, if I were a pro, that would be completely unacceptable as an excuse, however, I’m not a pro.

I’ve always had “issues” with feeling like I have to do things, and when I procrastinate, get lazy, or I’m just not feeling it, I often end up feeling guilty for not doing what I required in the first place. I read some helpful hints today, by a man name Dr. Neil Fiore. One is to make the choice to accomplish the task I’ve set for myself. A simple change in thinking, from, “I have to write today”, to “I will write today” makes a huge difference. See? Here I am! Second, I threaten myself with doubt and uncertainty when I “have to” do something, or I decide that it’s too much, so I may not even start. However, and I found this to be true today, if I break the tasks into smaller 15 to 30 minute segments, and my focus isn’t on getting the whole thing done, but getting each step done, it goes much easier.

Since I can’t drive right now, my main mode of transport is to bicycle. I own two bikes, one is a twenty some odd year old “street” bike that was pretty expensive in it’s day, and the other is my year old combination bike with an electric assist. The newer bike has been having repeated issues with rear tire flats, so I’ve spent quite a bit of time determining what the problem is, and I had to order some simple items to help prevent the flats. The items have still not arrived though, and that bike is unusable until they do. My other bike has been hanging in a garage or sitting on my front porch for years. It was dirty, the tires were flat, and the wheels were off the bike. It also has a different type of air valve, a Presta, and I thought I needed an adapter to make my pump work with it. I’d been telling myself that I needed to get that bicycle up and running, but procrastination reared it’s ugly head.

In all the You Tube tutorials I watched, I discovered that all modern bicycle pumps usually can switch between Presta and Schrader valves, and a little more research revealed that mine did too. So I set myself a goal this morning of getting up, getting my old bike together and using it for the ride to the gym. When I went to get it though, it was sitting there, dusty, dirty, rusted gear and brake wires, and I started thinking it would be too much work to get it rideable.

I sat down to have my morning coffee, read the daily teaching from “The Secret”, checked on what was going on in the world, and all the time I was thinking how I wouldn’t be able to get my old bicycle up and running so I would have to walk to the gym, yada, yada, yada. I checked my email, and there was one from the aforementioned Dr. Fiore called “How to Conquer Procrastination I read it, and then I read it again. Then, I inflated the tires to my bike, and sat for a while and had more coffee. After I spoke with my Lady, (as we do every morning!) I took the bike frame outside, cleaned it, lubed it a little, put the wheels back on, and in the end used it to go to the gym with absolutely no problems.

Of course, I’m used to my bike with the electric assist motor, so when the effort gets to be a bit much, all I need do is twist the throttle and the motor takes up more of the load. It took a little practice and adjusting, but I made it to the gym and back without keeling over from exhaustion, but I even managed the hills with some huffing and puffing.

It’s funny how a little thing like some education can get my mind back on track, and thinking positively about life. The Law of Attraction worked for me, and I’m grateful. It’s also curious how accomplishing a big task in small increments can send my mood soaring!