I am grateful to have a friend that is also a very gifted writer. He and I were speaking the other day about life, our writings, and how each of us react or should react to what comes our way. He stated he was going to send my and "old" piece of his that he thought I would really appreciate. Below is that piece and yes, I appreciated it so much I wanted to share it. So with his permission...
Sage Old Advice
Doctor Dillard was the company doctor. Actually, he was a retired heart surgeon that took this part time consulting job probably just for grins. He did annual physicals and treated all the minor health issues that pop up in a young workforce. He was a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, always smiling, laughing and joking with his patients. Doc and I had a special bond as we both shared a love for the water, boats, and Italian shoes (yes, Italian shoes). Doc actually owned a large yacht and we often joked about me quitting my job and captaining his yacht as we sailed around the world. Sometimes that seemed like a really good idea, especially when things weren’t all that rosy at home. In the twilight of his career, Doc had it all. I, on the other hand, was in the birthing stages of my career, competitive, aggressive, and ambitious. I wanted to move up quickly, but the competition was fierce as each of our small group of fifteen had the same plan. Naturally, this situation created a little stress; no, it created a lot of stress. After a while, I began to experience sharp pain in my abdomen, similar to twisting a hot knife in my gut. Often I would even throw up some kind of green bile. I knew I had an ulcer, after all I was 28 years old. I went to see the doc and informed him of my diagnosis, after which he laughed and slapped me on the back and told me I didn’t have an ulcer. I insisted, however, and he reluctantly agreed to have the appropriate testing done. When the test results came in, the doc called me to his office to review the results. He explained that I did not have an ulcer and that the results were normal with the exception of a small inflamed muscle in my upper abdomen. That, he said, is caused by stress. What do you have to be stressed about?, he asked. You’re young, healthy, and have a good job and a great family (that was not exactly true). I tried to tell him about all of my problems, after which he laughed again (that laugh was beginning to bother me). Look son, he said, there are only two kinds of problems in the world. There are those you can solve and those you can’t. Now, the ones you can solve, do it expeditiously, don’t procrastinate. Those problems you can’t solve, forget them. Worrying about them will only make you sick. Well, naturally I thanked him for all his sage advice and walked away thinking, Yeah doc, that’s easy for you to say, you have it all, even a yacht. Naturally, the gut twisting pain continued.
About two months later, I came in to work on Monday morning and was informed by a co-worker that Doc Dillard had passed away over the weekend. What, I exclaimed, what happened? Well, he checked himself into the hospital on Friday and passed on Sunday. Apparently, he had been suffering with cancer for several years and it finally got the best of him. While grieving the loss of my friend, the memory of his lecture about the two kinds of problems came into my mind. It occurred to me that his cancer had been one of those problems he couldn’t solve and he had put it aside and lived happily until the end. How bad must it have been if he passed just two days after checking in? The point of his lecture suddenly became very clear to me as I realized that he was actually living it. Within a few short days, the pain in my abdomen disappeared never to return. I took his advice to heart, ignoring the unsolvable problems and fixing those I could, although I occasionally procrastinate a bit in solving some of those fixable issues.
Some thirty years later, I met an old man at the feed store who, in retrospect, just might have been old Doc Dillard paying me a visit. I was a rookie cattle raiser (40 acres and 10 cows does not a rancher make) and had lost a cow to lightning the night before. She had a week old calf and I was picking up all the stuff needed to bottle feed it. As I walked up to the loading dock, an old man said, “good morning.” Not too good,” I replied. “Any day above ground is a good one,” he replied. “Yeah, but I lost a cow in the storm last night.” “Be glad you didn’t loose em all,” he said. “But she had a week old calf that I’m now going to have to bottle feed.” “Lucky it wasn’t one day old,” he said, “woulda been harder to save”. “Yeah, I guess you’re right,” I replied. As I drove home, I thought of the doc and his lecture and how it applied to the old man’s attitude. When I got home, I observed that my orphan calf now had five stepmothers taking care of her. She wound up being the biggest and fattest of the bunch.
The wisdom in the above is priceless.
"Live hopefully. It does not matter what happens, what your circumstances are, you have something to connect with."
- I am many years into a "summer project" of yoga that my daughter and I started. Yoga is such a part of my life and my daughter's life that it surprises us both. Yoga for us has evolved as a part of daily living. We might not practice everyday, but we practice what yoga has given us. Now, some about me.I have had the honor of being a part of the medical community for many years. I strongly feel modern medicine and holistic medicine walk hand and hand to treat the whole person. I have found that yoga brings into daily life true balance,breath, and awareness to what is happening at the moment. Yoga is both enhancing and invigorating to the mind and spirit, and gives health and strength to the body. What more could one want? My daughter and I plan to be participating in yoga for many years to come, she even promised she would take me to class in my 80's. I intend to make her keep that promise.