Lessons in Life - What Has Life Taught You?

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by MarkII, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. MarkII

    MarkII Active Member

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    Talking to one of my neighbours earlier about how life changes us (sometimes for the worse, sometimes for better) got me wondering what other peoples life experiences had taught them.

    To give this some context, I’ll give you my recent history and what it’s taught me.

    Seven years ago, aged 43, I was a work hard, play hard sort of guy, owned a successful business, had a decent house plus a couple of nice cars & a motorbike in my name. Life wasn’t easy but it wasn’t bad either and it felt like all the graft I’d put in during my 20’s and 30’s was finally beginning to pay off. Next stop would be the ‘big deal’, then sell up and retire early.

    Unfortunately life had other plans and overnight almost everything changed: The simple act of changing a wheel on my car resulted in the collapse of my C7 vertebrae, I was told I needed urgent reconstructive surgery on my spine with a 50% chance I wouldn’t make it but worse was to come with the news that I had an incurable form of cancer (Multiple Myeloma) with an average life expectancy of 3 – 5 years.

    Seven years on and I’m still here but I’ve lost my business, had to downsize significantly and sell off the cars and the bike. I’ve been through lengthy rounds of twice weekly chemotherapy, had two lots of radiotherapy and undergone two bone marrow transplants (the most recent being last July).

    I did sort of get my wish in that I’m now ‘semi-retired’ but there’s a lot I can’t do and I’m in pain most days HOWEVER I’ve learned some valuable lessons:

    Being a ‘hard ass’ in life rarely makes for a happy or likeable person.

    You might strive for perfection but that doesn’t mean everyone else has to.

    Spending time with loved ones is way better than giving them fancy gifts.

    By all means aspire to the finer things but appreciate what you have today.

    Don’t fear anything or anyone that stands between you and happiness.

    Stick to your principles but don’t waste precious time and energy arguing in circles.

    Don’t stress - there’s no point in worrying about things you can’t control.

    You don’t have to be religious to be thankful for being alive.


    What lessons has life taught you?



    Mark :)
     
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  2. greggster

    greggster Active Member

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    Wow, that's tough Mark what you've been through, sounds like you're pretty content now though which is great.

    My only lesson learnt is 'don't sweat the small stuff' :)
     
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  3. Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 MB Enthusiast

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    I broke my ankle a couple of years ago, and had to slow down a lot - if only temporarily.

    I discovered the pleasure of doing jigsaws. I found which of my friends were real friends - that came round to keep me company, brought food, took me out with a wheelchair in their car boot. Most importantly of all, I found out that my girlfriend was a real "keeper" - the one for me for life.

    Now that my ankle is healed I'm back on the treadmill working, building the business, and I have to keep taking a moment to remember what is really important in life. We spend a lot of time together and although work is important, I'm content to leave a lot more to my staff and have occasional days off. It's people, not toys, that are important.

    You've really been through a lot - but it sounds like you have found the silver lining inside your cloud. Hope all continues well for you.
     
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  4. ChrisEdu

    ChrisEdu Active Member

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    It's when sh!t hits the fan that you discover your true friends.
     
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    MarkII

    MarkII Active Member

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    Thanks gentlemen - it's good to hear other peoples stories of overcoming hard times and the how good people are out there, be they family, friends or partners.

    I know my girlfriend or SWMBO as I jokingly call her has been through the mill with me and we met part way into this, so she had the option to walk when I told her my circumstances.
     
  6. OP
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    MarkII

    MarkII Active Member

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    So true Gregg!
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  7. OP
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    MarkII

    MarkII Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing - it's those difficulties and the way we deal with them that define us - and you got some good support from the people who count :thumb:

    Thanks for your good wishes - ever onwards....
     
  8. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Enthusiast

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    Not to talk to the neighbours.
     
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  9. OP
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    MarkII

    MarkII Active Member

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    Thanks Chris - a truer word was never spoken.

    In my case certain friends and business acquaintances I'd known for 20 years or more were conspicuous by there absence whilst others stepped up to the plate and were steadfast and true - you learn about others as well as yourself.

    Mark :)
     
  10. OP
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    MarkII

    MarkII Active Member

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    Damn, well there's another one to add to my list :)
     

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