Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On Heart Attacks

I know stress. I grew up around stress. You know that video of Billy Joel's "Pressure"? Where he sits on the chair and white-knuckles the sides? That's how I remember my dad throughout my childhood, pretty much. Here's what I mean, for those not familiar with the video (you can click the image for the YouTube link):

Billy Joel Pressure

He yelled at the TV, yelled at the radio, yelled at customer service people, yelled at the phone after they hung up on him, yelled at his wife, and yelled at us. And that's what I grew up knowing: that the only way to deal with a stressful situation is to grab on to the edge of your seat and yell at something or at someone. Then, a couple of years ago, I got the call about my dad's inevitable heart attack. A quadruple bypass surgery later, and a bunch of little gadgets regulating his heart, he's a changed man, because he knows there's no alternative.

My father's major heart attack was a wake up call for me as well. If I continue to eat junk, if I continue to stress out about every little thing, and if I continue to fight things I have no control over, my heart attack will be just as inevitable as my dad's.

We're moving to a new house soon, and I have big plans. I will get that expensive juicer. I will learn a new recipe every month. I will find more time to run. Maybe swim too. I will start meditating again. And I will try to keep that elusive balance in my life, and remain calm. Always, calm.

Three posts from fellow blogging dads dealt with heart attacks this week:

Doug from Laid Off Dad wrote about the heart attack he had last week.

Then Jeff from Out With the Kids wrote about nearly having a heart attack and about a visit to the ER that has made him decide to make changes in his life.

And finally, Carter from DadScribe wrote about the heart attack he had 5 years ago, and about the changes he's made since then.

These three posts, the before, during, and after heart attack posts, can hopefully go a long way to scare some of us into doing what we need to do to stay healthy, happy, and alive for a little bit longer. Meanwhile, please head over to their blogs and send them some encouragement.

August 6th 2008 - Leave a Little Room In Your Heart

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  1. I like how you used a Billy Joel reference to reference a post that made a Billy Joel reference. It makes me want to make a Billy Joel reference about something. I'll work on it and let you know how it goes.

  2. I make Billy Joel references on an hourly basis!

  3. Such a good reminder to get healthy and not stress (or yell)! I needed that this week! Thanks!

  4. I think I need a reminder in front of my face all the time. It's too easy to let yourself go...

  5. Thanks for reminding me that we're here only for so long. I'll definitely pay a visit to those blogs you mentioned and I'll try and keep in mind I should live a happier, calmer life, without yelling at the TV, my wife or my kids.

  6. I think nowadays the hardest part is finding out so many people disagree with us on the Internet, and managing to not hate them... If we can do that, maybe one day we'll be able to not hate the person who cut us off on the road.

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