Thursday, August 2, 2012

Life Lesson Confirmed

Today was my first followup with a Pulmonologist following the development of blood clots after relatively minor surgery to remove a partially torn meniscus in my left knee.

I received some sobering news from the doctor.

He gave me the full rundown of what transpired. In less than 3 days, at least 9 small clots formed in my left calf. Six of them had lodged in various areas of both lungs.

Here’s the scary part. Until today, I had forgotten that blood returning from the nether-regions of the body actually has to pass through the right side of your heart before going to the lungs. That’s right, six clots passed through my heart first! Sooo incredibly lucky they were small enough to pass through without causing damage…or worse.

Six shots (clots) at the heart and I somehow survived. Perhaps I am some kind of cool cat with nine lives? Luckily the last three stayed in the calf. 

The good news is that I am well into the blood thinner regimen so all of the clots should dissolve over the next few months and life should be able to return to its previous programming.

There is a lesson in all of this.

If you are…let’s say…"less than pleased" with your current career path or quality of life, I was just like you for the past few years. For many reasons I hated my career. But I would keep telling myself that I had time to “do my own thing.” I was young and in good health. 

That career was never really a good fit for my skills and traits…but it was a well-paying job.

I was always thinking about what it was that I really wanted to spend my days doing for work but fear would hold me back. Fear would help me create countless excuses for “not now.” I moved from company to company hoping it would somehow miraculously feel better.

I have since taken the first big leap but fear still holds me back at times.

Even somewhat acknowledging the fact that I did not know how much time I had to pursue my intrinsic passions was not enough to push through the fear.

I put it off and put it off some more. Years slipped by seemingly in the blink of an eye. I finally decided to take the leap at the end of 2011, years after those initial thoughts crept up to tell me I was not in the right place career-wise. I am now pursuing a couple of intrinsic passions, even combining the two biggest passions into one combined effort as Craft Beer Coach. I have yet to make a dime but I feel incredibly fulfilled! Finally!

But it was almost too late for me. I seriously might not have been sitting right here right now typing this post.  Just months into pursuing those passions, it all came very close to be snuffed out completely at the young age of 45.

How old was Adam Yauch when he passed away? Fortunately for him he seemed to be fully tapping into his passion from a young age.

It felt like a great accomplishment just getting up the courage to give up the security to hit the career reset button and take back control of whom I am. I honestly thought to myself that I could go in peace (if something were to happen) now knowing that I finally did something about it. But what a shame it would’ve been to not have the chance to build what I am building to help others who feel stuck.

The lesson is- if you are not happy with your career or quality of life right now, even an ounce of doubt, start to do something about it. Now! 

That ounce will grow to become a gallon.

How much time do you have to plan it out and put it into action?

If you don’t know what it is you really want to do with your life, how much more time will it take for you to figure that out before planning and implementation? Do you have that time?

You can’t answer these questions. You can make assumptions but assumptions are just a thought mechanism for avoidance and a false sense of security. Often, assumptions turn out to be mistaken.

There is no test to check how your body will react to a minor surgery.

There is no fail-safe test to predict if your own body will turn against you someday.

There is no way you can prevent every knucklehead from possibly cutting your time short.

Hell, your own most innocent, force-of-habit action might end your chances at pursuing your passions.

So morbid right? Sorry but so much is beyond your control. This is a call to action.

Here comes the cliché. Life is too short and too precious to waste it away.

Life could become too short at any given moment to justify wasting away your passions and talents in some condition that makes you feel miserable.

The truth is you can’t control how much time you have to make your passion a reality… can control when and how you begin to make your passion a reality. Just taking that first significant step can bring a lot of inner peace.

Forget about wasting mental energy forming assumptions and take control of the fear by using that mental energy on what you know is the truth for yourself.


  1. Long shot...but did you post on the NWI Times site about the 3Fs article? If so, thanks for sticking up for my pals. AND, I would love to check out your article on Bryggeriet Djaevlebryg. Met those guys @ the Shelton Festival recently -- they & their beers are great.
    I can be reached at


  2. Yes Kate that was me. No problem. When we are talking about craft beer, or anything for that matter, we should all try not to have the conversation devolve into judgment about how people look.

    I am using craft beer as a muse for my mission because on the whole, there is little judgment in craft beer. When it does pop up, we must quash it.

    My interview with Per OIaf is posting this week. I just hope readers can withhold their judgment to see Per Olaf for who he is as a person, not pass judgment because his brewery name roughly translates to Brewery Devil's Brew.