My father had a heart attack while walking through a sporting goods store and died. But it took Rosie O'Donnell having one that has finally scared me enough to start taking my health seriously. I guess you could say she's scared me straight.
I'm not even a big fan of Ms O'Donnell. I used to like her show a long time ago but her constant lengthy singing segments turned me off so that I turned her off. Her renditions of various songs from Broadway shows were horrendous. It isn't that I'm jealous because I can't sing, it's because she can't either. At least I don't thrust my bad singing on the public ( not since the Pajama Game in high school.)
We don't have much in common besides both of us being close in age, in size and having a sense of humor. While I'm not gay that is one of the things I most appreciate about her, that and the work she does for LGBT families and children.
But hearing about her heart attack scared the beejesus out of me. If someone with a huge staff of people whose only jobs are to keep her healthy and happy can have a heart attack, then someone like me certainly could.
If I'm being honest with myself, it's obvious I've been gambling with my health for awhile now. I didn't take it seriously.
I used to say that my secret to staying young was immaturity. Young people think that they are immortal and I guess I thought if I pretended I was immortal I would be. Act as if you will live forever and maybe you will?
I have been shortening my life by not eating right, not exercising enough and with my indulgent attitude. It isn't being a hypochondriac to be fully aware of what is going on with one's body and to listen to the experts about health, it is is being smart.
Not to be glib about this but it is surprising that I haven't had a heart attack already. I have a family history of heart attacks, I have high blood pressure and I'm overweight. Now the stress of having one is adding to the likelihood of it happening.
We gripe about celebrities and their causes. Why should we vote for someone just because some sitcom star from the 80s does or why should we care about global warming because an Oscar nominated star cares ? We care because they are our role models whether they or we like it or not. The stars help to open our eyes.
Here's the thing, I can't go yet. I haven't even acheived most of my goals and dreams, not even half. I only recently got really focused. And I believe I can make them happen if I'm here to do it.
One of my friends has this joke that I will die when I'm 59 but because of my birthday being at the end of Sept. it will look like I died at 60. Every now and then he will send me an email about some celebrity dying before the age of 59 and say "here's someone else who would have loved to live until 59." He thinks this is hilarious but I also realize he's been trying to scare me straight too.
Naturally I received one of these emails this morning about Michael Duncan Clark-dead at 54 of a heart attack. I feel so terrible for his friends and family and yes so freaked out for myself. My friend is hoping that out of spite and the need to prove him wrong I will take better care of myself and live longer than his prediction. His death age for me is nearly a decade away but if I don't get it together, I may make him wrong by living even less than he predicts.
Fear and spite are great motivators for me and I'm going to do what I have to do to live. When it comes to health and life it is more than okay to make it all about you. Being self-centered and honest can help add years, and I finally get it. It wasn't as if I really was stopping time and remaining young forever.I was venturing into this good night for a beer run not to make peace with health and aging.