One of the things I have always focused on was celebrating the small victories. I think that comes from the fact that I was never really all that athletic in school. I never participated in team sports and it wasn't until my last high school years when I developed an interest in running. It was an easy sport to do and didn't require a lot of sporting equipment nor the memorization of a lot of rules or guidelines. I ran for years, stopped, and started running again and did this off and on well into my adult years. One of the things I liked most about running was that I was only competing against myself.
Part of My Recovery Plan
As I have been recovering from congestive heart failure, I started walking as part of my treatment. At first, I could only go 3-minutes inside our fenceline and I'd be done. I kept at it and here I am almost six months later and I routinely go for walks of longer than 25-minutes. The personal best I set for September 2020 was 95-minutes. I'll probably beat that in the next month. I also added light weightlifting (heavy weights, as I once did a few years ago would be too much strain on my heart), and stairclimbing. My personal best on stairs currently sits at 1,054 stairs. I expect to pass that within the next month.
Setting Targets Always Help
I say I plan to best those individual "records" and when I say that, I'm talking about just adding more time to a walk or another trip up the outdoor stairs I use. I'm not talking about setting goals that are so out of reach I'd never get to them. I instead set attainable goals and shoot for those over some time. Even if I don't set new personal bests in the next month, each time I go for a walk or climb those stairs are victories. I've had two specialists in the past month congratulate me on my progress. I had only 10% heart function back in April when I started walking. I'm sort of a rarity, apparently.
How This Plays Into Midlife Career Changes
The timing of my condition could not have been better if we tried to plan it if such a thing were possible. If we still had the newspaper, there would have been no way we could have continued in business as I started my recovery. I didn't have the strength to do much of anything and required up to four naps per day to get through the day. I had little to no energy. Sure, it has come back, but it took a couple of months to start to make a difference. Operating a weekly newspaper would not have fit into the daily recovery at all. However, both our home-based businesses did fit into the picture.
Working From Home Is Flexible
The flexibility we now have in our new careers - which are not all that new to us anymore - have allowed us to deal with situations in a very different way. COVID also impacted our businesses which forced one of them to close temporarily and the other to slow down to the point where I could still stay on top of the work that was coming in. None of this would have been possible with our previous careers. So, we have something else to be thankful for since our midlife career changes took place. As odd as that may sound, it happens to be true.
As I continue to work through my treatment plan, I set attainable goals and celebrate the small victories I make along the way. There is no need for major goals because when you build on smaller ones, you eventually hit a big one. For me these days, being able to walk longer than 3-minutes and climb more than a flight of stairs without crawling up them on all fours are accomplishments. And I have most certainly built on those. Our midlife career changes permitted the flexibility to allow for things that would otherwise derail a business. Instead, we are working around situations with ease and confidence.
Find Out More
To find out more about how you can survive a midlife career change in your life, why not order a copy of my eBook: "Surviving Midlife Career Changes?" It is available at Amazon by clicking HERE.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.