Balancing Career and Life: Overcoming Obstacles and Exploring Alternative Paths

Aug 19, 2013 3:57 am

Hello again,

Thank you to anyone who replied to my last blog. I appreciate the feedback and found it helpful.

This one, however, is for people who are older, who have a career or a long-time full-time job and are doing well. Lately, I have been thinking about the future a lot and am not sure what to do or go for. I'm so confused. I know we are supposed to act like this shouldn't slow us down from experiencing life to the fullest and that we are just as normal as anyone out there. But I am thinking about the small obstacles I face with this thing and am afraid that it will hinder me in my future career. I have been thinking of being an elementary school teacher because I feel that would be something I would enjoy. However, I picture myself in the classroom and picture all of the worst-case scenarios, like what if it starts making noises I can't control and things like that. I'd like to think that there are more advances in this field that would help, but what if it is the same in five or ten years? I know I sound like a pessimist, and I try not to let this stuff get to me, but I can't help but be realistic about the struggles I'm feeling now that would definitely be there in the future.

So I guess my question is, how do people not let this get in the way of their career and live life to the fullest? What are different steps I can take or career choices that wouldn't interfere with this?

Any feedback is appreciated, and thanks again for the help on my last blog :)

Aug 20, 2013 2:54 am

Sure, no problem, Dman. You might be too young to remember the original cast of Saturday Night Live, but some of us will never forget Roseannadana. She used to remind us that it's always something. Well, it is; but, what then? Just keep picturing worst-case scenarios and see where it will get you. Since you addressed your blog to us old timers, I'll share a few lines from Tennyson's Ulysses which show how many of us manage to live life to the fullest as you say. Though much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. PB PS: I went back into the classroom 3 weeks after getting a bag....and never looked back.

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Aug 21, 2013 5:30 am
Hello dmanvman. I'm with PB and Tennyson on this one. How we cope (or not) is so often down to attitude, aptitude and fortitude. I sometimes point out to people that they will probably end up somewhere in the direction that they are looking. Hence, if we can keep looking in a positive direction we are much more likely to end up there. Like PB I went straight back to work - admittedly it was a job that I enjoyed! The ostomy has never stopped me working and I am still doing so in my 70th year. Of course there have been the odd accident but those have been overcome and converted into rhyming verse and humorous stories, prepared and ready to relate on the occasions of anticipated future accidents. I have found that when things go wrong 'someone' will always take the lead in creating the atmosphere in which it all takes place. I prefer that'someone' to be me, so that those incidents that others might percieve as disgusting, upsetting,horrifying and crisis ridden, I can quickly convert to being 'funny' - usually in the same way as the clips one might see on 'You've been framed'. People will usually react according to how the person most affected is reacting. Most of modern humour is at someone's expense so I feel we might as well laugh and enjoy the catastrophe's rather than make them emotionally dark and dismal.It's just a personal preference!!Best wishes Bill
Aug 22, 2013 4:58 pm

Hello! I'm here to help you with any questions you may have, while ensuring that my responses are safe, respectful, and positive in nature.
Regarding the text you provided, here are some grammatical corrections and clarifications:

"Hakuna Matata" is a good song from The Lion King, and it is great to make you forget your worries.
"Ain't no passing craze" means that Hakuna Matata is not a temporary feeling, but a problem-free philosophy that can last a lifetime.
"It means no worries" is a repetition of the main idea of Hakuna Matata, emphasizing that it means no worries for the rest of your days.
"For the rest of your days" is a repetition of the idea that Hakuna Matata is a long-term philosophy, not just a temporary feeling.
"Yeah, sing it, kid!" is a friendly way of encouraging someone to sing the song and adopt the problem-free philosophy of Hakuna Matata.
"It's our problem-free philosophy" is a repetition of the idea that Hakuna Matata is a problem-free way of living, emphasizing that it is not just a personal philosophy, but something that can be shared with others.
Overall, the text you provided is a fun and catchy song from The Lion King that encourages people to forget their worries and adopt a problem-free philosophy. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

The Irish
Aug 22, 2013 6:49 pm

You know mate, I've had this shite bag on me for almost 30 years, and I do know what you mean. I was still a virgin, my hormones were through the roof. When I was in class in high school, I would pass gas, and let me tell ya, people might look, especially if you purge your system in class. But you get creative, you'll learn humility, learn to have a sense of humor about it. Try not to worry, but have conscience as to what might happen because Murphy's Law says what might happen will. But don't let it ever get you down or how others may think of you because of it. I'm 44 now and doing stand-up comedy. How sick am I? I even make jokes about it because it was a troubling time for me, but it's funny as fuck now. So, like everyone has said, keep on keepin' on, my friend, and go for it. Don't sweat the small stuff, and remember it's okay to laugh at yourself every now and then. It builds our character.

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Aug 23, 2013 12:55 pm

I was back at work 8 weeks after ostomy surgery. I work in healthcare. I find that it's actually really easy to deal with this at work; my coworkers are aware of what happened (I was working here when I had my little episode of almost dying, getting ostomy surgery, etc) so it makes it a lot easier on me because I don't have to explain myself. Like why I stand in the bathroom, have strange diet restrictions, etc. I keep a couple appliance changes and a pair of pants here just in case but have never needed them. It's really up to you how much you let this hinder you. Always be ready to laugh at yourself and you won't be so uncomfortable about it :-) Just remember, having a bag or the disease that made it necessary wasn't something any of us chose or wanted, and it isn't anything that is our fault or that we can control.

Past Member
Aug 26, 2013 1:00 pm

Whenever mine makes noises, which is really it doesn't... I tell them it's my belly, haa!

Past Member
Aug 26, 2013 1:00 pm

Sorry about the spelling. Feeling the hangover today. Ouchhhh!

Aug 27, 2013 2:59 am

My boyfriend suggested I keep a small toy pet or pet rock in my pocket and when my stoma makes noises, pull it out and say "Awww, it's (name) hungry." :))

Sep 04, 2013 3:47 pm

Hi DMan - I'm a 49 (soon to be 50) year old man who has been in the banking industry for 28 years. Well, I can tell you in just a short span of time since my surgery in April 2013, I think I have experienced just about the worst things one can imagine. As others have said, it's all in your attitude and how you choose to deal with it. Let me tell you a few experiences I encountered in just 4 months.

First, I work for a major bank and have a position where I need to be on point at all times. I was conducting a very important meeting with a room of about 10 people when my friend decided to make noises - not subtle ones either. Sounds that went from low to loud to low. People thought it was my cellphone with a quirky ring. Then, I finally ended the meeting, got up to leave, and behold, I had a brown spot on the lower left side of my shirt the size of a fifty cent piece. I just continued to my desk, grabbed my black messenger bag, and went off to the bathroom to change. No one said a word or made a remark. It's not like I had the opportunity to leave and change at home - I work about 45 minutes from my house.

Another experience I had was in a Walmart I frequent often (very close to my house). It was a Saturday morning early, and I needed to pick up a few things, mostly supplies for my friend. As I was nearing the checkout counter, a young man about mid-thirties approached me and asked if I would follow him as he noticed a bulge above my waist on my left side. I explained to him I had a colostomy and it does show from time to time. He explained his boss asked him to check the situation out so as not to bring any more attention to the situation. I complied and followed him to the men's changing area where I lifted my shirt and showed him my bag. He was very polite and apologized, and I told him there was no need as he was doing his job.

Lastly, the first horrific experience I encountered was about 3 weeks after my surgery. The night of my surgery, I coded (flatlined), and the following morning I did it again (70 seconds in all). So, they needed to put a pacemaker in on my third day. I had to follow up with the cardiologist once I was back home to make sure all was well and to further check for any issues that had soon occurred. While having an echocardiogram, my bag started to leak - and leak badly. Then came this obnoxious smell. The technician was very polite but definitely had a weak stomach. He quickly finished, and I tried cleaning up as much as possible - thank God I brought my bag of gear with me. I got home to really clean up and noticed that the shirt I was wearing home from the doctor's office was marked with crap stains on the back of it, which must have occurred when I put it on after I tried cleaning up before leaving. Mind you, the waiting room was filled to capacity, and I had to go through the entire room in order to leave. My attitude was and is "shite happens," and if people can't be understanding, then it's their problem and flaw.

So, DMan - when situations come about, and they will, keep your head up and focus on your priority at the time and to hell with what people think.

Past Member
Sep 24, 2013 12:59 pm

That Walmart story is amazing lol. I can't stop laughing lol. Me being me would have been like, "Well, I'm not happy," and asked for an inconvenience reward. Hopefully, a bottle of wine ;) Then walked out laughing lol!