Interesting, exciting and productive intellectual work can help reduce feelings of depression and lessen the need for drugs while undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.
A former U.S. Marine and fellow outdoor writer who always prided himself with being a self-sufficient individual, let a foot infection go untreated for too long. The result was a life-threatening infection that will result in amputation of the foot and a recovery process that will take months.
I have had several near death experiences, some of which I describe in my book, “Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife. I also had a serious accident where my wife and I had significant injuries. Although not directly caused by the accident, I also looked after my wife, Thresa, for a year while she suffered and ultimately died of pancreatic cancer.
My involvement with health-related issues had begun years before when as an independent journalist, I covered the first four International Conferences on AIDS and met hundreds of people who would later die from the disease. I wrote four editions of Plain Words About Aids, which were among the first books published on the subject.
My writer friend did a Facebook post where he took responsibility for his unwarranted pigheadedness which kept him for seeking treatment. Part of the reason for not having his foot treated was because, he thought, those who knew him would belittle him for not being manly enough to take a little pain and get through it. This post stuck a cord with me when I thought about all those who, “had a little chest pain,” or “had been feeling a little strange” and did not seek help for what turned out to be a heart attack or stroke. This was a soul-searching examination of his life, which is always a difficult thing to do. I replied to him as follows:
We who are now of “a certain age,” to borrow a term from the French, have earned the right to live our lives as we damn well please; and you have too. Yea, something sometimes is going to get us all. Hang in there, and do what you can when you can. This recovery business is not easy, but we writers have an advantage. We can, and should, express ourselves as you did so eloquently in your post. That is good writing guy, you still got it. Do your writing, do your hunts and adapt your methods as needed; but get things out there.
You are not alone, and you do not have to be; however macho that might seem to be. Learn to accept help with grace, and thank people for it. Ask strangers if you need to, and that is going to be particularly tough for you. Don’t give a hoot about what other people might think. Life is not a graded exercise. It is about you giving help to others when they need it, and accepting help when you need it without being shy about it. You are going to go through a painful hard time, but hang in there. Keep fighting and tell others about it. That is what we writers do after all. We write about our lives to help people get through their own typically far worse problems. At any stage you will not have to look far to see people who are in far worse shape that you are. We live, we strive and we die. That is common to all of is.
The trick in getting through this is to somehow satisfy ourselves in the process. Do that and you can make it through pain, therapy and recovery to get back into the woods and fields where you belong.
I have a specific writing-related suggestion that might help. This surgery-rehab period is the time to start on a long writing project that is interesting enough that you will look forward to working on it. For example, have you written a novel? If not, now is the time to start one. Your recovery might even be in it through one of your fictional characters. How about song writing? Ever done that? Poetry? Plays? A screenplay? It makes no difference what in particular, but take on something that is new, exciting and has you looking forward to working on it every day. The more different it is from what you regularly do the better.
My recommendations for him to use this period to stretch his intellectual horizons were for someone who was already an established writer. What I suggest for others is to consider starting their own businesses, regardless of their age or wherever they might be. With the Web anyone with access can investigate and actually start an on-line business and sell products and services worldwide.
This activity provokes intellectual excitement, research, perhaps restarts interests in something that fascinated the person decades ago, but he never got around to doing more than, “Someday I would like to do that.” Now is that “Someday.” When laid up for some time and needing something productive to do, take on some challenging intellectual work. Do something other than watching depressing news stories on TV and worrying about the potential consequences of an illness.
My most recent business book, “Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife,” shows how to select a business that can be done from hospital bed. This business can provide income, entertainment for you and in various ways help others with their lives. All of us have something of value to offer to others. This may be our childhood toy collections, our ideas or our life experiences. Or, perhaps you can conceive of a new product, process or invention while in bed. Anything is possible and will keep you mentally stimulated and less prone to the physical and mental downsides of depression.
My book is available in softcover from Amazon.com or your local bookstore and as an e-book from electronic booksellers worldwide or by using the PayPal box below.
Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife
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Consolidate Plans for End of Week Presentations.
Everything regarding your coming presentation to the public or company officials needs to be checked and finalized. If postponed until the day before there is a danger that in the rush to pack up that a needed piece of equipment will be left behind, handout materials incompletely assembled or some aspect of your room or travel reservations left undone. This is also the day to have a practice for your presentation whether it is required or not. If an omission or change needs to be made, there is still time to incorporate it smoothly into the presentation and become mentally prepared to deliver it.
Physical Aspects of Your Presentation
- If you need to take your presentation equipment with you do have?
Ten to 15-foot connection cord between computer and projector
Presentation on thumb drive to be used with another computer
Signe in sheets
Stick on name tags
Roll on carry bag or bags
Pencils or pens
Paper for audience member
Your notebook for taking down private information
- If you are going to an off-site location have you?
Called to confirm your space
Reconfirmed with your caterer for any food or beverage delivery
Checked the seating arrangement for your room
Contacted any co-presenters or guests that you will have on stage
Confirmed the name of the sponsoring organization
Contacted the person who will be introducing you
Arranged for your overnight stay or transportation home
Made reservations for any post-event meals
Sent any press releases to local news media including newspapers, TV or Radio
- Do your pre-presentation checks and practices.
Set up the equipment that you are going to use in an empty room
Deliver your full presentation
Record your talk for self-review
If possible, make any changes and deliver it a second time before an audience
Pack everything related to the delivery and presentation in roll-away bag/s
Stash everything related to the presentation in one location prior to loading
Check plane or other transportation reservations
Rather than slinging everything together at the last minute, this pre-presentation gathering and review period will help consolidate the material in your mind, allow time to purchase/gather anything new that might be needed and check out your projection and sound equipment. As you may use these pieces of equipment only occasionally, their prior testing helps insure that the set-up will be worry free when you start your presentation.
It is possible to over-rehearse your presentation to the point where you start to lose your voice and it takes on a strained quality. As you have a microphone, you can speak in a normal conversational voice and your words will be heard if well enunciated and you do not speak at too rapid a pace. You want to keep within your allotted time, without rushing which might require some interesting, but not strictly necessary, parts of the presentation to be eliminated.
Consider the aftermath
- Is a post lecture Q-A period to be allowed?
How is that going to be recorded?
- What are you attempting to get out of your presentation?
Are you trying to increase your client base? If so, how are you going to capture their addresses?
If attempting to make sales, do you have the materials necessary to complete transactions?
What is the company’s purpose in making this presentation? Was it accomplished?
If you were required to write a review of this event, what would you say?
How are you going to document attendance?
What is going to happen to any videos of the events? Will they be published or distributed?
- How do you judge success?
After expending the time and money to hold an event, an analysis needs to be made to determine if it was worthwhile. If the response in attendance was lacking, what was wrong? Was this lack of interests due to the product, the timing of its introduction, the venue or lack of pre-event publicity? Each presentation is, in reality, a product test. You, the presenter, are also being tested; but the message has much more significance than the person who is delivering it.
Give any presenter a message that is more useful to its intended audience, then the response will be proportionate to the interest, given the same publicity.
Much more information is available on business topics in my most recent book, Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife. In this book I advocate starting a series of businesses throughout one’s life to raise immediate cash as needed and plan for medium and long-term goals. The ideal result will be to help you discover your business of passion that will carry you through the remainder of your working life. Create Your Own Job Security is available from Amazon.com in either softcover or an e-book, from other on-line book retailers and from your local bookstore of by using the PayPal box below.
I will be giving a free two-hour seminar “Create our Own Job,” at the Salvation Army Center at 1833 Broad Street in Augusta, Georgia, on March 15, 2019. The seminar will start at 7:00 PM and last until 9:00. For more information go to: https://createyourownjobsecurity.com If you wish to receive further information about this and and other seminars that may be given in other locations, please indicate by using the reply box.
Create Your Own Job Security
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