VP has posted about the effect that stress at work had on her a few years ago, and how her life has changed for the better since.
I came to a similar epiphany at the end of 1996. I'd been working in London, mostly in stockbroking, for nearly 12 years. Long, long hours- 12 hour days sometimes, plus standing on overcrowded cummuter trains for an hour to get there, unpaid overtime, pressure pressure pressure, high mortgage rate (10.5% when I took it out, and it never dropped!) bills bills bills, redundancy over and over as things crashed, then the fear and race to get in to another firm and carry on, never seeing my home in daylight, always tired, health slipping, depression etc etc etc.... then BUMPF! I was in hospital with a blood clot on my lung.
Hmmm. I didn't know how serious that was till the nurse came over and said, "Ermmm... we forgot to ask you what religion you are-???"
Luckily I was OK. I have asthma now and have to watch it if I get a chest infection. But that's OK. But I never went back to work in London.
It dawned on me that what you do is not what you are. It didn't matter. It's what's in you that counts. And it's who you are and how you are that people will remember, not how many hours you worked or whether you had some great "respectable" job. Big deal!
I lay in that bed at age 29 and thought, Eeek! It's true! You DO only live once! Is this it?
I get ribbed for 'underachieving' and my stepmother calls me lazy for not going back to a 'high end job'. Well, as an old departed friend of mine used to say, up yer bum!
I also love that -slightly more poetic- saying from Julian of Norwich:
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."