Gerard Van der Leun, having been granted, if not a new lease on life, certainly a much-desired renewal, is finding that it is not so easy to adjust to a pace he finds unremittingly slow:
It is only in the last few weeks that the virtue of patience is beginning to dawn on me. That virtue is, “If you are patient with yourself, you may live. If you insist on running the 4 minute mile this afternoon, you will be checked out of here in a wicker basket.” In short, “patience” is no longer an option but a requirement. My previous reaction to illness has been to get over it and then get back to work. No such option here.
Roger Bannister, who knows something about the 4 minute mile, had this to say:
“Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead.”
Sir Roger has thus far survived 57 years since that incident. But the best advice so far seems to have come from Ric Locke in Gerard’s comment section:
What you have to do is give over optimism, at least the sort of bumptious, forceful optimism that demands that the next thing be better. That’s how the OWS kiddies got where they are. No matter how well things turn out there’s always something not quite perfect, so they get disappointed and either bitter or furious, depending on personality. The true pessimist, on the other hand, goes through life with a spring in his step and a smile on his face; nothing happens that’s worse than expected, and all his surprises are happy ones.
After not being killed by the strongest earthquake in Oklahoma history Saturday night, I find this advice most useful.