All Posts tagged Ann loyola

Follow your passion … within reason

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

We’ve all heard about Fashionistas and some of us may even have one in the family. These people are easy to identify because their need to wear the hippest trends always trumps what is sensible. Catching a flight? Wear gravity-defying heels. Skiing? Throw on a fur coat (faux or not). Grocery shopping? Gucci sunglasses and snakeskin gloves. Unless they fall off their heels and knock someone down, Fashionistas provide a harmless source of amusement.

On the other hand, Passionistas are getting on my nerves. We’ve all heard their seductive cajoling: “Find your passion” or “Chase your passion” or “Be passionate about your passion.” We’re further told that work isn’t work when you’re passionate about your work (huh?) and that we have the opportunity to pay passionate people a lot of freakin money to find out what we’re really passionate about.

Passion schmassion. Passion can be brilliant when first pursued and explored but with time it can lose its eyes and fluffy tail. (See The Velveteen Rabbit).  Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the pursuit of happiness and meaningful existence. It just seems to me that we’ve taken a good thing – passion – and turned it into yet another way to measure our shortcomings.

One-track passion can erode all too easily if the rest of the garden is left untended. This ubiquitous lecturing on passion should be expanded to include the surrounding soil in which we plant the bloom.

I consulted with global experts and among all of the well-intentioned, incredibly intelligent people that I found pontificating on Google, two people without college degrees and somewhat notorious pasts nailed it down for me.

Before I reveal this life-changing tip about passion, let me share some of the other messages I found:

  • Start the day early and end it late. If you’re sleeping, you’re wasting time.
  • Always have your passion on your mind. Always.
  • Surround yourself with your passionate work. Bring it home with you, too.
  • Don’t be polite. Be passionate (which apparently isn’t polite).
  • Be dedicated, hard-working, focused and willing to fail.
  • Talk about your passion and surround yourself with like-minded people.
  • Bore people with your passion.

I suppose there are little golden kernels in all of those tips along with an unhealthy dose of guilt-inducing mandates.  There should be some acknowledgement that a perpetual spring of motivation would have to nurture this flaming impolite passion. Or can we be allowed to accept that passions can rest, sleep, multiply or change over time and THAT’S OKAY.

In every case, there is one requirement for leading a sincerely passionate life.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon said it best. All you need is love.
Love your dog. Love your partner. Love the view of the Tetons. Love a breath of fresh crisp air. Love yourself, muffin top and all. Love is meant to be planted, shared, and spread. If you keep digging in the same spot, all you’ll get is a hole.

Hearts have a crazy capacity to beat and beat, on and on without much instruction from us. It’s only right that we repay such single-minded loyalty from a ball of muscle by opening our hearts to all of the beauty around us in a decidedly unsingle-minded way.

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Good Choice, Bad Choice: Things that go THUMP in the night

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

Anyone can come up with at least one thing that wakes them up in the middle of the night. Barking dogs, thunderstorms, nightmares and so on.

I recently had an unusual wake-up call at 5:15 a.m. when I opened my eyes to a sudden painful scrunching in my left chest area. Not wanting to disturb the peaceful slumber of the two cats and husband beside me, I told myself to breathe calmly, deeply, and (hopefully) continuously. I soon felt a mighty thump in my chest, a release of the squeezing feeling and a burst of warmth flowing to the ends of my toes and fingertips.

So I rested there for about an hour, telling myself to relax relax relax, there was nothing to be concerned about, no need to elbow my husband or nudge the drooling cats off the side of the bed. After all, it was highly unlikely that I was having a heart attack of any type because – well – because I don’t have heart attacks. Then I started ticking off the facts of my basic profile:

  1. I’m 54. Certainly old enough.
  2. Overweight? Check.
  3. Exercise regularly? No.
  4. Family history of heart disease? Yes.
  5. Any chronic issues that could negatively impact my heart? Yes, lupus can affect heart tissue.

That’s five out of five. What would an intelligent person do at this point of realization?

I decided to ignore all of the medical information about heart attack symptoms that I know very well because I’m a healthcare marketer so it’s my job to tell people to get immediate medical assistance if there’s even a miniscule chance that they’re having a heart attack. I fell into the high percentage pool of people who think that it would be terribly embarrassing to call 911 or be driven to the ER, only to discover that the problem was a panic attack or heartburn. After all, what could be worse: dying of a heart attack or having a doctor tell you that you’re not having a heart attack? Ummm …

Anna Gunderson PA-C chastised me gently but thoroughly during my clinic appointment at 10am that morning, reminded me that “time is muscle” and that I should have come to the ER via driver or ambulance, and by the way, shouldn’t I know better?

At the end of the day, my lab tests, an EKG and chest X-ray indicated that I hadn’t suffered a cardiac event. My rheumatologist suspected pericarditis brought on by systemic lupus. While I felt somewhat relieved, I was also smacked with the reality that I could have a heart attack and that in fact, many of my friends and acquaintances could have a heart attack at any moment and need to have their lives saved by the very people with whom I work.

I’m making a donation today to our hospital foundation’s campaign to raise funds to buy a Zoll defibrillator unit for our ambulance and a cardiopulmonary DASH monitor for our E.R. I discovered that last year alone, our current E.R. DASH monitor system assisted 126 people in cardiac distress and almost 500 people with respiratory ailments.

Please consider supporting this campaign for acquiring this essential equipment and who knows? It just might save your life.

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Good Choice, Bad Choice: The Siren Song of String Lake

 

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

It was 10 a.m. October 19 Sunday morning when my daughter Hanna and I decided to fulfill our shared goal of kayaking at String Lake. Our family has visited String Lake many times for short hikes and picnics and we’ve always been envious of people who were out on canoes, SUPs, or kayaks on this translucent fairy-tale of a lake.

Only a couple months ago Hanna had said to me “Mom, are we really going to let another summer go by without kayaking on String Lake?”  That put a burr under my saddle that finally resulted in action, though by now we were firmly into pre-winter season.

I announced our intentions to the male side of our family and my husband, who already had a tee time at Targhee Village, responded less than enthusiastically as he went out the door with his golf bag though he did promise to be back by 1 p.m. to head over Teton Pass. My teenage son assured me that we’d have fun without him and that he intended to remain glued to his laptop playing an addictive monster vs. monster game rather than go outside on a crystal clear day in the Tetons.

Using my best mother skills, I cajoled him into coming with us by being alternately threatening and heart-broken. Just as I was about to remind him that I could die at any moment from any number of horrific medical crises, he closed his laptop and pledged his participation.

I had the rental kayaks, lunch bags, beverages and kids all ready to go when my husband came back early (early!) from golfing and off we went, toward adventure, beauty and timeless family moments. Ten minutes into the drive, no one was speaking to each other due to a few snippy remarks about what a wet, rotten, freezing cold time we were all going to have. In other words, someone really wanted to finish his golf game.

In silence, we finished the 90-minute drive arriving at the beach at 2:30 p.m. Suddenly, it became clear that we were not driving to our doom. The Cathedral Peaks were reflected like etchings on the water which sparkled and beckoned us to float upon it.  So we did.

Early morning panorama of String Lake, Grand Teton National Park - Northwestern Wyoming, USA

By Tony Hochstetler from Fort Collins (String Lake Panorama – Explored)

 

Some people toss around adjectives like popcorn and we all become tired of the hyperbole. Was that bologna sandwich really fabulous? Does her salon hair color really look absolutely incredible?

I’m here to tell you that String Lake was magical that afternoon. Depths of different shades of green.  Shadows of fish bursting under us. The hush of the mountains and crackle of red-gold autumn leaves in the breeze. The sound of our teenagers laughing as they rowed their double seated kayak together.

My husband and I floated upstream, taking in the views and occasionally dipping an oar to swing us to another perspective of the range or the beach or the kids. The word “lucky” was said a few times.

I believe that everyone needs these moments out in nature. There’s a power in wild waters, mountains and greenery that heals and redefines us. The Palmer family drove home that day feeling closer, content, and lucky.

Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.

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