We have all heard the saying, “Maybe It’s Good, Maybe It’s Bad”. It is a Chinese fable that shows while we are in the middle of the story, we don’t know if things that happen are good or bad until we get to the end of the story. Well, I felt like I had lost my mind quite a while ago. The mind is just gray matter, and is hidden under the skull. The amazing thing is the gray matter runs our lives, emotions and thoughts. When your arm is broken, you get a cast and everyone acknowledges you are hurt. They may even sign your cast. When your mind is broken, it is a different story. The following story happened to me about a quarter of a century ago and really changed the course of my life and helped me to gain new perspective on life.
About two years after the birth of my twins, about 25 years ago, as a Civil Engineer, I created construction drawing and reports that were very technical. Previously, I had taken about a year off to care for the twins, and had rejoined the work force when they were 8 months old. My supervisor began noticing error after error in my work. At first we laughed about it, but it began to become a real issue. Clients began refusing my work and I began wondering if I was losing my mind.
Simple things like pass codes and PINs became elusive and I became worried that I was developing some sort of mental illness. I finally got several doctors involved and we began to dig into the mystery of my mind and body.
My endocrinologist diagnosed me with Grave’s disease, which wasn’t too surprising as my mom had thyroid issues. Grave’s disease is a condition in which the thyroid is over active. My weight was dropping and hands were very shaky. The treatment began with me taking thyroid medicine to block excessive production of the thyroid hormone.
My body began to feel better, but that was when I began noticing the memory problems. There was no explanation, and the errors weren’t caught until it was too late. It felt like I had almost lost my mind in a matter of months. Complicated calculations, spread sheets and reports before were easily manufactured. I wanted to get to the bottom of this to have something to tell my boss.
Check up with the Memory Doctor
So I met with a memory doctor and he ran a series of tests. They were not difficult to do, but with every test, I had one thing wrong. I scored remarkedly high in my IQ rating, with the exception of one item missed or wrong. The doctor stated that it was like there were breaks in the synapse connections in my brain. He came to the conclusion that the condition may have been caused my the thyroid medication and that it could possibly be temporary.
I remember walking away from that meeting despondent and a bit depressed. I went to school for 6 years to be a Civil Engineer and now unable to perform my job competently. What was I going to tell my employer and my family? My memory of course wasn’t the best at this time, so I don’t remember what I told everyone. But I kept working and thought to myself, I will not quit and they will have to fire me to get rid of me.
The errors became worse and then the dreaded day came at work. I was called into the conference room at 11 am the first week of June 2000. My boss and another supervisor were present when I got there. They explained that I hadn’t been able to change my poor performance and that they were going to fire me. I sat in shock as tears ran down my face. I had never been fired before and it really didn’t feel very good. They gave me an hour to pack my things and leave by the end of lunch break.
I quietly went to my cubicle, found a box, and slowly packed everything I had in my desk, on the walls, my certificates and framed diploma. Tears streaming down my face, I slowly walked to my car. On the drive home, I ran over and over in my head, what I would tell my husband. He counted on my income to pay a portion of the mortgage on the new house we just purchased a year before.
The Truth Was Out
With my three children in tow, after picking them up at school, I let it slip to my 6 year old that I lost my job. I told him to let me tell daddy when he gets home. Well, the first thing out of my son’s mouth when daddy walked in the front door was, “Mommy got fired today”. I could hear it all as I was sitting on my bed in my room.
My husband came in and with tears in my eyes, I told him what had happened earlier that day. To get through that hard time, I quoted many bible verses and positive sayings. I felt like I had failed my family.
On the next Monday, I had a new perspective and outlook. While I was ill, I would collect disability, and figure out what my next move would be. Because I had contacted the memory doctor and had documented my condition, my disability was conclusive and I was granted 1 year of disability. My largest goal was to homeschool my children and be an at home mom. I didn’t think it was possible, but being forced not to work, it all became possible.
The following school year, we started home schooling. I began an at home business. We decided to have another child. Three major life changes that would not have happened if I had remained in my job, had I not gotten ill and fired. I thought my world was going to end by losing my mind, but my world opened up.
My new world and work consisted of teaching my children and developing an online business eventually. I began teaching classes online and developing exercise programs for individuals after becoming a Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. My health issues, one of them being Grave’s Disease, disappeared. The sky became my limit and my new perspective continued to change and grow as I developed my business.
What about you? Can you see a time in your life that really altered your thinking helping you gain a new perspective? I love the old Chinese fable: Maybe it’s good, Maybe it’s Bad. I have included it here for your enjoyment. We all get one life to live. If we can enjoy the journey and believe that good will come in the end, life is much more fun!
Chinese Fable: Maybe Good, Maybe Bad
“Many years ago a wise peasant lived in China.
He had a son who was the apple of his eye. He also was the proud owner of a fine white stallion (horse) which everyone admired. One day his horse escaped from
his grounds and disappeared. The villagers came to him one by one and said: “You are such an unlucky man. It is such bad luck that your horse escaped.” The peasant responded: “ Who knows. Maybe it’s bad, maybe it’s good.” The next day the stallion returned followed by 12 wild horses. The neighbors visited him again and congratulated him on his luck. Again, he just said: “Who knows. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.”
As it happened, the next day his son was attempting to train one of the wild horses when he fell down and broke his leg. Once more everyone came with their condolences: “It’s terrible.” Again, he replied: “Who knows. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.” A few days passed and his poor son was limping around the village with his broken leg, when the emperor’s army entered the village announcing that a war was starting and they were enrolling all the young men of the village. However, they left the peasant’s son since he had a broken leg. Everyone was extremely jealous of the peasant. They talked about his sheer good luck, while the old man just muttered: “Who knows. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.”
Source : Chinese Fable
Although my world and thinking was different from before the illness, I gained a new perspective. Now I have a whole new world of possibilities. I am not tied to any one profession and can create my future.
About the Author
I am Kathy Denise Hicks, Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist and author and I would love to connect with you to help you achieve your fitness and health goals If you are looking to get moving, feel more energy, get out of pain, and lose a few pounds, I have a program that can help. My 14 Day Workout Trial, will give you an idea of the classes I offer.