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Going 77—the 5 Ps for the rest of my life

No. 4: I will be Pleasant. Being an old man is no excuse for being a grouch
/ 05:27 AM April 15, 2018

I just had a wake-up call from my cardiologist.

After a series of tests that included EKG, Echo, and stress tests, he concluded there was a problem, and the only way to find the extent of it was to undergo an angiogram.

He told me to ask for a second opinion. Two other doctors confirmed his findings.

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A heart problem was never in my radar whenever I thought about my health. After all, I don’t use a cart when I play golf. I used to take brisk walks around my village for one-and-a-half hours, and as recent as a month and a half ago, I was riding my stationary bike for an equivalent of 10 miles.

However, I noticed a change at the end of this year when my wife and I took our Christmas holiday in New York to visit my daughter and her family.

Manhattan is one of my favorite places, not only because of the Broadway plays, but also because I love walking the wide avenues and taking in the sights and sounds of the bustling city.

This trip, however, turned out to be different. I found myself out of breath even before I reached one-third of an avenue. I had to stop and recover before I could cross a street.

My family noticed the change because I would tell them to go ahead when we walked to a restaurant, and I would just follow a couple of minutes later. That was when I decided to have a checkup as soon as we got back to the Philippines.

Which brings me to now.

While waiting for my angiogram, I had a rare moment of introspection.

I’ll be 77 years old this year, and I suddenly realized with greater clarity that I’m on my last leg in my journey through life. How can I make it fruitful? How will I know that I will not squander my time on useless and meaningless things? What could serve as my compass?

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Life guide

That was when I came up with the 5Ps that will hopefully guide me for the rest of my life. For whatever it’s worth, here they are:

1. First, I will be Positive. I will try to avoid negativity in all its aspects.

2. I will be Productive. I will stop spending my life in front of the TV or walking aimlessly in a mall. Instead, I will do things I have been meaning to do but have been postponing for one reason or another.

3. I will be Patient. I have to realize that not everything will be given to me on a silver platter. Some things take time and can’t be rushed.

4. I will be Pleasant. Being an old man is no excuse for being a grouch.

5. I will be Prayerful. This is essential. All of the above are doable if I ask help from a Higher Being.

Will I succeed 100 percent? Probably not. But at least, before sleeping at night, I can review what I did that day based on my 5Ps, and see where I fumbled and be conscious to do better next time.

Hopefully, it will make me a better person. And a healthier one.

(Incidentally, I applied the 5Ps in writing this article. That was why I was able to finish it.) —CONTRIBUTED

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