After 17 years in college, graduate school, and medical training, I accepted an oculo-plastic surgery position at a large HMO. Unfortunately, spine problems forced me to leave that career in my early forties.
My initial plan was to transition into biomedical computing, and I trained in that field for a couple of years. However, low stress tolerance due to psychiatric problems forced me to abandon this plan.
As I struggled against my limits, I tried various work activities, including:
- teaching high school biology
- educating physicians about environmental health regulations
- practicing acupuncture
- presenting human biology to yoga professionals
- teaching mindfulness to adult learners
Despite a lot of effort, I failed to regain my former productivity. All my jobs since leaving surgical practice have been part-time and low-paying; many of them have been short-lived.
This felt painful for many years, but eventually I outgrew my craving for status and wealth. I adopted a contemplative lifestyle and learned how healthy it feels to strive less and relax more.