Life is short-the time to be happy is now I do Prospect Research for a Chicago ad agency. I have a houseful of pets: 2 cats, 1 dog and 1 parrot. All were adopted. I'm an upbeat, optimistic person In 1998, I had a near-death experience. I had emergency heart surgery. Then, had stroke after the operation; re-learned how to walk, talk, swallow. Lost my successful sales career in the aftermath.