Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If You Can't Have Everything,Make the Best Of Everything You Have

Good morning. I've been busy working since about 4'clock.(I guess I should have been a farmer:) Just trying to get my pictures organized and saved to other locations for safety. You know how unpredictable computers are. I have been working on the blog too. It is about 80% finished. I have to figure out all my links, photos, gadgets and add-ons. Boy-it is a lot to learn. I love a challenge.

Tip for today: If you can't have everything, make the best of everything you have. I love to find treasures. Going "thrifting" is one of my hobbies. Funny, I never heard the term "thrifting" until lately. I always referred to my little jaunts as going to yard sales or going to checkout the thrift shops and second hand stores. New path, same destination.

Those of us with brain injuries often must find new paths or new ways to do things. That is what I will be sharing with you in my blog. I have found many coping strategies that allow me to do the things I have to do. I will share problems as well as solutions. For family members, friends and caregivers of people with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries),Alzheimer's, Dementia and other memory care illnesses, there is a great lack of understanding concerning our illnesses. I hope to give a new perspective. We can learn together as I travel on this journey.

My career was in eldercare. In my workplace, I often saw family members become frustrated with their loved ones because they could not function normally. If you think it is annoying to hear Mom repeat the same story a dozen times, I want to ask you to think about it in another way. Mom's reality is different from yours. She doesn't realize that she has told the same story over and over. She doesn't remember repeating herself. If you love her, then you must accept her as she is. As tired as you might be of her repeated stories, they are a part of her life. In all probability, she is losing parts of herself every day. It would be wise to encourage the stories. Out of love, pretend they are new. Laugh with her. Record them for a time to come when she can't remember anymore. You will long to hear her voice when it is silenced forever. It would be wonderful to have the stories saved for family history.

Saving history is another hobby of mine. We should identify old family pictures. When the people in our family pictures are gone and those who knew them are gone, the history is irretrievably lost to future generations. How sad to see boxes of old photographs with no attached history. Perhaps you will share some of your wonderful old photographs later on this blog. That would be great:)

Have a wonderful and blessed day:)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Mini-Vacation

The rain combined with the cold today made me feel chilled. I was determined to make it a good day. I went to the Y and submerged my aching body in the whirlpool.Afterwards, I swam for about 45 minutes. After my swim, I got in the sauna.That felt wonderful. I haven't been swimming for six years-I'm ashamed to admit it. I've been so devoted to my work and to being a caregiver that I have neglected my own health. For a person with a brain injury that isn't too smart. If anything we need extra rest. Now that I no longer have my job. I can take  mini-vacations to recharge my batteries. It does us good to get away from our duties occasionally. What makes you happy? Perhaps it is curling up with a good book or getting together with a friend. Don't put off your pleasure. Life is so fragile.Take a little time just for you today. Thought for today.....Life is like a book-we live one day at a time, editing as we go.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Relaxation Therapy

  1. This beautiful porch bench is a good example of recycling. It is made from an old wooden bed. The design is from  This is another favorite blog that I love to visit. Re-purposing is a good source of relaxation therapy for me. I get my mind off of serious things and the creative challenges always calm me and bring pleasure to my days.

Sylvia LawingJanuary 13, 2013 5:40 AM

Good morning-As I noted before,I am a caregiver. My posts will be done at all hours,so don't be surprised. Yes, I was up at 4:30 am.Sometimes,I do my best thinking in the middle of the night.I can speak private prayers and I can hear God as he whispers to me.I like the soft blanket of silence that surrounds the nighttime hours.

Brain injury survivors often have interrupted sleep patterns. I try to go with the flow and relax if for some reason I can't sleep.I don't like the morning-after feeling of drug induced sleep.Sometimes I  put on my cuddly bathrobe and my warm bedroom slippers and make myself a cup of hot chocolate. Then, I slip away to my special place.

As I turn the lights on in my office room,I feel a sense of anticipation.When I switch on my computer, I feel like a kid at Christmas.I know there are wonderful things inside that box.What an exciting time we live in. With the touch of a button we can be in France or Germany learning about raising sheep or touring a charming cottage.Our opportunities are so varied with today's awesome technology.We are blessed.

I am a published award-winning writer. I love to write about pioneers.In the 1800's,neighbors were sometimes miles away.People actually went mad from sheer isolation.We are blessed. We can travel the virtual world. Museums,history,unique travel opportunities and vast wilderness beauty are all at our fingertips.We can take our minds anywhere via the web.This is a good form of relaxation therapy.

Because of my writings, people think I would be right at home on the praire at a time when our nation was migrating westward in covered wagons.I think I am a survivor. I am not afraid of hard work. I think outside the box.I would have probably been the woman who strapped a cradle basket to the horse pulling the covered wagon and put her baby in it.Then, as the swaying of the basket lulled the baby,I would have walked along beside as I daydreamed about my new life in the west.

Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday:) Thank God for computers


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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone

It is a beautiful morning with a promise of warm temperatures. Days like this make me want to get to my gardening. I have so many ideas for this year. Raised beds and yard art,a cottage and potting shed will be among my projects. I will be sharing ideas for DIY fun. This is my interpretation of art and horticulture therapy, it is good for my brain injury.I love lots of color and whimsy. This lovely lady is "Miss Gidget",my cat. As you can see,she likes flowers too.

My thought for today is: How safe do we want to be and how much of our lives are we willing to give up for it? In my case this refers to getting out of my comfort zone.For the past six months I have been re-designing my life. After losing my job, I was forced to re-invent myself. I could have allowed the loss to destroy me. What were my options? In order to survive,I had to coach myself to a better place. With the help of caring professionals in the brain injury field,I was able to do this.

Everything that I had spent years training to do-I could no longer do.For four years after my accident, I tried to function in my capacity as a department head in my company.Every day was  struggle. I couldn't spell. I had receptive and expressive aphasia, which means I had difficulty processing information and stimuli and I had difficulty communicating. I wasn't able to show emotions that were suitable to circumstances. I suffered from cognitive deficits that caused me to have difficulty with concentration,I was easily distracted.The list goes on and on. The stress was unbearable. But, I was determined to try- because I loved my job.

In one day my whole world changed. I lost my job,my status of success,my income,my medical insurance coverage,my comfort zone. But, I made a remarkable discovery along the way. Time is a most precious commodity. For the first time in my life,I had time. I just had to choose how to spend it wisely. Time is a most precious resource. I was thrown into retirement suddenly and without warning. Free time became my friend.

This past six months has been very busy. I started on my journey by cleaning my house and organizing it in ways that would help me cope with my brain injury.All files have been purged and properly labeled. Clutter has been cleared away and in most cases has been re-purposed. I used  to create needed income. I used to eliminate waste and give to others in need. I am a care-giver to a family member. I learned to ask for help when I needed it.I learned to nap when my loved one does -and not to feel guilty about it.I learned to take time for myself. An hour that you give yourself here and there, even if you have to pay for it, is a good investment.

There are so many coping mechanisms and skills for we who have brain injuries. I hope to share some of what I have learned. My tip for today: Always set the timer when you are cooking. It will prevent your forgetting the boiling pot when you become distracted by another pursuit. Have a blessed day:)                                                                         Join me for a lovely cup of tea

Friday, January 11, 2013

In the Beginning There Was An Accident

I have a brain injury resulting from an automobile accident. Last June,my life as I knew it ceased to exist. On a beautiful sunny day,I lost my job,my professional identity,my friends,and my source of income. From that day of endings,I became re-purposed. I had to think outside the box to find and re-design the shattered pieces of my life. God gave me a message of hope. I ran across a sentence that made me feel as if my future blessings may have been disguised as a catastrophe. Every new beginning starts with an ending.That was the sentence that came to me. As I turned that thought around in my little broken mind,I knew that I was about to embark upon a new journey. The last six months have been a roller-coaster ride. Some days I've been so excited about possibilities that I could hardly stand it. Other days,I have joked that I might have to eat cat food just to survive. I haven't allowed myself to give up. I thought it might be nice to invite you to share the journey.