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 stability......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 www.Craigist.com  to create needed income. I used www.Freecycle.org 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