Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ranking Tres High On "The Best Compliment I've Received" List

[From someone I've never met face to face]:  "Your laughter sparkles so much, I know your eyes must shine."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The First Day...


was equal parts, "I got this!" and "holy crap, I've got my work cut out for me!" The biggest challenges are going to be dealing with all of the noise while getting up to speed on new software in a very distracting environment, which makes me lose focus and keeps things from sticking.  Interacting with the people is great and stimulating, but by the end of nearly 7 hours, I felt as though I was cusping; in hindsight, I think it was just blunt force exhaustion.

If I can get the paces down on the software quickly enough, I think I'll be in the clear.  It's exceptionally nerve wracking and stress is still a trigger point, so it might be yoga time again.  In any event, it's still progress and I rather have an uphill battle than no battle at all.




Sunday, December 14, 2014

My New Year Approaches

I'm sort of excited about it for many reasons.  Kind of caught between wanting to move on and to simply catch up, though I feel as though I have been running a sprint for quite some time.  Tomorrow begins the annual "making of lists" span of time.  Lists of gratitude, lists of hope, list of goodness, lists of things to let go of with quiet grace, and lists of thing for which to strive.

Stagger, struggle, and then soar.

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death."
- Leonardo da Vinci

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Influence

There are days when I am utterly astonished at the power of influence we have over each other, whether we mean to or not.  Every once now and again, I am reminded of this.  How a random smile or compliment can be the uptick in a person's day.  How your persistence and struggle, hugely frustrating to you, can be such a source of strength for someone else.

Despite my obstacles, I want to be stingy with criticisms and frustrations, but leave a wide path of happiness in my wake.
I come across this every now and again, but I think of it often.
But you know how it all works, how the small actions add up. And you now see how you can start to stack them up differently. The helpful suggestion upward, not made. The confidential memo leaked downward, or out. The book recommended to an inquiring student. No longer on the curriculum, but you might find it interesting - a different angle. The conversational concessions withdrawn. The conventional civility dropped. The hard stare back, the harder line held. The slack not cut. Elsewhere, the warmer smile. The word of encouragement. The grant approved. The link forwarded. The cartoon tacked up. The dues paid. The paper bought, the extra coin passed, the minute spent in friendly chat before you hurry for the train. The firm nod to your own kid's tentative query. 

- from The Early Days of a Better Nation

Sunday, December 07, 2014

On The Obligatory "Pollen EVERYWHERE!!" Chest Cold

While I do not miss my sternum feeling like a blow torch decided to give birth there, sounding like the lovechild of Bette David and James Earl Jones for a few days was pretty flipping awesome.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

"Barn's burnt down; now I can see the moon" - Masahide [rough interpretation]

I know it's the pollen inspired [it *finally* started to rain after an 18 month drought and EVERYTHING is green and blooming] sinus into chest cold talking, but there is part of me that really is relishing in the comforting cover of clouds and the pounding of rain on my roof. 

Though being naturally and, sometimes, vigilantly optimistic, I often find myself quite emotional and contemplative in December.  I think it's combination of it being both the end of the calendar year as well as the end of my birth year that makes me look back and appreciate the weight of the year's experiences.  This year, moreso than most.

Generally, I thank the outgoing year for its challenges and welcome new ones from the incoming year.  I admit that seems a little navel gazy, but life is not for the timid and this year was no exception.  The Universe and I seemed to have had a lengthy discussion before I was born that this life would be a big one.  I reserve the right to reset my course, but I have never backed down from a challenge.  I am tired, but I am not done. 

I grieve for what I have lost and I have lost a great deal this year [no violins, please] and my course, as usual, continues to be corrected.  Some were huge gambles that I don't regret.  Some were ones that seemed to be great kindnesses, but were maneuvers that had hooks cleverly hidden within.  My bullshit detector is strong and I am thankful for that trait.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm getting at, except that sometimes, something like a chest cold that forces you slow down and regroup - under the protection of a few cloudy and rain drenched days, for example - can be a good thing.

The barn may be burnt down, but I know that the sun, the moon, and the stars are all there waiting when the healing clouds dissipate.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Surfacing...Still

"Be persistent. Be the weed growing through the cracks in the cement, beautiful - because it doesn't know it's not supposed to grow there."

Thank you, again, Shane Koyczan.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Oh, December!

In less than four hours begins the final sprint of thought, gratitude, hope, intent, and fun for the year.  Both personal and calendar.

Bring the Ninth. [Thank you, Beethoven, for having been born on my birthday!]
Bring the rain.

Bring the peace with the past.
Bring the joyful anticipation for the future.
Bring the goodness.

Bring the love.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

By No Means Trying To Be Cryptic

I will fill in the details soon enough, but sometimes I think that it's easy to forget that there is as much power in "No" or "Not yet" as there is in "Yes".

Choosing one's battles can be the biggest challenge of all.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Why I Blog

I wrote the following on a newly found fellow blogger's site.  I will try to correct for errors of hastiness, but I do attest to all of this being true. :)

I started my first blog about 11 years ago because I’d just started a grand adventure of quitting a great job, packing up everything, and moving to San Francisco. I thought it would take 6 months. Instead, I was pulling up in front of my first apartment in just under 6 weeks. I was so full of fascination and excitement that I didn’t want to forget a single moment. I connected the blog to a flickr account as that seemed a great combination. As I became more involved in putting my words online vs paper [though paper is still very close to my heart], I really began to see that I write to learn what I already know. 

 
My postings were quite sparse for a few years, but after getting hit by a car about 20 months ago, resulting in 2 TBIs and what looks to be a permanent relationship with epilepsy, I found I needed an outlet. After the 2nd TBI, I went through several months of barely being able to find my words or walk. Two harsh blows to a writer who was formerly very physically active. Most importantly, especially after the second TBI, I woke up in the ICU with a profound understanding that I was no longer the person I once was; my brain was a new one, moreso, I could feel I’d lost memories. It’s a strange almost itchiness that I cannot quite articulate…yet. There were many parts of my old brain there, but the new brain was most definitely new.

Occupational and physical rehab take a long time to acquire when you are on government funded insurance, so I started it on my own as I’ve been a person of action from a very young age and the best way that I could think to begin rebuilding my fine motor skills [I couldn't even hold a pen at first], rebuild my vocabulary, and get my new and old brain to become best buddies was to write. And write. And write. But I really began by taking my new bifurcated brain on a stroll through both my blog and my flickr account. The result? My old brain did a great deal of, “Oh, hey! YEAH!! I DO remember that!” as though doors were being unlocked. My new brain was all, “I could most DEFINITELY hang with this chick; she’s flipping awesome.”

I still toggle between the two and try to mesh them into a single unit and some days it’s like being an adult toddler and more than a little frustrating, but mostly it’s new eyes and a lot of wonder.
 
I know there was a great deal of “me” in this post, but only because I think that there can be a great deal more than the perception of simple navel gazing that goes into blogging. It really does have the potential to change lives. To my mind, whether that be our own life or if it serves as inspiration to / sparks conversation with or amongst others makes no difference. It’s the willingness to articulate being brave and vulnerable in the face of life that makes the difference.   

All the difference, really.

Kindest regards, fellow bloggers, writers, and active participants of life!

The Beauty of Adversity

is how much it opens your eyes.

I saw this yesterday and immediately wanted to share it with TMB.  So I did.

I was so worried about putting my story out there, but I was told today by the President of a company for which I am interviewing that my very honest CL was the most heartfelt and compelling cover letter that he had read. 

Here's to being honest. Here's to being positive.  Here's to believing in your own journey.  And, finally, here's to accepting appreciation as the gift that it truly is. 

Shine bright because no one else can shine like you can.


Chef Quotes

I don't exactly agree with each of these philosophies, but the spirit of excellence and determination still shines through to me.  There are certainly times in the trenches [or "in the weeds" as we called it] when you are so overwhelmed that you don't have enough left over synaptic power to scream at the the Universe, "What do you *want* from my life?!?" 

But then the rush is over with lessons learned, skills sharpened, bonds strengthened, and the awesome rounds of exhausted but exhilarated grins accompanied by head shakes and nods of common acknowledgement:  "We did that!!"  And, of course, knowing that we'd be doing it all over again on the next shift.

Sorta like life.  Never give in; never give up.


"Things Chefs Say"


Monday, November 17, 2014

Today

I randomly met a man on MUNI with epilepsy and his two epilepsy canines.  It started off very casually when he asked another guy across from us about this red drink that he was drinking as he was on his way to the gym.  He and I, almost simultaneously, responded that the amount of caffeine in the drink "would send me into a seizure" [him] and "would make my head go supernova" [me]. 

I braved it and asked if he has epilepsy and we launched into the most sane and enthusiastic "I know, huh?!" and "when I have this kind of seizure..." and all of the crazy nuances that go into it all the medical discussions I have ever had.  Maybe I will join a support group, afterall, because all of the mixed messages and the "that shouldn't effect this"s and "well, we really don't understand the brain very much at all"s have caused so much cognitive dissonance.

He apologized for his older dog paying me so much attention at first and then when I showed him that I was midway into a breakthrough seizure [which are much more mild now, but I still get pretty shaky and have to walk with great concentration], he smiled and said, "Oh! Well, then, he knows."

He lives in the neighborhood, so I hope we run into each other again - I should've grabbed his number: I think he could be a sweet soul seizure brutha and some days, when the "REALLY?" factor gets eyeball deep, you just want someone to bounce a "DOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!  That sh*t was f*cked up!" off of and know you are in excellent company for the *fistbumppow* "I hear ya!" action.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

If

"If all the things that you stood for
Were burned to ashes at your door
Would you stay and try some more?
What if the love you gave
Starin' at you from the grave
Would it make your heart explode?"

My answer is "YES"

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Do You Know

...how awesome it is to have a common cold vs a potentially terminal condition?

It's flipping awesome. 

I want to make a special cup of tea for it as we settle into the comforters and try to stay awake through a movie.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Success is

...getting a PhD in adversity and using that as an advantage.



 


Thursday, November 06, 2014

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

They Keep Asking

"But what do you want from your life?"

I want to be the tiny giant force of positive nature that no one can deny as being true.

That.  That is what I want from my life.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Thought For The Day #2 [repeat]

'Nuff said.

Thought For The Day #1

Ayup!

To My Love: Wish You Were Here

Both figuratively and physically.  So many things I want to share. Good things, 'wow' things, 'can you BELIEVE that shit?' things, hopeful things, super secret hopeful things that I fear might die before fruition if I speak their names aloud things. My fears, even. So many of them I shared with you and bared myself to you in ways no one else has ever known. 

But mostly things, both random and important.  


Thingful things.  Silly things. 

Hopes. Dreams.
 
Wish you were here so that I could whisper them to you and feel safe in knowing that they were in good hands.
I love you as ever.

Friday, October 31, 2014

When The Royal Family Acts Like True Royalty

At a point when sportsmanship is not often highlighted or praised, I've noted to a HS classmate [Royals fan] what a class act the Royals have been and what a great to team to play against in this series. Both teams really put their heart into these games without nastiness or chumpiness.

It really could have gone either way and while it is fun to be taking home the trophy and basically have a double civic holiday tomorrow [Halloween in the City...on a Friday, hullo!], it's wonderful to see such kindness and respect in the midst of crazy competition.

The Giants may the Awesome Orange, but the Royals are True Blue and essentially reset the bar on real time sportsmanship and respect. Royals fans, I hope you stand proud by your guys!!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there were really no losers here and that was because of the character of the players. Fully bolstered and supported by the Royals family.

Lotta peeps could learn a great deal from this Series.


CLASS ACT IN DEFEAT: Giants fans on twitter pointed out a classy move by the Royals after San Francisco clinched the title last night. The fountains at Kauffmann Stadium, which had been many different colors during the series, including Royals blue, were turned orange... presumably to congratulate the Giants!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

When The Giants Win The Series

Despite all of the explosions [we have an affinity for sticks of dynamite, though the upper Mission set off fireworks, which was cool] that finally tailed off around 2:45AM - tres suxors, as I had to be up three hours later - the City is generous in its joyfulness, celebration, and support of its teams, 'specially Los Gigantes. VAMOS!! So many buildings lit up in orange for the last 10 days. Sooooo many people in orange. The fronts of buses say, "Let's go, Giants!!" Today, many say, "WE DID IT!!"

Last night there were bugles, vuvuzelas, drums, car horns, oceans of gleeful yells and chants for hours, public transpo drivers tooting the Giants chant, the 5 and 8 year olds next years, surely jacked up on sugar and adrenaline and up well past their bedtimes at 11pm on a school night still yelling in the back yard that the Giants had won [they will never, ever forget last night]...even though it kept me up, it made me happy.

So much exuberance.


It was a great series [aka "torture"] and the Royals are a class act who played amazing games and I hope their fans are incredibly proud. I know I have mad respect. [Gosh, Game 6?? 11-0? Daaaaaaaaaaang.], but I'm proud that we didn't back down from a challenge.

The parade will be awesome tomorrow. It's pretty much a civic holiday at this point. *squee* 2012 below; tomorrow should be even better! And if it rains, well, we'll finally have complete confirmation of Bumgarner's true skill set.  It would be a fitting follow-up to one of the best sports headlines I've read in a long, long time:
"The Giants lead 3-2 after eighth - Bumgarner healing the sick, turning water into wine"

Perhaps we'll be adding "rainmaker" to his resume as well.



 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Even though

I recognize that while I have a gnat's chance of getting a good night of sleep tonight, it's good to be a tiny giant in the city of the Giants.

Well played, team, well played!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sensitivity

There are days when I really wish more soft skills were taught. There is a world of difference between "I worry for you" and "Wow, things are tough for you right now, but I know you can do this! Let me know how I can help."

Those two messages are wildly different. The last thing that a stressed out person needs to hear is that others are stressed out by their situation. It may sound caring from the person saying it, but it is an additional burden to the person who is probably *this* close to buckling.

OTOH, acknowledgement, validation, and the offer of support can trigger a quick change of perspective and an openness that they may not have had previously. It might provide that open psychological space to re-evaluate and bring down their inner stress volume because they feel heard and can be confident that there is a safety net available to them.

In short, choose your words carefully and emphasize the positive path. Always the positive. [A few cuss words won't hurt, though.]

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Also

VAMOS GIGANTES!

I Am So Ready

For the unmitigated joy, calm, and whimsy that I've earned.  I asked to be challenged and I have risen to and beyond those challenges.  I now humbly entreat the Universe to lead me to a place where belly laughs are the rule and not the exception, where I can apply all I've learned about myself and others in a very real and positive way, and where I can tackle new challenges with a certain sense of security.  [True security being a myth and all.]


Nothing left but the belief in possibility
 - Kent Bowker "Cold Blue Nights"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ayup

And with tons of scenes from one of my favorite movies: "The Intouchables"

Awakening.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday In The Park

Karen and I sat in the park and, while deconstructing life, watched people fall down the hill and dogs enjoy having legs.  She was exceedingly patient with my lack of composure as I laughed my ass off...and I pretty much went to town.  No one got physically hurt, but much dignity was lost and I thank every single person who made a donation on behalf of my sheer and complete enjoyment.

Hell is keeping a seat warm for me.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

To Be Clear

Half this stuff just cracks me up anymore.  I just really cannot do anything but laugh. 

Government entities redefine cognitive dissonance.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

And On The Good Days...

I cannot feel my feet at all beyond vague tingles.  If that doesn't make you walk stupid, nothing will. 

I cannot wait to see the bruises tomorrow.  Battle scars of the highest degree.  At least I wasn't carrying glass.

Still. Two miles. Two fucking stubborn ass miles.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thoughts and Ideals

Years of being in operations / logistics and a background filled with love and warmth by my family of choice has taught me this:


First step: start with gratitude. 


I am grateful for my wonderful family of friends and loved ones.  I'm grateful for the love of my life, through struggles we keep returning to each other full of support and love and have each other's backs [even when I'm in a snit and he is silent.]  I'm grateful for another day because it is another success.  I'm grateful for being able to be a strong and open sounding board and source of confidence to both new and old friends.  I am grateful to still be me, a new me for certain, but I am learning to like her.  A lot.  I am grateful for not having to live under a bridge.  I am grateful for my mental health, especially each time I watch someone go bonkers because they haven't received proper health care.  I'm grateful that I can feel empathy yet am learning that baby steps are the way to make the climb back and tackling the world isn't always the best course of action.  I'm grateful for learning to ask as well as calling shit when shit needs to be called. I'm grateful for the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of giants and learn how to be my own tiny giant every single day.



Second step: Form a plan.  Declare your desires.

I want my life back. I can handle seizure maintenance, but I would ask that the chronic pain go away.  The feet are the hardest, the sensation of walking on glass is both horrifying and exhausting.  The occasional tremors, I'll work through.  I want my love beside me.  I want a job that I can go to and feel good about.  I want to cook and dance and keep laughing the uninhibited laugh I've always had, but I want to do it while relaxed and feeling secure.  I want to keep making my mark.  I want to write that book.  I want to continue recovery and pull everyone up that I know with me.  I want my future back.

Oh, Limbo

It's amazing how exhausting waiting can be.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Something I Think About Every Day ["Give A Little Love" - Noah and the Whale]

Give A Little Love

Well I know my death will not come
'Til I breathe all the air out my lungs
'Til my final tune is sung
That all is fleeting
Yeah, but all is good
And my love is my whole being
And I've shared what I could
But if you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own
Don't break his heart
Yeah if you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own
Don't break his heart

Well my heart is bigger than the earth
And though life is what gave it love first
Life is not all that it's worth
'Cause life is fleeting
Yeah, but I love you
And my love surrounds you like an ether
In everything that you do
But if you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own
Don't break his heart
Yeah if you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own
Don't break his heart
Yeah if you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own
Don't break his heart
Yeah if you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own
Don't break his heart

Well if you are (what you love)
And you do (what you love)
I will always be the sun and moon to you
And if you share (with your heart)
Yeah, you give (with your heart)
What you share with the world is what it keeps of you

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I'm Not Sure

...how I've managed to do this, remain grounded and centered, what lucky star I was born under, how the bad crazy gene skipped me [as Susie so accurately assessed though, it really is why I didn't want to bear children.]  I've skirted depression, the urge to give up, I even keep refusing to die - but I have looked each one in the eye.  I just can't stop getting back up, because the winner is that person who doesn't give up and lasts five more minutes...even if that five more minutes is built on five more minutes and takes months. 

Fall down seven times, get up eight.  Persistence.

One of the things about walking through the city this last week, however, was seeing so many people in need and just wanting to find a way to bring them up.  To get them help for their mental illnesses and addictions and demons.  It's hard to realize how easily that line can be crossed from "all is good and well" to "holy shit, I'm fucked!"  How it can kill self esteem and draw you under the current.  How hard it can be to ask for a hand up or a second chance when that's really all you need.  Someone to have your back.


Don't worry about the future
Or know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday


[Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)]

Funnily enough, mine blindsided me at around 9pm on an idle Tuesday and I was worried about so many other things.  It entirely changed my trajectory.  In the next ten years, I want to look back and think that the car accident and this managed epilepsy with all its extra bonuses was really a blessing in disguise.  It made me stop and recalibrate.  Honestly consider my priorities and then make that into a habit, a checking point.

Maybe I don't have enough money to save the suffering as I would love to do so very much, but I made eye contact and smiled at every person that I could yesterday.  A doorman told me that I had a "glorious smile." For now, maybe my glorious smile, open laughter, and direct acknowledgment of personhood can be a tiny shining light on someone's dark day that can make a difference.

"Remember the times when you could have pressed 'quit', but you hit 'continue'."
[Shane Koyczan]

Friday, October 10, 2014

I Forgot What A Friday Feels Like

But I unapologetically enjoyed myself surfing silly sites on the web tonight after logging an amazing amount of foot miles and a pretty decent number of hours.

Back to work manana.  Sleep sweet, whomever in the world is sleeping.  My noggin is full of red wine and IPA which I plan to sleep off with great endurance in a few minutes.

This might be an epic sleep.

The Social Animal

I love this talk.

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Story of My Life

As soon as I think I should go, the Universe presents reasons why I should stay.

Surfacing [part 2]

Mah head is full of so many thoughts they seem to be actually arguing with one another for a prime time position.

It's like a personal press conference.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Swimming [Dreams]

Because of having to work through night terrors for most of my life, I have long believed in dream symbolism as well as lucid dreaming as path of learning.  Lately, I dream hard. I dream hard in a way that I want to take a nap to recover from the exercise of dreaming once I wake up. 

The most recent dreams have been of deep dive swimming.

"Swimming: To dream that you are swimming suggests that you are exploring aspects of your subconscious mind and emotions. The dream may be a sign that you are seeking some sort of emotional support. It is a common dream image for people going through therapy.

To dream that you are swimming underwater suggests that you are completely submerged in your own feelings. You are forcing yourself to deal with your subconscious emotions."


I am scared to shit of my present and my future, but these swimming dreams I keep having are these deep, DEEP depth, beautiful dreams full of love and strength and support.

May they come true.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On Gratitude

I loved the exercise so much that I'm going back to it and I'm going to call it "10GAD" which will stand for "10 Gratitudes A Day".  I do not intend to have 10 at the start of the day, but I will start with as many as I can think of and add to it as the day progresses.

I'm also going to do this in accordance with my new implementation of a wishlist, the idea being that not only will the wishlist give me the chance to focus on / fine tune / articulate my thoughts, it will create something of a flow between acknowledging blessings that I have in my life with asking for blessings that I need or want for others.

These won't often be publicly posted as that seems a bit too close to posturing for me and I am a quiet person, but I am excited about a new open window in my worldview.

Mahalo.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mindfulness

I think that there is a misconception about "mindfulness."

It is not about being most mindful about what is most important to your immediate personal interests, but about being open to what is most important in the greater scope.  Mindfulness is much more than self absorption or self contained interests.  It's not about being right, but about learning how to get it right.

Also, contrary to popular belief, this means you can get pissed.  Super mad.  Sometimes you need to get mad in order to learn / define your boundaries and be pushed out of your comfort zone enough to speak up and articulate your perspective.  But it's possible to do this without character assassination. 

When you address conflict, don't skirt the issue; focus on the facts.  Be clear.  Be honest.  Be fair.  Be kind.  Be gentle. Understand that honest, fair, and kind are not always easily expressed or received.  Consider the facts and "person" up y being present and simply statinge your case. Offer your defense or your alternative [depending on the side of the conversation you are on.]  Be prepared to wait.  Be willing to listen and consider and then reconsider your own perspective. Be open to compromise and change.  Be ready to adopt a new strategy, finish the conversation, and move forward.  Simply put: actively participate in a way that respects everyone involved.


We all put foot to earth.  It's worth considering how constructive that footprint will be.

I am a student of this every minute of every day.  I frequently fail at it, but I never stop trying to get it right.

Monday, September 15, 2014

That said

If anyone, just offhand, knows of anyone in need of a writer or even basic data entry individual as I get up to speed, feel free to help a sister out.  Happy to telecommute and work weird hours.

A New Chapter

Sooooooo, after some very excellent advice from Ben and after a long think, I have come to some conclusions:

 - The bigger picture of the medical industry here in the States is truly based on profit margins.  [I promise that I'm not wearing a tin foil hat.]  Every time I go to the doctor or get hauled into the hospital and they run tests, they find something new that they see as "suspicious"; some are spot on: getting hit by a car and slamming one's head into the floor during a gran mal for several minutes will cause brain injuries and bring on epilepsy.  However, there's a lot of other hoohah that involves half days devoted to sitting in medical facilities only to be told that one needs to come back for more tests and more half days spent waiting around in medical facilities because no one can agree on what is going on and shit ton of contradictory instruction.

My final conclusion is that I actually and inherently know best what to do with my body without being kept on a constant red alert by the people who are meant to be helping me.  And who probably are, but are so overworked and disconnected that they cannot put together a cohesive conclusion.

Additionally, the sticker prices are outrageous: $3000 for a two mile ambulance ride that only required that I be strapped down to my gurney due to my seizure activity - no drugs, no invasive measures, no triage; $30,000 for less than 20 hours of observation and tests; $150,000 for two days in ICU and two days in general with many IVs, many monitoring devices, lots of bloodwork, and no brain tests; $10,000 for a 60 minute or so, brain mapping session. 

 - Disability, which should help bridge me as I undergo some occupational and physical therapy with the goal of going back to work is a virtual mind fuck as I can't have enough assets to live on [less than $2000 total], but they make take up to 6 months to deny your initial claim [which they openly admit that they probably will do], then begins the appeal process for any length of time.  Unthinkable.

 - I hate being rudderless. I hate being told 'no'.  I hate not having options.  I hate feeling like a "have not" when I have loyally contributed so much for so long.

I'm not a petulant child but I have stopped having any kind of faith in and certainly have no need for corporate living.  I have been a "real go getter, willing to roll up my sleeves" employee for years.  I have been celebrated, promoted, and offered many words of appreciation, seldom, of course, without raises [bonuses, yes, but they do not impact one's salaried baseline.]  It's a sort of new form of indentured servitude; the terms of which can be changed at will and without notice.  Often they are and it is a practice that is both widely accepted and endorsed.  Also, an offer that I decline. 

In short, "The Boiler Room" mentality is welcome to go fuck itself. A to Z.

 - Which brings us to the final conclusion.  Rewrite the rules.  I have yet to figure just how but I have some ideas for the long term, but first is the issue of the fundamental security of income.  I am fairly certain that the rest will write itself as I begin to be able to divert my energies from chasing down agencies to creating an active path forward.

 I do, however, have to say that it is freeing to step outside of the grid.

Monday, September 08, 2014

In other news - I have good news

Though I need some time to finish processing it.  Apologies for the radio silence, but I really did need to have a sit and a think and a really long nap.

Back soon!

Friday, August 29, 2014

I absolutely know

that it is the combination of very little sleep the past few days combined with an easy 30 hours devoted to finding a workaround to the hard disk problem [which remains frustratingly out of reach - no comments on that, please; I've already gone post traumatic gangsta on myself], but I'm definitely feeling "it" today.

This helps, though. 

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I do guess that you've figured this out already

but I'm pretty scared.  And tired of being scared. Tired of working hard, researching, performing my own due diligence only to have the people who should be in the know drop the ball.  Tired of not being able to be the financial / emotional / psychological strength for friends and loved ones.

It's seriously difficult to put on a happy face each day.

I am not on a path of self harm, but the Tigger in me feels to have left the building.

I follow the news every day and everyone's troubles outweigh mine from Ferguson to the ISIS and I'm just a shitty little kid with a broken brain. 

I wish it would rain so that I could stand outside and feel clean again.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bittersweet [Inverted crosspost.]

The Magnificent Ben has now left the continent.


[Damn you, Bardarbunga!]

NEVER SAY IT IS NOT GOD [poem by Hafiz]

I taste what you taste. I know the kind of lyrics your
Soul most likes. I know which sounds will become
Resplendent in your mind and bring such pleasure
Your feet will jump and whirl.


When anything touches or enters your body
Never say it is not God, for He is
Just trying to get close.


I have no use for divine patience -- my lips are always
Burning and everywhere. I am running from every corner
Of this world and sky wanting to kiss you;


I am every particle of dust and wheat -- you and I
Are ground from His Own Body. I am rioting at your door;
I am spinning in midair like golden falling leaves
Trying to win your glance.


I am sweetly rolling against your walls and shores
All night, even though you are asleep. I am singing from
The mouths of animals and birds honoring our
beloved's promise and need: to let
you know the Truth.


My dear, when anything touches or enters your body
Never say it is not God, for He and I are
Just trying to get close to you.


God and I are rushing
From every corner of existence, needing to say,
"We are yours."


-by Hafiz
translated by Daniel Ladinsky
from the book "The Subject Tonight Is Love"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Week of Strong

After weeks of rolling seizure states and nearly six months of fighting a soul sucking uphill battle with social services agencies whose mission statement is to help you, but whose goal in action is to hinder you, a week of strong, and finally having a neuro and GP who are firmly on Team Jacki, I have finally gone a week without once breaking down and weeping from the overwhelming frustration of it all. 

I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised at how Machiavellian the bureaucratic process is, but overall, the process is demeaning, demoralizing, and dehumanizing, at best.  I wish that every Senate member and Congressperson was forced to take a year without pay, starting with access to only $5000 in checking and savings, little to no access to reserve funds or benefits of any kind and be forced to navigate the system.  Maybe even take away their car, so that they have to reach all of the in-person interviews by public transportation or the kindness of friends and / or family.  It will only make the hours spent on hold or the constant redial in order get an actual place in the phone queue seem like cakework.

Maybe start things off by giving 2/3 of them the flu and in anticipation of the this "year of experience" [something akin to Rumspringa meets The Hunger Games], make their flu vaccination a placebo so that they are appropriately blindsided when they become retchedly ill, in need of medical assistance [which they cannot afford and for which they have no insurance, because the system's process can take up to nine months to review and finalize], find themselves in a position unable to search for work due to long term complications from the flu and are forced to try and navigate a system that seems bound and determined to work against them at every turn. 

With hope, they are married and have children, so they have a chance to experience how the stress of this situation creates rifts and tensions at home and with family in general.  How with friends, the loss of any secondary or tertiary properties, sailboats, yachts, you name it or the ability to host fabulous parties or the clout to be a heavyweight mover and shaker renders them unable to "keep up with the Joneses" and watch as their once inner circles of influence discreetly recede.


To maintain balance, the other 1/3 should have chronic health issues, that, if untreated could result in a serious escalation of health problems or even death, dovetailing their narrative with the one above, beginning with, "in need of medical assistance...."

I wonder how much these experiences would change how they would vote and legislate in the future.  It may be cynical for me to say that it probably wouldn't change much, but I still would like them to experience what real people who have been scrupulously responsible and unfortunate in their luck have to go through at the hands of a negligent government more interested in warfare on foreign soil than the welfare of its own populace.

Yet and still, it was a strong week that afforded a clear mind and so many deserved breakthroughs.  If nothing else comes of this whole circus of a clusterfuck, it's the reminder that I am still every bit the scrapper as I have always been.  This is now accompanied by a quiet determination that backs up my own personal brand of confidence.  It's easy to pull the rug out from under confidence, much less so with determination. As James A. Baldwin once said, "
The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose."

You rang?







Monday, August 18, 2014

To Do Or Not To Do

[FB crosspost]

I'm so impressed with people who eschew to-do lists. Even before the TBI, my brain has pretty much operated like a toddler on crack. It's a constant cacophony of competing thoughts; some urgent, some fey and fleeting. List making is the surest way for me to reduce my anxiety and quiet that nagging sense that I've forgotten something, which I usually have. That realization comes generally in the middle of cooking something when I reach for the ingredient that I didn't go out and buy or at 2:30 AM when I'm yanked from deep sleep in a heart beat dead stop panic of "shitshitshitshit!"

May I one day have the mental acuity of those who shall not make lists.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Strong Days

Just as no one is created equally, no epileptic is the same. For me, and these breakthrough seizures, the bad days are pure, unadulterated hell.  Conversely, the good days are great. Today was better than a good day, it was a strong day.  After nearly three weeks of getting my ass kicked by the seizure circus for days on end, only to come out of the haze, gain strength, hit about 90% before being run over by the next caravan, it was finally a strong day and I could feel it the moment that I woke up.

Due to my case being under review, I am very hesitant to say anything more and it is quite likely that I will pay for it tomorrow physically, but today...today, it was worth it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

And So It Goes

While the Neuro evaluator was nowhere near as caustic as the Psych evaluator, he was pretty evil in his own way.  I told him right off the bat that was in the midst of a breakthrough seizure. When I tried to explain the complicating issues [vomiting 20+ times a day, amongst many other things], he simply say, "I didn't ask you about that."  Next, he asked when my last seizure was and I stared in disbelief [dude, I told when I walked that I was having one.]  "Right now," I replied. "That's not what I asked you.  When was your last seizure." [Cue cognitive dissonance.]  "It started Sunday afternoon."  "How long did it last?" "It's happening right now.  I don't think I understand what it is that you are actually asking me, sir."  "Ok, get up on the exam table." Unsteadily, I get up and somewhat waveringly walk over to the table. "Why are you so unsteady?" "Because I am having a seizure!" [Cognitive dissonance fully deployed: JESUS H, MAN! HOW VERY MANY TIMES WITHIN 10 MINUTES MUST I REPEAT MYSELF?]

I'm not paranoid, but I am absolutely convinced that it is a tactical and strategic undermining of a person's sense of the validity regarding their situation so as not to have to pay out the money that has been paid in. I have paid in both with loyalty and integrity for 30 years.  To add insult to injury, it's not as if I want permanent disability, but given that Friday marked the end of a three back to back series of seizures, meaning that I was fully out of commission for at least 15 of the previous 20 days, how can I possibly expect anyone to hire me?  Even to work from home on a consistent basis, at this point, I'm completely unreliable.

I have what will be my first non ER / ICU Neuro exam on Thursday.  Absolutely no idea what is in store.  I suspect it may take some poking and prodding before they are able to tweak it or decide to operate.  Either way, I'm going to require heaps of physical and occupational therapy as well as a probable return to my old therapist so I can process things with her.  She'll even come to the hospital if I require extended stays.  [Plus, I make her laugh, which always helps.] Pragmatically, I have NO idea where I am supposed to find money off of which to live.  Thankfully, I have full medical through the state but that doesn't cover optical, dental, bills or other basic living expenses, for example.  It's pure madness.

I expect to be denied.  I will appeal as many times as it takes, but I'm disappointed in a system that calls itself "Social Services" chooses to be so incredibly inhumane.


/rant

On a brighter note, I finally got more than two hour stretches of sleep both Friday and last night and, my word, what a difference *that* makes.  A WORLD of difference, I'll tell you what!  I'm not quite caught up yet, but getting closer.  Even did chores today and rocked the stairs like a BOSS.  Boo YAH.  The one upside to having two either jerky evaluators or bad actors plucked off of the street posing as evaluators, is that this week's Neuro exam is causing me zero stress.


On an even brighter note, I think have helped Ben find a place to stay in the NYC area.  I know that it's a load off of his mind and, as such, is a load off of mine.  It feels good to be useful.  It feels good to have a sense of accomplishment and success, regardless of how small.

Somehow that last one overshadows all of the other crappity crapness of the week.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Evaluations: Take 1

In direct opposition to the the justice system, where you are innocent until proven guilty, the public assistance system goes from a guilty until proven innocent left swing.  It's an incredible level of constant interrogation.

"Why didn't you go to the hospital after the accident?"  Again, really?  I was in shock and had a concussion.  People don't think clearly in these states. I went straight to my safe space [read, apartment and slept.]

"Why did you stop taking your medication?"  Because the neurologist took me off of them and refused a refill. 

"When is your next appointment with him?"  Are you fucking shitting me?  NEVER.  I have a new one in queue, thankyouverymuch.

"You smell like alcohol."  You mean because I have just mouthwashed the hell out of myself, in your stinky little bathroom, to cover the absolutely delicious hummus, tomato, and avocado breakfast that I treated myself to this morning and then promptly threw back up outside of your office?  Lean in closer, dear, and you WILL smell the belch that comes from that.  Thank me later.

"Are you sure don't do street drugs?"  It may have been the slouchy hat I was wearing because my hair was wet and it was chilly this morning that threw you off, but I think I would have noticed if I was doing street drugs.  Oh, look, Hi, heroin needle!  Dafuq? I barely take an aspirin when in pain.

"You should think about drinking again and then tapering off."  I just...whaaaaa?  I was never a binger, never even a hard drinker, why should I have to taper off from something I've stepped away from?  Fucking nevermind; just go away.


I'm actually in pre-seizure stage right now due the stress of all of this, I tell her. [actually, as it turned out, I was between seizures...sort of.]  "How do you know you're entering a seizure?"  Well you saw my handwriting [which she had to get me to interpret], my walking, and how much I'm shaking: do healthy people do this? This is the beginning of a breakthrough seizure.  Make a note of it, because you aren't making it any better.

"Why don't you want to go back to the hospital?"  Have you listened to anything I have said about how terrible ICU is?  Anything?

And then came the tests.  It was sort of an exercise in humiliation.  I do understand why, I just don't like seeing the starkness of it.  I feel like I'm expanding in some ways, but I used to be super good at math, but there were math problems where my brain knew that I could stare at them for a year and the answer would not come. I wept. 

The word problems were easier, my language skills are becoming more robust. Though I still can't remember some story about a cafeteria worker in Boston. She had kids and got mugged and they hadn't eaten for days, but the police got her money.  She kept asking me to repeat the story and the only thing I could think of was "who mugs a cafeteria worker?"

There are pattern tests and it might be part of the synesthsia, but I really wanted to engage with the patterns and explore them, but she kept telling me I was wrong.  What she didn't care about is that colors now have sounds and those sounds want to make shapes of their own or that interact with the shape that I'm shown, so it quickly becomes incredibly confusing.  Pissed me off.  I wanted to yell, "What if my right isn't yours?"  The point being that whereas the math may be a hard stop in terms of regaining ground, maybe the softer skills are there to be engaged and built.  I'm not done trying

Finally, fuck the fuck off with your bitchiness, don't act like this was a choice I made, it's just a journey I need to make and your job is to help me.  So, stand up.

Lord, help me, I am trying to be strong, but some days, man, some days.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Brighter days

For those of you who waterski, switching neurological meds is like navigating a wake for your first time and when you are switched to the wrong med, it's not unsimilar to a water faceplant where you forget to let go of the handle. For days, I was cold but hot, sweating hot.  I slept on towels because I was sweating so hard and having hallucinations.  It was truly a world of WTF.  And I still kept seizing.

Maybe I had to see how "un-me" I could be so I could truly appreciate being the me that is me.  The important thing is that for the first time in a month, I feel my own quiet calm return.  It, quite literally, feels like settling back into my skin. I may have to accept that I will be in flux with a low grade seizure, on call, for the rest of my life, but I will take that over the craziness of switching meds again.

FTR, Ben didn't leave me; I flipped the fuck out and ran like a tiger was chasing me. Also, my line of thinking made ZERO sense. Bless him for his patience. I am doing everything I can to gently repair that action. It was untrue and unfair to him as my love and to him as person.  He understands the role that medication played, but I still feel a responsibility to honour an honest apology and make amends.

Brighter days will come.  Tomorrow, I start a series of neurological, psychological, and physical evaluations / examinations.  I'm pretty terrified.  Just saying that helps.

I'm not sure if I'll ever be part of the Super Smart Society again and I don't know if I will miss the competition that comes with it, but I can build love and compassion that I never seemed to recognize the awesomeness of previously.  These, again, are actions.  Real actions that end up bearing witness and keeping together in a sense of personhood.

Abandonment

They switched my seizure meds and it was awful.  I do not know if it was the synesthesia, but I didn't even smell or see right the entire time.  I probably should have returned to the hospital, but that is really the worst and I cannot go back. They've since switched me back.

In the process, I was an absolute jerk to Ben.  My Ben who deserves nothing less than the best.  The best of me, I hope. [In my defense, it was due to a rolling set of seizures and anxiety / panic attacks.]

What I have come to realize is that while I am loyal to a fault, my fear of abandonment drives me to run when I sense danger.  Run hard and run fast.  Yet given a distance, I will wait with patience.  This, however, is not how relationships are built.  Commitment at a distance is not investment, it's just distance and an unproductive reaction to feeling abandoned.

Ben, if you read this, please know that you are the love of my life,  I don't really know who I was when they switched me out on my meds, but I'm back to being me.  I've had a long think on stuff and things and I feel that the good and solid stuff and things have been reflected back at me.  You are huge one of those stuffs and things.  Please come back to our place and our bed.  It's the only way that I know how to sleep proper.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Not all miles are created equal

Help me make my next one.

Remembering and pushing forward.

Here are the things that I remember.

How we melded.  How I could roll over and kisses became a certain kind of kindness that was held and enthralled. How a gasp and moan became one in the same.  I remember how your big paw could grip my small hip that said, "I've got you." I remember you whispering the same thing when I was so very ill and shaking in your arms.  I remember you kissing the base of my neck as if you expected it to be yours because it was and scooping me close to calm me down.

I remember and bring it forth.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Heartbreak

The worst part of letting go is knowing all of the tiny details you will be leaving behind.   The knowing looks. The inside jokes. The petty squabbles that turned into hug sessions. The easy hours that stretched across into days.  The knowledge of a curl at the base of their skull and how they sort of flick their feet in sleep.  And how you can induce a sleeping spooning session with just a bit of body pressure in the right places and then settle into comfort and safety.

But when someone changes, fully disengages, it's as though you are alone, the last one standing in the room after even the main character has left.

Sadness.

Monday, July 28, 2014

On Letting Go

It's like performing heart surgery on yourself.

The Silent Treatment

For those of you who employ the silent treatment as a punitive way to address a conflict, think about this: you will KILL your relationships by shutting people out / down.

If you need some time to regroup, cool off, or simply step away, just say it. Unless they are batshitinsane [another problem, altogether], the other party will understand and give you your needed space which will likely accelerate your personal process. And it will increase their sense of trust in you.

Win - Win.

Praying For Rain

Thunderstorms are predicted here today, tonight, and tomorrow.  It's unlikely because they are so unusual, but I pray that they come because what I want right now is a real downpour so that I can have a Seattle moment where I can stand in the rain and simply weep, not knowing what is rain and what are tears.

This is soothing in the interim.

Friday, July 25, 2014

There's the seizure

...and then there are the complications.  If it's a gran mal, you just "go away" and wake up sore, exhausted, and kind of daffy.  If it's a breakthough seizure [my current specialty], you are very aware of it, but weak and very shaky. What's truly a bitch, though, is the vomiting and level 8 headache. Not being able to keep food lengthens the period of episodes and vomiting makes it hard to keep either food or medication down.

Additionally, I have been entirely unsuccessful at handling the the "refeeding syndrome".  Regardless of how much I try, it's just not working.

It's truly a FML kind of evil at the moment.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Getting over "The Hump"

When you and your body relax after an extended exposure to stress, a few things happen.  Often, you get sick.  Not bad sick, just a summer cold, mild fever sort of sick. Phlemy chest, few hours of nap here and there sick. It's simply your body recovering and regrouping. You do sleep a lot [between naps.] You think a lot. A few days looking at clouds.  A few days sipping tea.

Then on with business!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jonathan Carroll

My very good friend, Smoochie, suggested that this might be my pen name and personal description.  It's not at all far from the truth.

"Some moment happens in your life that you say yes right up to the roots of your hair, that makes it worth having been born just to have happen. Laughing with somebody till the tears run down your cheeks. Waking up to the first snow. Being in bed with somebody you love... Whether you thank God for such a moment or thank your lucky stars, it is a moment that is trying to open up your whole life. If you turn your back on such a moment and hurry along to business as usual, it may lose you the ball game. If you throw your arms around such a moment and hug it like crazy, it may save your soul."


- Frederick Buechner

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ode to B: When a FrisbeeGirl falls in love

Days pass like minutes.
He spoons her and she spider monkey wraps herself around him with his big man paw gently holding her hip or knee.

He asks her to skip a song 'cuz he thinks it is too repetitious or plain does not like it. It's no big thing. Song skipped.
He catches her when she walks "drunk" because she accidentally double dosed on her seizure meds. She's thankful.
She falls asleep a LOT because this is TBI recovery mode.  She asks why he let her sleep and he keeps saying, "Because you looked so peaceful." She snuggles.
There are not enough minutes in a lifetime to cuddle and kiss fingertips.


Advocacy

It is going to turn me even more silver than I am, but I want this direction.

Why? Because when you work so hard for something that you truly believe in, a kind of cells to bones belief kicks in.  As it resolves, your chest opens up, your shoulders drop, your jaw unclenches, you get ready to keep digging deep in a good way...now, not only for yourself, but for everyone you know and will know.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Open Hand

A lesson that I learn every day is how to love with an open hand.  By this, I mean being willing to let someone wander their through life and the world, but remaining the kind of person and place to which they will want to return on the terms that make them comfortable.

It sounds altruistic or even self deprecating, but I think not.  This is how we teach each other because loving ourselves actively and making that space open to others is one way that others learn to do the same.  When you responsibly handle your own environment by quietly defining your boundaries, you can be a space of joy without giving yourself up.  I suppose it's also known as unconditional love.  [I just like to use more words.]

I really seriously want some banana pancakes now.
..consumed in a multiperson hammock.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Synesthesia

I'm not quite ready to switch medications, because, overall, Keppra works well for me when I can adequately manage my stress levels.

What it doesn't do is mitigate the synesthesia.  Again, brains are very unique.  My synesthesia is exceptionally sensory based.  Sounds and thoughts are often colors, shapes, and flavors.  If I am not paying attention to what I am writing, for example [I can type by touch], I have to back up and translate the thoughts as though I had been speaking in a foreign tongue.  It's equally wonderful and exhausting.  It's also tough because it makes going, even to a cafe or restaurant something of a challenge as the sensory input can be absolutely overwhelming. 

This is an amazing thing about being with Ben: he is open to my quiet.  He will let me absently contemplate, by sight or gentle stroke, his hand for lengths of time and never feel the need for empty conversation.  My shoulders relax and my chest opens up.

I used to listen to music 24/7, but I don't now.  I'm quite judicious not because I don't like it but because all of those songs are already playing in my head.  It's a kind of constant soundtrack that never ends and adding another layer is true sensory overload.

When I lived in Portland, OR, I worked in a jazz club.  Jazz every night. So many amazing moments.  I'm a tad bit scared to go back to the jazz scene now. [FTR, I begged my mother to take me to the Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz when I was 10 - this is a lifelong love.]  There are moments of inspiration and exhilaration, when magic just happens.  It's electric.  You can see it on the musician's faces as they bounce musical ideas off of each other.  I remember looking around the restaurant and people would be paused, sometimes holding their forks on the way to their mouths, caught in that singular moment.  I wonder what it would be like now.  I wonder what I would see, taste, and feel if immersed in it again.  Would I seize or feel flow and freedom?

As always, life is a funny thing.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

To everyone I love

Because of you, I can be brave and I can be strong.

For every hand that's held mine [virtually or IRL], every laugh you drew out of me, every shoulder offered, every hug given, every silence honored, every share shared, every "Seriously?" eyebrow cocked look exchanged, every version of compassion and acceptance offered.   For everything, thank you so very, very much.

My heart swells to bursting [in a good way.]  I can only hope to repay the favor.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Passenger Seat"

There is a stretch of I-5 between Bellingham and Vancouver, BC that offers a wonderful assault on the senses of pine and mountain and sea. And if you are lucky, also an incredible moonrise. When I waited tables and bartended in Seattle, we'd often take impromptu trips to V, BC [not unlike our midnight trips to the coast when I was in Newberg in highschool] and go through this stretch late at night.  A potent time.

I don't know where Mr. Gibbard was when this song came into being, but I cannot hear it and not feel those mountains, the amazingly powerful smell of the evergreens and low tide minerality, and the mesmerizing undulation of the highway through the pass.

Beauty.

"Whatever"

It's interesting how a single, dismissive word can be so very hurtful.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Once

He told me once that he felt hurt that he thought I did not think that I felt he was worth fighting for. I worked hard and fought for years.

Tables have been turned.  Favors have not.  Life really can be a neverending bitch.

*Update*

Seems that favors may have been returned. Still, language can be heartbreaking and life is still a neverending bitch when she chooses to be.

And such is life and the way of things.

Yes!

It takes a robust soul to say "Yes!" and plow on despite the knowledge of the possible consequences. 

A robust soul, indeed.

There are few things

...other than finding out how badly you have let someone down.  I will now sleep for a long time in an attempt to stay balanced.

"Listen. Love. Repeat."

A beautiful entry from a beautiful blog. 

As I noted on FB, I especially like "Listen. Love. Repeat."  Something that I think is applicable in almost every aspect of life.

Except mosquitoes. Definitely not mosquitoes.

Monday, July 14, 2014

[Not so] suddenly, everything has changed

While actually, some of the changes were quite sudden, I never for a moment imagined that over 370 days would pass without my being actively employed.  I spent hundreds of hours pursuing opportunities, that sadly often ended up being sales positions, and a few that were so disorganized and frantic that the fact that they were in Ops made them even scarier.

With the wheels turning and my advocates and adjudicators moving things along, I've been able to relax a bit.  Not Maui relax, but dial down rolling anxiety / panic attack relax. It's still a frustrating and lengthy process, but *is* a process and I've stopped going fetal while developing new ways to stay organized [great for those synapses, poor things!] as well as actively manage medical conditions and agencies, while taking copious notes and retelling my story to the point where I can anticipate the questions before they arise.  It's a great deal of work, but, in reality, isn't life overall a great deal of work?  Even after a scorched earth experience, you dust yourself off and get up and do it again, even when that may mean a change of plans and a bit of rest.

When that dust does finally settle, I'm looking forward to the next step of physically and occupationally rehabing as things truly do change after TBIs and there is a LOT to both learn and  relearn.  I look forward to finding out exactly what I can handle professionally, and reintroducing myself to life in a job sector with a new brain and body that doesn't always do what I want it to do.  I look forward to the new challenges, but not the FiDi challenges of who closes this deal faster and more cheaply.  No more anxiety sweating discussions of ROI or CBA.

I look forward to the terrifying challenges of climbing the rickety steps of Twin Peaks with Ben and the fistpump of having walked two miles to the grocer and back, carrying back 20 pounds of goodness with zero assistance.  Someday, it will be four, and then, eight.  Yoga / pilates for balance and the treadmill [oh, how I love the treadmill!] for endurance and conditioning in a controlled environment.

Now that I am settling in, what I do like about approaching 400 days off is the quiet of waking at 3:30 and not having to answer tens of desperate emails, fight, or mask the noise of the world in order to think and to process NOW.  Ben, a bit of a wilderness guy by choice, was actually impressed at how well I knew my household's routines and neighborhood ebbs and flows.  This, I think, is what happens when you have time to be present and pay attention.  I'm not sure that I'm ready to return to an ever present 24 / 7 available clock for anyone but those dearest to me. 


[Though, floor two, you claim to be college educated.  Why you cannot grasp the physics of doors, windows, and walls is truly beyond me...and, yes, I noticed it even when I was employed and out of the house for 18 hours a day.  The 10PM to 3AM slamming, shutting, aggressive re-opening, re-closing, and drunken cooking that triggers fire alarms does get old and makes me question the validity of your diploma / degree / certification.  Can't you just go to Carl's Jr, eat it on MUNI, and then pass out in bed, half clothed?  Or fully clothed, for that matter!  It would be a favor to us all. Keep a bucket by your bed, BTW. You will never figure out how to use the door or wall or window quickly enough in any state of inebriation with which you actively punish the house.  Just handle your purge later when you are moderately sober and can clean up properly.  Not meant to sound bitter, but that is a bit of a circus down there.  Nearly every night.]

OTOH, what I do know is that being in that crazy school of anchovy competition is something that I do not miss, but perhaps that is something that each person has to go through in order to learn.

So.

Here's to new days and new adventures.