On living – and living well

                                  Soon…

I woke up early this morning, at around 5:30. I had been hoping to “sleep in” this morning and get at least 8 hours of sleep, but 5-1/2 hours after I went to bed, there I was – awake.

I stayed under the covers for a little bit, trying to relax. Then I realized I was actually cold. Summer has now officially passed, although it’s got another couple of weeks before the autumn equinox, and last night I thought about putting another blanket on the bed. But I decided not to. And at 5:30, there I was – awake. And cold.

So, I got up and pulled the comforter out of the closet, laid it atop my other blankets, and went back to bed. It felt so good to be warm, I went back to sleep. And slept till after 8. So, I almost got my 8 hours.

Almost.

But it’s close enough. Because now I am awake, and now I can feel myself coming back. I have been in such a churn for the past weeks, that I haven’t had much time or energy to really enjoy much around me. This past weekend was a wash, with all that beautiful weather happening outside my house, and only work taking place inside for me. I did manage to get out for a little bit on Saturday and Sunday, but it was all for a purpose. It wasn’t just to be.

It wasn’t just to live.

Well, it had to be done. There it is. I took care of what I needed to take care of, and because of that, I didn’t have to get up at 5:30 again today and drive in to the office in the midst of heavy rush hour traffic. Because I took care of those things over the weekend, I can take a few minutes to stop and really breathe… to have my cup of coffee and look out my back window at the woods behind my house. I can watch the sun rising over the hill in the back and feel the nip of that chill in the air. I can look around at the books and papers lying on my desk and sense what each of them means to me. I can clear my head, before the day starts full-speed.

There are some changes happening at work. The boss’es boss’es boss has given notice and will be leaving in a few weeks. They’ve had enough and they’re moving on. It’s always interesting to watch how these things play out. This changes things. The Big Bully is leaving. They set a tone that’s really unprofessional and pushy, and they rely on browbeating their direct reports to get what they want. They have been a big reason I wanted to leave — the name-calling and ridicule and yelling and joking around in ways that get some folks sued in larger organizations, has been tough to handle each day. Now they’re leaving, and that tone may change — dramatically.

Part of me wants to jump in the fray and see if I can move up in the organization, but I am not sure I want to take that on. I’m having enough of a challenge keeping balance in my life at this point, let alone with more responsibility. Changes always get me fired up, and that’s an occupational hazard with me — I seek out stress to keep me pumped, to keep me alert… when what I really need in my life is balance, rest, the ability to regroup after times of intensity and stress, and have more to life than just my job. There’s part of me that wants to push — and push hard — but I’m just now learning how to relax and enjoy my days. I’m actually getting my life back, even in the midst of the crazy fray. Why wreck that, just as it’s beginning?

Indeed. I mean, look outside… Just look at this weather — clear and bright and cool. Perfect weather – just the kind I like. The birds are singing, chipmunks are chirping at each other, warning about a nearby predator. There’s the whoosh of cars passing on their way to work… and the day ahead of me is getting me ever closer to my deadlines and my goals.

And in another two days — 48 hours and counting — I will be packing for my vacation. I’ll be out of the office and out of the loop for eleven days — seven work days, four weekend days. It’s pretty incredible. I have a lot of hopes for this time, most of which include just sitting and looking in wonder at the world around me. I’ll be near a beach that I love. I’ll be near hiking trails. I’ll be near the woods. And I’ll be staying in a small town with everything a short drive or a walk away. Friends are going to visit us. We’re going to party like a bunch of giddy squares — our wild times will probably involve sitting on a deck playing Trivial Pursuit or somesuch. It’s going to be good — really good. Even if it rains the whole time, I have some books I plan to read, and I will have my computer so I can hone my technical skills and get online. And I will be out of the mad dash flow for nearly two weeks.

It’s all good. It’s life. And it just keeps getting better.

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Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

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