Just taking care

And now winter weather arrives… It’s supposed to get nasty later today, but at least it’s going to warm up, and the rain will stay rain, instead of that nasty ice we sometimes get at higher elevations.

I need to get moving this morning, before things start to get messy. I need to put gas in my car and also move some things around in the back yard. Yesterday was a pretty rough day – lots of distraction due to the horrible news… lots of re-examining my life to see if there is a way I can revise my daily routine and my priorities to match what means to me most.

In truth, I have to say that my life is pretty much in line with how I want to live. Granted, there is always room for improvement. But for all the hiccups and speed bumps, I have to say my difficulties are less about me ignoring the truth and more about me dealing with the truth — and the truth coming up with some unexpected surprises, here and there.

I’m sick today. Not feeling well. Really under the weather with a nasty ear infection. Fluid’s built up. Dizzy. Lightheaded. Having a really hard time keeping clear about things, beneath this fog. Just have to move slowly.

And take care.

There are a few things I need to take care of this morning, then I will lie down and sleep as long as I can this afternoon. We had our company holiday party last night, which was fine, but it was a lot to take in — a lot to handle. At a very big venue, with a lot of people. Lots of noise, lots of stimuli. Not the sort of thing I actually enjoy — too distracting. But I went. And it was okay. So there it is. That’s done, and I can get on with the rest of my life now.

Because in another week, I’ll be gearing up to head down to see families for Christmas and New Years. The thought of it is a bit daunting… then again, it’s actually not, because I’ll be able to step away from the work scene and just be with family.

And just take care. Get away from the crazy rush that fills my everyday. Just be with family and friends and relax. Do stupid things together. Play silly games. Shoot the shit. Just chill. And it’s alright.

Because in the end, even if all the rushing and pushing and craziness “pays off” in terms of money and prestige and power, we all still die alone, and we all will have to look back at the end and ask ourselves if we did the best we could with what we had. I have thought of that often, over the past years, and I’ve made choices that haven’t pleased my bosses or my uber-bosses. Because when all is said and done, I really just want to be happy and not have to constantly struggle over every little thing. I’d rather have a long life well-lived, than be stuck in a manic hamster wheel for the sake of glory, and I’d rather be able to have something to show for I’ve done, there’s nothing more to do.

As it is now, I can’t actually remember that much of what I’ve done over the years. But that’s okay. Because what I carry with me is more a sense of how I am, a sense of who I am in the world, and the feeling I have when I am just living my life. Stress and craziness and mad dashes for What’s Next  all leave an “energetic shadow” over my life, and even if I can’t remember the exact details of what happened, I can remember the feeling I’ve carried with me about those things. And that’s what matters. That’s what I care about. That’s the thing that sticks.

So, as my weekend slowly fades and winds down, and I work to keep myself clear and upright, and take care of the little things I need to take care of, I must say I’m pretty content. All is not perfect. Some things need to be tweaked. But all in all, I’m doing okay.

And that’s something.





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.

15 thoughts on “Just taking care”

  1. You are so right, everyone needs to “take care”, but I’m learning as a TBI survivor, its even more important that I take care of myself.

    Two things that I am disappointed to be learning about myself post-TBI:

    I only have 4-5 real cognizant hours a day. Thus I have to learn to use them to get done what I want to get done.

    My life is driven my what Beth & Larry Jameson defined as the “Cycle of Response”. Mental Fatigue, Confusion, Frustration (I call it Anger), Guilt and Depression.

    Saturday was a good example. Drove 45 miles to participate in a four-wheel drive club Christmas get together with a while elephant gift exchange. OK, had the gift a bottle of wine from a local winery that is supposed to be very good. Sunday I was going to attend a gun show with a long time friend. So get to the “party”. No organization, everyone in different stages of eating lunch. What happened to that annual buffet paid for with our dues? Then my friend comes in late and tells me he went to the gun show that morning and got what he wanted. Could have called me, I was available to go Saturday. Gift exchange was a disaster. No one explained the rules of how it works, so only the long time members got anything worth having. OK, that’s fine. Then the party broke up and everyone went their way.

    So by the time we left, my spouse was asking if I was OK, that I didn’t seem to be doing very well.

    Drove home, built a fire in the wood stove, sat in my chair, fell asleep numerous times until I went to bed, Spouse left me alone. I believe she is learning to recognize when I’m in the Cycle of Response and that there are times to work to get out of it and times to just leave me alone.

    This morning I’m awake and feeling better. No, I’m not going to the gun show, I’d just spend money I don’t want to.

    I’m worried that I didn’t recognize that I was going into the Cycle of Response and couldn’t step back. Perhaps it was because usually the Cycle of Response occurs because of things I’m trying to do. Saturday was things that occurred that I had no means of controlling. I just couldn’t stand up and leave. I’ve lost enough relationships that way in the 4+ years since the TBI.

    Well today is another day. I have things I want to do including preparing for the next snow storm that is supposed to arrive on Tuesday afternoon.

    Take care all!



  2. Sorry to hear about the experience, Stuart. That is a tough one, especially when so much is out of our control. I often find myself in that kind of situation when I’m in circumstances organized by others. Everyone seems so disorganized, and they seem to really enjoy just milling around, chatting and shooting the sh*t. It’s very frustrating for me. Having to adjust to others’ “plans” when you are not clear on the rules and the expected outcome is VERY stressful – for me, at least. And come to think of it, that’s pretty much what happened yesterday at our company holiday party. I should really write something about that – it was classic TBI-overwhelm-stress, to a “T”.

    It was probably a good move to skip the gun show today. Spending money on things you don’t need and going through more potential chaos. Getting ready for that snowstorm was probably a good move on your part. I’m getting better about being able to skip things so I can tend to what’s on the horizon is something I’ve had to learn over the past years. I tend to get caught up in all sorts of extra activities, when there is something big on the horizon. Preparation doesn’t top my list, though it should.

    Yeah – those 4-5 cognizant hours a day… I can relate. I think probably part of my issues, these days, is losing sight of the fact that I just “max out” at certain points in the day, and I try to force myself to do things that I should only be doing when I’m in good shape. I end up wearing myself out, by trying to do complex thought at mid-day, when my system naturally slows down and my brain needs a “re-boot”. After 3 p.m., I’m good to go again. Between 11:30 and 2:30… not so much.

    Now you’ve got me thinking… I need some good New Year’s resolutions (that I can actually do). Rearranging my daily schedule — and most of all my expectations for what I’m capable of doing — is now at the top of my list.

    Hope you get some good rest – and good luck with the snowstorm on Tuesday.



  3. Hope you are feeling better! People say the holidays are stressful. I believe it’s the distractions, noise, and others expectations that are distressing. You made it through another gathering at work. I bet you smiled and pretended to having a good time, when in reality you might have enjoyed speaking to a few people but I’m sure you exhausted quickly.

    It’s time to take care of yourself. Have a pleasurable visit with your families. Take care and stay safe.


  4. Thanks – yes, I am pretty proud of myself for having made it through. But it really took a lot out of me. Doesn’t help, I’ve been sick… Holiday visit may not happen this year. Both of us are sick and aren’t getting better, and we have elderly relatives we can’t afford to make ill. If I had a week and a half off – which I was going to take for this trip, since I have that much vacation time left 🙂 – that I could use for what I want to do, that would be the best Christmas present ever.

    We shall see…


  5. your welcome and sorry to read that today was not a good day for you. hope tomorrow will bring better news. i hear yah, especially on a cold wet day. take care of your self …


  6. Regardless of how you choose to spend your Christmas … certainly hope you and your spouse are feeling better! I can understand that you don’t want others to become sick. I’ll wait to see how you spend your Holiday. Just enjoy some relaxation and find something fun to do! For me quiet is a good thing!

    A week and a half off from work would certainly be a Holiday in itself. Take care and stay safe.


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