Time for some summer fun

sunflowerWell, it’s been a miserable bunch of months. The past year, actually, has been pretty bad, and I’ve had enough. I’ve come close to quitting my job a bunch of times. Of course, the need to eat and have shelter and support my household has kept me from taking the leap — not to mention realizing just how non-negotiable it is for me, anymore, to be able to work from home.

If I can’t work remotely at least two days a week, there’s no point in even taking a job.

People have reached out to me. I’ve done interviews. I even got an offer.

But I couldn’t work from home, unless there was an emergency, and the commute was just too awful.

What is it with employers, that they don’t understand just how draining it is to work in an office all day long? It makes no sense. Some grown-ups (like me) actually thrive when working on our own. And we get a lot more done when we’re able to concentrate in our own space, than if we’re stuck in some cubicle where people are constantly interrupting, talking, walking by, making noise, and so forth.

I’m as guilty as the next person for doing it. People around me have to deal with my noise, when I’m at the office. But that’s the deal when you’re on-site.

But I digress. As much as I want to quit my job (and I do), I realize that I’m way too tired and stressed to make any kind of decent decisions about what kind of job I want next, where I want to work, what kind of salary I need, and so forth. I’m too worn out. I need a break. So, I’m taking the summer to rest, relax, rejuvenate. I’m overdue for time off. Like, a year and a half overdue.

I’m not in a position to just split for a vacation, but I can change my routine to make it more civilized. Ease up on myself. Quit pushing myself like I have been. Just take some time to take stock of my life, and think about how I’d like things to be. I’m getting too old to be getting constantly sucked into all the ridiculousness that happens, each day. I can’t control what others do, but I can avoid getting too emotionally invested in it.

It’s certainly not worth wrecking my health over the poor choices other people make, day after day after day.

Nah… I’m pretty much done with that.

So, this summer is really about me. Taking care of myself. Actually enjoying myself. And having a summer.

Going for long walks and drives. Roaming around and exploring parts of the world I haven’t seen, yet, even though they’re not far from where my daily routine takes me. Hanging out and enjoying the scenery. Looking around, as I drive to and from work, and really enjoying the scenery.

Taking a big old break from the social media echo chamber, and getting some fresh air.

Ahhhhhh….

I think this is going to be a good summer.

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.

8 thoughts on “Time for some summer fun”

  1. Firstly, have a great summer! And despite the commute, can you have an office so you are not disturbed by others so much? Or…………are you familiar with the term ‘Decision Fatigue’?cheers,H

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  2. How long ago was your TBI? Mine was in 1993 and I’m currently 56 and very physically healthy, but I’m having such problems with being very rigid in my thinking and behavior. I’m not very flexible. I have to plan everything which means I have notes all over my house! My husband is incredibly supportive carrying the financial burden while I stay at home and work on my first novel. I’m just trying to find any strategies on how to enjoy more, and plan less.

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  3. Hey – it’s been awhile since I’ve been reading any blogs – but I know you’ll remember me, my daughter and the details of our past journey. I am noticing you haven’t written all summer, so I hope it was a fruitful one and you’ve been able to make some personal gains on progress towards your goals. If blogging helps, then I’m here to nudge you, okay?

    Allow me to share some of what’s been keeping us busy. My daughter is continuing at an independent school, but they did not offer AP classes, so she also started taking some courses with the independent school approval and encouragement, at a local community college. She’s doing great – it’s tough to manage three schools as she also attends one class at the local high school for social interactions as well as sport (she loves to run). Turns out she will likely graduate a semester early from high school now, a definite blessing.

    Additionally, she’s learning to drive. We found an instructor who is willing to work with us an hour at a time instead of the usual two hours and because of the school schedule, we can make that work earlier in the morning when she is not yet fatigued. It may take awhile, but there’s progress – and a sense of normality, growth, and future independence and freedom.

    Also she has been working on her Girl Scout Gold Award project – she not only gave a workshop to her local high school to educate athletes, their parents, and some staff about TBI, but this month she presented along with two medical residents at our local hospital about TBI. She shared not only her background, but the importance of referral services for care such as OT, PT, VT, balance/proprioception therapy. They are now talking about developing a work flow process at the hospital based on that educational conference. I love that the patient was able to educate the doctors!

    Along the way, you’ve encouraged us. We are giving back to the TBI community in our own way now.
    I hope this progress gives you a lift – take care!!

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  4. Hello again. Thanks for writing – I have been thinking about you and your daughter and wondering about her progress, over the summer. That’s wonderful that she’s done so much, and she continues to. Fantastic. Congratulations to you all. You are making a really positive and – I expect and hope – lasting impact in the world.

    The past six months have been pretty challenging for me. Work has been intense for some time, but it really amped up over the past months. My spouse is in declining health, and each day I’m never sure how well they’ll be doing or what I need to do for them. Of course, life doesn’t slow down. It does what it wants, and we have to work with it. But I wouldn’t object to getting a break, every now and then. 😉

    I’ve missed blogging here. It helps me keep my feet on the ground and it reminds me where I’ve come from. That’s important for me, especially, since I can get caught up in all the things I do wrong each day, and how far away from my ideal I am. I tend to forget that ideals are goals in the future, not everyday standards. I set my sights unrealistically high, on purpose, which forces me to push myself to them. I have lots of little failures along the way, but as long as I treat them like learning experiences, and learn from them… well, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

    That’s so awesome about your daughter having that impact on healthcare. That is so, so, so important. And it’s the best thing we can ask for — when our misfortunes can be used to benefit others.

    Thank you again for writing. I’m finding my balance and should be able to post more, these days.

    Be well.

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  5. I’ve had a bunch of TBIs, starting when I was a little kid. I’m very familiar with what you’re talking about. I have a lot of rigidity, as well. Here are some things that work for me. Some of them might work for you:

    1. Get plenty of rest and exercise. The more tired I am, and the more out of shape I am, the harder it is for me to think with flexibility.

    2. Work on some sort of relaxation technique. I have never been particularly skilled at relaxing, but I’ve learned a few things along the way, like progressive relaxation, slowing my heart rate, letting things go.

    3. Remember that life for me is a learning experience, and when things don’t go as I expect, that’s an opportunity to learn how to take in that new information and adjust. I treat flexibility like a skill — just like juggling or riding a bike or speaking a new language. It’s a learned thing. And I need to practice regularly.

    4. Don’t be too hard on myself. Remember my limitations.

    5. Be grateful for what I have, and remind myself every day of all the blessings I have. These days, the blessings are feeling pretty few and far between, but that’s just because I’ve gotten accustomed to things going well, and my thinking gets lazy at times. I really have to work at gratitude, especially when everything is falling down. And it’s been doing that, lately.

    6. Focus on others. Make them a priority. After my TBI in 2004, I became very self-centered. I’d always been a bit self-absorbed over the course of my life, but after that last TBI, it became a real problem. Starting this blog was one way I could get out of my own head… and get out of my own way. Whenever I’m feeling sorry for myself (which is often), I turn my attention to the same sort of suffering others are experiencing, and I focus on helping them, instead of stewing in my own stuff.

    Now… for the Planning piece, here’s a trick I figured out years ago which has helped me enormously:

    Whenever I need to do something in the future, and I can’t afford to forget to do it (or do it wrong), I “pre-experience” it.

    I have taught myself how to experience what I will think, feel, even do ahead of the time when I do them, and that helps me remember things I’m going to do in the future. When I’m in danger of forgetting something (like stopping off at the store to buy food for supper before I come home) — I “pre-experience” myself getting it right. I think about how I will feel as I approach the store in my car, I imagine how it feels to sit in the car, to look around, to be noticing the lights and sounds and people around me. I imagine what I’ll be thinking about, what will be going on around me, and what I’ll do as I am getting to the thing I’m supposed to remember.

    I don’t just visualize, I actually pre-experience the event. And then when it happens for real, I actually remember (much of the time).

    Since you’re a writer, I suspect you’ll find this technique interesting and useful. Just “write your life” in advance, the way you want to experience it… and really experience it ahead of time. See if that helps you.

    It’s all trial and error — one learning experience after another.

    Just keep going. Keep humble. Keep apologizing and trying to do better.

    And get plenty of rest. You need it.

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  6. Thank you. Well, so it goes. Everybody is having troubles like mine, so at least I’m not alone 😉

    The problem isn’t just with the employer. It’s actually with a few individual managers — same old story. The company isn’t bad, but the managers can be awful. And that’s why people leave.

    Well, so it goes. At least I’m still getting paid to show up each day.

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  7. Thank you. It’s been months since I’ve been back here, but I have sorted out the commute business. As in, I rarely have one. I work from home most of the time – go into the office maybe 2-3 times a week, if that. Working from home is a great option, but it has its own downsides… as in, I don’t move enough. I can spend hours just sitting on the couch while I am on conference calls. And that’s no good for my physical and mental health. I need to be up and about.

    If I have good presence of mind, I walk around my house while I am on the phone. But if I need to be in front of my laptop, looking at a presentation, it’s not always possible.

    But at least I don’t have to do the commute every single day.

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