Well, that was interesting… good times, bad times, good lessons

winter frost tree downThis is the story of my last three days. Snowstorm. Trees down. Wires down. Not much going on, other than winter. Storms. Electricity out. No heat, no running water, no television, not much connection with the rest of the world.

Living on battery power, using the mobile phone to contact the rest of the world. Staying close to the fireplace, keeping the fire going all night long, finding different ways to get meals and keep occupied. Waiting for the power to be restored. Hearing one thing, then another, then another.

Waiting, just waiting. Watching the snow fall. Moving it off the driveway. Off the roof. Off the back deck and stairs. Lots of snow. Half a meter’s worth. 18″ worth. Heavy, thick, packed snow.

And now I feel it. In my back, my legs, my arms, my shoulders. Bruises all over my legs, where I slammed against the snowblower. Cold. It was cold. And the all-over ache that comes after hours and hours of being tensed against the cold. Countless trips up and down the stairs to get more wood for the fire.

All in all, it wasn’t terrible, being out of power for two days. Longer than that, and it would have been a problem. We would have gone to a hotel, because my spouse can’t afford to get sick, and they’re more susceptible to cold than I am. We came this close to going to a hotel, then decided against it — the place we called said there were a lot of families checking in, because they lost power, too. And having a lot of kids running and screaming (’cause that’s what kids do, when they’re cooped up, let’s face it)… well, that wasn’t the most restful option.

Better to stay in our own space and try our best to stay warm and dry. Wait it out. Gather around the fire. Rest. Wrap ourselves in blankets and relax. Wait it out. Just wait.

And we did. Power was restored 3 hours sooner than they said it would be, and that was fine. In the bargain, I scored some major points at work for continuing on through with my work, despite having no electricity or heat or running water. I managed to logon to my work by connecting through my phone and then sitting in my running car to keep the power going to it, so I could complete some must-do tasks.

And now I have a reputation for being that much more of a can-do person, with total commitment to getting the job done. So, something useful came of it. Which is fine.

So it goes. I handled this storm considerably better than I handled others in the past. I kept my cool. I kept focused. I wasn’t a total jerk to my spouse. And I came out of it ahead of the game. I’m wiped out and would love to sleep for 12 hours, but I’m also keenly aware of how much good it did me to really move. And not spend all my time in front of a computer, like I’ve been doing for the last however many years.

It was good to have the enforced break. Away from the constant hum of machines, away from the low-level buzz of non-stop electricity. Listening to the wind. Getting out in the snow. Just living a very basic life, and being profoundly grateful for everything I have.

Now it’s time to go get some supper. The refrigerator isn’t smelling all that great. It stayed cold, but not cold enough. So, off I go to replenish it. And get something really good for dinner tonight. Something filling, substantial… and hot.

Just as it should be.


Into the bleak mid-winter

winter sunset with geese flyingI have a confession to make. I love the bleak mid-winter. There’s a hymn about it, that sounds like a funeral dirge. The first verse starts off with a not-so-perky extended complaint:

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow…

It’s actually a religious hymn about the birth of Jesus Christ, and I don’t want to get too faith-based here, but the bottom line is, the start of the song sounds pretty dire, but it ends up in a happy, light-filled place. If, that is, you’re a Christian believer. Everybody else will probably be left as cold as the first verse sounds.

Regardless of religious conviction, however, the point of the song is that despite the cold and gloom of the winter months, a light comes into the world. And that transcends it all.

Personally, I like the bleak mid-winter, because it slows everyone down. All the running around and chasing after things during the spring, summer, and fall… well, it all gets a little tiresome, after a while. Our systems aren’t really built to keep going at top speed, all year long. Or even all day long. We need our sleep. It cleans out the gunk that builds up in our brains, and it helps our systems restore their balance.

The idea that you can get up at 4 a.m. and push-push-push for 18 hours, till you collapse, and then get up and do it all over again, is a dangerous concept. Some people can do it, sure. But they’re the exception. The vast majority of us really need our sleep to function. And that includes me. A lot of us could also use a nap, each afternoon. That includes me, also. But I only get that on weekends and my days off. All the other days, I have to keep up with others.

Of course, getting enough sleep is more easily said than done for me. Lately, I’ve been pretty anxious about some work issues, and I’ve been waking up at 5 a.m. instead of 6:30 or 7:00. So, I’ve been losing sleep. I’ve also been staying up later than I should, watching the tail-end of movies that I really like. It’s irresponsible, I know, and I need to stop it. And I will. But right now, my focus is on making sure I’m functional for today… not focusing on the evening at the end of my day.

But I’ve digressed. I love the bleak mid-winter for its cold, which slows us all down, as we have to deal with more layers of clothing. I love it for its long nights, which help me rest and relax. I love it for its crazy weather that keeps me on my toes. I don’t even mind the snow so much, because it gets me active and out and about. And I love how other people slowing down makes it easier to shop and go to the gym, because people are not feeling up to working out (especially after the initial rush over their New Year’s Resolutions has passed), or going to the store at early/late hours of the day.

The bleak mid-winter solves a lot of logistical issues for me, slows things down, gives me a break from the onslaught of constant go-go-go, and it gives me space to move and think instead of having to constantly negotiate the world around me.

And that’s fine. It’s just fine with me. So… onward.

Up and at ’em

I’m not depressed anymore.

I was depressed for a number of weeks. Just feeling down.

But now …

Something has lifted off me. For the past several days, I’ve been very active – making out my lists of things I wanted to get handled, and handling them… all in good order.

I’ve taken care of some things around the house I’ve been wanting to do for years. Simple things, really, that I just couldn’t get started before. Covering up the air conditioners for winter. Cleaning out leftover pots and containers that were sitting in a corner of the back porch for some reason. Organizing things around the house

And exercising, first thing in the morning.

I guess I was pretty depressed for a while, feeling poorly and also feeling sorry for myself.

No more. Something has shifted with me — probably the prospect of a week and a half off work for the upcoming holidays. It’s got me moving again.

And it feels pretty good.

Well, anyway, off I go. The day is waiting.


Taking a break, breaking it up

All the colors are brighter, these days

This has been a heck of a fall. And winter is on the way. But now with my new job, I can take a bit of the logistical pressure off, and I can focus on projects that I haven’t been able to make good progress with.

I’ve really chafed under the “stranglehold” my commute had on my life, for what feels like so many years. That, and the frantic-ness that came with handling all the stressors from my attention problems, sensitivities, etc.

It’s amazing what extra sleep and a shorter commute will do for you. Simply amazing.

It’s giving me time to think… and dream… and plan… and take action.

Imagine that. After all those years of really battling to keep my dreams alive, it turns out that the missing piece was really reclaiming the time and energy that got sucked into my commute.

It’s tough to dream and plan and follow through, when you’re exhausted all the time. It can be done, but it’s better with rest.

So, this is good. I’m taking a break from some of the crazy appointments I’ve had to drive to, after work, and I’m taking time to read and write and just chill out — no pressure — make a nice supper … do some yard work … lift weights in the morning before getting into the day … rekindle my interest in different meditative practices that fell by the wayside.


In a way, it’s like I’m on a sort of vacation. Being able to get the sleep I need, and not be stressed out about when I get to work… being able to take time to run errands during my lunch hour… and knowing that I can get where I need to go in 15 minutes or less… it’s absolutely priceless. And it frees me up to break up my routine and “paint outside the lines” of my life. I can try new things, read new books, chill… and also spring into action whenever something interesting comes up.

It’s better than a vacation in some ways, though, because it’s structured and it’s social. It gives me the chance to be around people for a set time each day, to orient myself outside my own head, and have meaningful interchanges with others. Left to my own designs, I tend to pull back and keep others at a distance. At work, that’s not possible. I have to talk to people, and they have to talk to me, so it’s good for us all.

Of course, I’m not opposed to a real vacation — and that will be coming during the week between Christmas and New Years, when things quiet down, and my spouse and I stay home instead of driving all over creation to see family, many states away.

This is good. It’s shaping up nicely. The colors are brighter, the day is looking better with each passing week.

And now, off to work I go.


Spring is sprung, and it’s time to clean house

I’m not THIS bad off, but I could do better

That pretty much says it all. Spring is up on us, and with it comes a certain urgency with me to clean house — to clear out all the leftovers from the past year that have nothing to do with me, any more, and really put my current interests and affairs in order.

I am making the somewhat radical decision today, to not file additional federal paperwork on a project I started up last year. The paperwork would be all about registering the intellectual property of my project, and it would ensure that I have the right to sue other people for stealing my ideas.

In theory, that sounds like a good plan. It protects my rights and makes it possible for me to profit from my inventiveness and creativity.

However, in practice, it’s not very workable. Say a big company comes along and likes my idea and decides to steal it. I would need to launch a big-ass legal action on them and be willing to go through all the drama around lawyers and court appearances and filings and whatnot. I’ve had enough of courts in my past several years, and the last thing I want — even if it’s to protect my intellectual territory — is to spend any more time in court or around lawyers.

Not only would I need the right legal help, but I’d also need the time and energy to pursue all recourses, and God only knows how long that would take, and how much energy it would demand. I just don’t have that kind of bandwidth available, and the stress of it… well, that’s just not worth it to me.

I’d much rather have a good and settled life that has a good balance between challenging work and having enough time to blog on the side. That’s what I really want — to refocus my energy and attention on TBI recovery solutions, and make a positive difference in people’s lives.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. My study is chock-full of all kinds of materials — some of it junk, some of it gold. I have a ton of old bills lying around in stacks on my two desks, and I have a bunch of unopened junk mail that I thought might be interesting… but hasn’t appealed to me enough to want to open it. I’m feeling a bit blocked in, to tell the truth, and I need to free up some space for the things that matter most to me:

  • Sitting/breathing meditations
  • Stress inoculation / hardiness development (strength and endurance training in all aspects of my life)
  • Learning new things and relearning old things I lost
  • Sharing what I’ve learned so that others can benefit as well

I have been thinking long and hard about what I want to do with myself and my life, lately. I have really thought hard about my Big Project from last year, and whether I need to continue it. As much as I want to follow through as planned, upon closer examination, I now realize how much time and energy it has consumed from me, and what a source of anxiety and worry and stress it has been for me. I really learned a lot from it, but in the end, it’s really not what I want to be doing with my life, so I’m letting it go.

And when I consciously let it go in my mind, I feel this enormous rush of relief that opens up all sorts of other possibilities for me.

Like another more technical project I had started about 5 years ago, which I let go because I was having so much trouble with the work involved in making it happen. It was a good project, and I hated having to let it go, but my brain just wasn’t up to it.

My brain was too scattered, to easily distracted by all sorts of peripheral details that had nothing to do with what was actually going on. I had trouble interacting with other people, because my moods were so crazy, I would get pretty aggressive with folks, and my anxiety was out of control. It’s kind of tough to lead a project and present yourself well, when you’re a heap of frazzled nerves and you’ve got hair-trigger reactiveness. Plus, the technology I needed just wasn’t there, yet, and because of that, there were a ton of legal and federal regulation issues that were insurmountable hurdles for me, at that place and time in my life.

Now, though, the technology has matured, and I want to re-start that project. It was a good one, and the initial version of the program I wrote actually helped me with my recovery a great deal. So, I want to re-start that and take it to the next level. I have had many good ideas for how to simplify it, over the past years, and I’m ready to start again.

Which is good.

And which is why I need to clean my study. All these books and papers and bills and leftovers… There’s just so much … stuff … that I haven’t used in years, and I’m probably not going to use again. At the same time, buried under that stuff is a lot of material that I need to excavate and restart, because that is what matters most to me, and that’s where my passion lies.

Moving forward is really as much about figuring out what you don’t want to do, as it is about figuring out what you do want to do. And making the choices to NOT move forward with certain things, and to clear the decks of all those things, is a major step towards making some real progress.

Spring is in the air. And it’s time to make a new start. The winter has been long and grueling, and I’ve learned a lot of good lessons.

Now it’s time to put those lessons into action… and move forward with the best of what I have.



I don’t think winter is ever going to end

But I’m actually fine with it. I know, it sounds bizarre – this should be over. We should all get a break from the cold, the snow/rain/wintry mix, and be able to get on with our lives.

And yet, this is our life. All of it. The seasons. The weather. The delays. The difficulties.

It’s just how it is, sometimes.

I’m fine with it.

Because I’ve come to expect it. By now, I’ve become a bit acclimated to these weather extremes… the teasers of warmer weather, followed by arctic blasts. And it’s to the point now where rather than resist and revile it, I’m actually enjoying myself as I clean the slop out of my garage and pull my coat closer around me as I go from the house to the car.

I’ve written before about how familiar it feels, when we have to all slow down, and how dealing with my own issues has helped me to learn to deal with limitations that drive other people nuts. And 2 weeks later, I still feel the same way (which isn’t necessarily a given). It’s true. I do feel like I’m better equipped to deal with setbacks, disappointments, and general thwarting of my intentions, than a lot of “normal” folks who just assume their faculties are never going to fail them — at least, not yet, anyway. Not till they get “old”.

For me, I never quite know when my faculties are going to come through, and when they’re going to fail me. My energy levels yo-yo all over the place, leaving me feeling energized one minute and exhausted the next. My balance can turn out just plain wrong at any given point, leaving me staggering around for something to hold onto. And I’m never quite certain how tolerant I’m going to be of light and sound and touch.

I just roll with it. I don’t have many other options.

Speaking of being wiped out, I just had a wave of weariness hit me. I keep mistyping the words, so I think it’s time to stop. I’m making chicken stew this evening. My spouse is out of town, and I’m on my own. So, it’s stew on the stove, and maybe a little nap to get my strength up enough to eat.






Back again… Kind of


So, I’m back from my travels to sunny California, where the weather was even better than it normally is, this time of year. San Francisco was actually warm and clear — if you can imagine — and farther south towards LA and San Diego, there was yet more beautiful weather. Pretty amazing. Unfortunately, folks are in drought there, so the “nice” weather has a down-side. But for my selfish, temporary purposes, it was ideal.

I spent a lot of time inside, unfortunately. Didn’t get to soak up much sun. 😦 I had a lot of indoor work to do, managing a team of folks who were taking care of some of the logistics… as well as having meetings with colleagues I only get to see once or twice a year. I had to be ON, most of the time — always alert, always ready to interact, always ready to change gears and reach out to people and be responsive to their needs and requests, at a moment’s notice.

In past years, this conference has really torn the living crap out of me, with the constant going and doing and talking and moving and shaking. It’s taken me years to acclimate to the experience of never knowing when I’m going to run into someone I need to talk to. This year, though, I was able to really pace myself and not over-do it. I was present, in the moment, responsive, engaged, and I was actually “on”, with as many pistons firing as humanly possible.

I also took breaks when I needed to, and I didn’t try to go to too many events and sessions that didn’t have anything to do with me directly. I stepped away and took breaks when I needed to, instead of pushing myself back into the fray. I spent a fair amount of time alone, which was good. Best of all, I didn’t feel guilty about it or tell myself I should have been doing something different. I’ve worked this conference two other times, so I knew everyone I was managing, and I knew how the conference would flow. I also knew that nothing terrible was going to happen, if I didn’t do everything that was available to me. In past years, I have felt tremendous pressure (from within) to be 500% ON — ALL THE TIME. Not this year, though. And it paid off. I’m really tired, but I’m not trashed, like I have been in the past.

I had great times with people there. I had some great dinners and breakfasts and lunches with colleagues and other conference attendees. I got a lot of great ideas from people about new things to do and try, and there’s no lack of things to think about and work through, now that I’m back.

Speaking of being back, it’s high time I got ready for work. Jet lag is messing with my internal clock, so it’s time to reset and start fresh!


Tonight, I am about as alive as any person can be

I am wiped out. Tired from a day full of really good things, and tired just thinking about all that tomorrow will bring. My job is wiping me out. And that’s okay. Because I know it is, and I know it does, and it just means I have every right to go to bed early tonight.

The autumn night is humming with insects, the sing-song cadence of their sawing wings and their scraping legs a kind of tinnitus, the high pitch of life that is always there, even when it isn’t.

I am reading again. Travelogues by infamous writers. Accounts of Greece and Italy and France and beyond. Stories of New York and California. All of them inaccurate, all of them true, with the kind of truth you can only wring from someone who isn’t often studied in school.

School. Huh. I saw a bumper sticker on my way home tonight from my weekly neuropsych visit — Learning is natural. School is optional. And I read the words of individuals who turn their nose up at the academy.

I used to think I wanted to earn multiple degrees. Find a stable job teaching at a good school — not necessarily a famous one, but one where I could dig in and grow some roots, live the life of the mind and make a name for myself. A name for myself… as though my own name didn’t matter. As though I were like a tree falling in the forest who wouldn’t make a sound unless thousands upon thousands of others could hear me loud and clear.

A name for myself… I was blind and deaf and dumb, struggling to prove to myself that all the things that were “up” with me didn’t make me less of a person… and losing that battle daily. The one who needed most to hear my fall in the forest was me, but I was so busy trying to convince others, I hardly paid any mind to myself.

And all the while thinking “… this inner life, this secret place within, these thoughts of mine, these sensations and confusions and all of it… this is who I am. This is what I am. This is all I have to work with.”

Far from it, I know now. But when you’re 28, you’re so damned sure… and all the while, no one was listening. I thought – no, I knew. No one was listening.

Then I crossed the country. Twice. In a 14-foot rental truck. The second trip found me in a vehicle the same color and size as the truck that blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, within a week after the attack. I got strange and wary looks on that trip. But I made it. I did my explaining whenever necessary. And I kept moving.

Keep moving… that seems to be the key to my live-liness. Not so much like a shark, as a small bird that must constantly eat to keep its energy up. I move with the cycles, picking up speed when the seasons change, so I can make a smooth transition into the next round of sun or rain or snow or wind or whatever.

And the night is my friend. Most of the time.

Tonight,  I am about as alive as any person can be. I ache like the dickens — I swam the other day, wearing an old suit because I misplaced my new one. The old one didn’t fit me well, but I swam anyway. The first time in months. Now my body aches, and my neck and back crack. Just as well. I needed a reminder that yes, I am here and yes, I am alive. Nothing like a little chilly water to wake up the senses. And remind me, there is more to life than warm weather. Warm water. Warm. Cold has a life of its own, and cold has its place, too.

Hungry does, too. And although I’ve eaten my dinner tonight, alone and on my own for the evening, I’m still hungry. Eager for something else. If I have some sense — and I believe I do — I’ll call it a night and make my way to bed, with a book to keep me company till sleep meets me, or my loved one gets home, whichever comes first.

Tonight, I am about as alive as any person can be. And I realize that I need to have people in my life who are as open to LIFE as I am… people who are as welcoming of the full range of human expression, as I am… people who are as undaunted, and as intentional as I am.  People who press out to the limits of what they are capable of, and find out what’s out there, who aren’t held back by what “should be” or “what is” — according to what others say.

This change in my needs for company has been in the making for the past year or so. It’s been stirring in earnest, for the past few months. And over the past weekend, when I saw a bunch of people I used to work with, I realized that the people I got along best with, were the ones who were the most comfortable with themselves, and the most comfortable with risk and reward. The kind of folks who wring what they can out of life — and themselves — and then come back for more. It’s not that they’re not afraid. Far from it. They simply have a tolerance for the experience of fear. And it’s not the ONLY thing they experience.

And they keep learning. I used to want to spend my life in school. Then I realized my life IS my school. I probably won’t be going after those degrees anytime soon. Life is much too interesting, to spend inside the walls of an institution, telling me what to think and say and how to act. The privileges of membership only compensate for so much.

I found this on YouTube tonight:

Scenes to live by.


I’m tired.

Good night.

Enemy #1 – Complacency

Am I ever glad it’s spring. It’s about damned time. I swear, I’ve had about enough of the long nights and the inhospitable winter. Of course, compared to how winters used to be in the world — before we had central heating, hot and cold running water, and the internet — I’m sure we have it pretty good.

Maybe we have it too good.  After all, if there’s one thing I noticed about this winter, it’s that an uncharacteristic complacency has set in with me. Perhaps it’s this new job of mine — the company is established, and everyone has their own routines and their ways of doing things. It’s been working for them for years, and they are regularly told by management, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.” Hmm.  I have to wonder about that. I did notice, when I first started (wait – that was about 9 months ago, so I can’t really call it a “new” job – but I digress) people seemed very set in their ways and it bothered me. Then I got set in my own ways and it stopped bothering me.

Hmm. I have to wonder about that, too.

Anyway, over the past months of winter, I’ve found myself slipping into a kind of doldrum place. True, I’ve been crazy busy and I’ve been struggling to keep up, in some cases. But at the same time, I’ve felt myself “solidifying” around certain routines and ways of doing things. I’ve noticed myself making less of an effort at my workouts in the morning. I’ve noticed myself languishing longer at the beginnings of my days, and getting to work at a predictably later time of day (for the record, I stay later, so if I go earlier, I’ll end up working 20-12 hours each day, so my late arrivals are my built-in safety valve to keep from burning out). And I’ve noticed myself falling back more on eating junk food. Which means I’ve gained about 10 lbs I didn’t want to gain over the winter.

I wasn’t particularly active this winter. Maybe it was the various storms that came through, as well as the ice that built up. I’ve been very wary of falling, and I think that’s made me less interested in going outside when there’s a lot of ice. At the same time, though, I’ve let myself be more sedentary while inside, which isn’t excusable. It’s understandable, but I don’t want to sit around and understand something that really needs to be changed.

So, this morning I changed up my exercise routine and added some weight. I need to be lifting more weight — just moving the computer and old monitor around yesterday made me stiff and sore, which will never do. I hadn’t realized just how much of a lump I’d become until I started hauling equipment. Pathetic. But fixable.

I’m focusing more on the actual exercise of my routine – reading a little news, sure, but also doing more intervals on the bike. And putting more effort into my lifting. I hadn’t realized just how acclimated I was to that specific routine, till I started changing it up. Change is good, though. This is much needed.

I’m glad it’s spring. I can feel the proverbial sap rising, and all of a sudden I’m in the mood to really  DO things. Like get a new computer (which I’m still working on setting up – these things take time), clean out my home office, which has turned into a general holding area of all the paperwork I don’t feel like doing today, clear out some junk from the basement and garage, so I have room to work and make things again. It’s been a while since I made anything.  I miss it. Maybe if I get my stuff cleared out, I’ll be able to start doing that again.

I just got so complacent, I realize. Got used to things being a certain way. It’s comfortable for my anxiousness, and it’s not particularly agitating, to be doing the same things over and over. But at the same time, if I’m not challenging myself with the anxiety business, and I’m not pushing myself with my routines, I start to slide back. And that’s no good.

Complacency… yeah. It’s set in. But something else has set in, as well. Resignation. For several years, I’ve been railing against the idea that after TBI, only limited recovery is possible, and you need to just accept your limitations and not worry about being sub-self. Something in me just revolted against that with all my might, and I refused to let that possibility in.

Well, now I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to run out of steam. I get tired of working and working and working all the time, pushing myself and seeing what all is possible. I’m tired of examining myself in detail over every little thing, and I just want to live my life, already. Problem is, I can’t just live my life already, because all the stuff that I am used to doing by rote and reflex has either been screwed up in the past, or it’s gotten screwed up. Well, almost all of it. It’s impossible to say which of it has gotten screwed up, because it tends to shift and change. One minute, I’ll be fine, and the next minute, not so much.

It makes me crazy. And I just have to keep going. Because if I stop to examine what just happened in great detail (as I am prone to do), the flow gets all mucked up, and I end up even worse off than I was before. Farther behind. Struggling to keep up.

But if I don’t pay close attention to what’s going on around me, the same stuff happens. Good grief. What a huge pain in the ass.

Really, I just want to live my life.

But I can’t “just live my life” because that too often means I fall into complacency and get sloppy. And that’s not good. It’s really bad, in fact. And I can’t afford to go there.

What to do?

Well, in the first place, I need to make sure I get enough sleep. I keep harping on this, and it gets tiresome to listen to, I’m sure. But really – I need to get enough sleep. If I don’t sleep, shit starts to fall apart. I get foggy, I get lax, I get sloppy. And I become incoherent. Which is not good at work — but it’s been happening more and more lately. I friggin’ hate that. I know better, but I can’t seem to DO better. And it’s about as demoralizing as anything I can think of. Sleep is also critical for my moods. It’s tough for me to stay “up” when I’m exhausted. And when I’m feeling down because I’m tired, I eat junk food to pick myself up, so I end up gaining weight — and feeling like a steaming pile of crap as a result.

I also need to use my tools — write shit down, instead of thinking I’ll keep it all in my head (as I’ve been telling myself – stupidly) lately. When I think of things, I need to just write them down. No matter HOW convinced I am (and believe me, I am) that I’m clear about something and I’ll remember it, all too often, it just doesn’t happen. I need to pause periodically to consider what I’m doing and why, so I don’t just careen from one thing to the next (as I’ve been doing more frequently, lately)

I need to Do things now. As in, not wait for a “better” time to do them. This is so very important. All too often, life just comes up and gets in the way, and my best of intentions fly off into never-never land It’s not necessarily my TBI that does the job on me — it’s just life happening. The places where my broken brain causes problems are with the mistaken thinking that I’m going to actually get around to doing the shit that’s right in front of me.

And I need to slow down. Map out my days and make notes about the most important hings I need to get done. Truly. I need to just do some intelligent planning and not treat it like it’s a sign that I can’t manage without pen and paper. I’ve gotten away from planning my days, and it’s taking a toll. Part of the reason, I think, is because I’ve tended to get caught up in a lot of minutiae and got stuck in my overwhelming need to amass overwhelming details about Everything That Needs To Get Done. Before my last TBI in 2004, I wasn’t like this. I didn’t have a never-ending list of impossibly detailed steps for every single action I needed to take in a given day/week/month. But after my fall in 2004, suddenly, my need to micromanage everything from doing the laundry to going on vacation shot through the roof.

Lovely. But whatever modulator in my brain that was there before 2004 that knew and trusted the flow of sequential steps somehow magically disappeared. I’m not as bad as some — I have a friend who had several strokes, and they’re almost impossible to get out of the house to go down the road to buy convenience items. But I’m bad enough. And I notice it.

Anyway, it’s a beautiful day. Spring is in the air, and I’ve got a new computer. I have a handful of things I need to do today, and that’s fine. I haven’t been sleeping nearly enough, but I’ll take a nap later and call it a “win”. I need to get a move on and get on with my day. I’ve gotten used to doing things a certain way over the winter, and those things need to change now. I need to get proper rest and eat proper food. Get myself moving and air out the house. Really enjoy what I have and appreciate it, and keep moving towards what else I would like to accomplish in my life.

The main thing is, I can’t let myself get down about my setbacks. I need to remember that some things are probably always going to be a bit of a chore for me, but changing how I do them is going to pay off and let me actually live my life. There are really simple things that aren’t terribly inconveniencing — like making lists and slowing down every now and then — which help tremendously. And if I do them and make the most of the tools I have, I don’t have to get stuck in a terrible place and have to dig myself out of a hole all the time.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for now. I’m pretty frustrated with myself and my life, right now. I feel like there’s a whole lot more I should be doing, but there’s also a whole lot less I should be doing. I guess I’m just in a perpetual state of transition with my life, these days. From season to season, from project to project, from this to that… transitions have never been easy for me, even when they’ve been good ones.

I just can’t let it get to me. Accept what I must, and refuse to accept the things I’m tempted to let slide. Get a handle on my work and my life and figure out this “flow” thing. I’ll figure it out, one way or another. I just get a little tired, is all.


My hands are killing me, after working like crazy outside, for the past few days. I had a bunch of chores to do, and winter is upon us, so my paws and digits got a real workout.

It’s tough, typing like this. And I have a bunch of typing I need to do tomorrow. Today I thought I’d be able to get a lot of work done, but I slept in (!) if you can believe it, so I got very little done.

Which is fine.

I’m going to be smart, now, and go take a hot shower and smear some arnica on my aching hands.

It’s good to be alive. Especially this alive.

%d bloggers like this: