When you think of it

Mixed media with caption “You will change the world by loving yourself”

Are you good at taking care of or loving yourself so you feel your best? Few of us are. Many of us have been brought up to think it is self indulgent, that it is undeserved or that or is a sign of weakness. This idea becomes ingrained and is hard to uproot. It is all well and good to be helpful, but running yourself ragged to do so is counterintuitive to the ability to help. You can’t change the world if you have nothing to run on anymore.

Which brings me to how you can refuel. That topic is one for a full book, but there are a few ways that can be mentioned here to get you thinking.

1. Exercise- an age old favorite, just get moving. Each day is best, as our bodies are designed to move and stretch. A regimented workout, bike ride, even jumping jacks on a regular basis will be of benefit. Keeping moving will help as you age too.

2. Nature time- absolutely a necessity, a walk through a park or in the woods can change your whole mood. There is forest bathing for those wanting to soak in nature in a meditative manner. Fresh air a.ways helps blow away the cobwebs and bring a sense of well being.

3. Nutrition- it is so obvious that junk food doesn’t provide the strong fuel our bodies need, but it is so easy to slip into the bad snack habit. I know I am guilty of it, and almost always feel the worse for it. You don’t have to go totally, full on “grown in my garden” diet, just make a few fuel changes you can love. Your mind and body will love you for it!

4. Brain play- the pandemic has unfortunately made binge watching and streaming too common. Let’s be honest, most shows are basically more junk food. Remember the “garbage in, garbage out” line? It is even more true now. Treat your brain to some quality input. Good music, different music, reading, puzzles, or simple DIY tasks. Get those neurons firing and develop new pathways.

5. Indulgences- if you can swing it a massage is a wonderful way to show yourself some love. So are proper fitting new footwear, fresh sheets or clean, unstained clothes. Indulgences don’t need to be huge and expensive, they just need to be meaningful to you.

Will loving yourself actually change the world? It sure can! When you feel good about yourself, you life and that you are worthy of good things. When you hold those ideas, and live them, you are going to move through the world and you will find you have more than enough energy, spirit, love, time and so on to share.

Long ago and far away

river 1

Joe and I went to Calgary and then on to the Banff area. It was a very different time, we were young for one thing, had 2 very small children and the future unfurled before us uncluttered by any debris of life’s upsets. Now and close to home, it is also very different. Both children grown, we are older and a TBI has shifted the course we thought we were on. Life does that to everyone in some form or another, at one age or another. It is inevitable, yet so far the sun has continued to rise, the rivers continue to flow and trees grow and fall. Each day an adventure in a whole new way.

364/365

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Last year on August 9th I revisited the place of my wedding reception. Twenty six years had passed, and the entire place has fallen into a state of decay and is abandoned. It was a very sad sight to see, and left me feeling more than a bit uncomfortable, that pit of your stomach fluttery feel. 4 days later, just 6 days from our anniversary, I sat in an ICU room beside my husband and all the machines. Now I am not saying that visiting the old Woodlawn Club gave me a premonition or anything, that is just a weird conincidence. Hindsight gives us the ability to look back and see things clearer, so I can’t say that on August 13th everything was fine, but I can say that by the end of that day very little was fine. And for many days and weeks after that it was difficult to know if fine was achievable. The whole fall went by both quickly and slowly as amazingly progress was occuring. Now we are approaching that year mark, the point at which we can move from the “a year ago life was fine” stage into the next one.  364 of 365 is upon us. We will step beyond the initial year mark and then beyond the ones of seeing Joe learn how to walk again, talk, feed himself, and all the other tasks we mainly do without thinking. We will pass the year mark of coming home, of bypass surgery, the loss of a lifelong career due to being unable to return to work. There is much to celebrate at the end of each day as his brain continues to recover, rewire, recall and relearn. It can be a painstaking process at times that feels endless, yet it is amazing in what the brain can do. Only 1 other family we met in the Brigham’s ICU , where Joe was transferred to, had a family member leave to go to a rehab facility. So we feel very lucky. Fine is achievable, fine also has to be elastic.