Thursday, December 20, 2012

Celebrating a new beginning....

I created this blog quite a while ago.  I loved its title, The Rest of My Life is Now, because I loved the idea of living in the now and looking forward rather than wallowing in the past.  Notice I say that I loved the idea, but I wasn't sure how to manifest it most of the time.  Consequently, my enthusiasm for writing the blog waned considerably.  So it has been quite a while since I've posted here but now, I believe I have gained the fortitude to continue on a regular basis.....we will see!

Today is the eve of the Solstice 2012; an appropriate day to begin I believe and also I am celebrating.  I am not just celebrating the turning point of winter as people have done since the beginning of time, I am celebrating a very personal anniversary, one that you may think a strange event to be remembered, much less celebrated, so I will explain.

On December 20th, 2002 I fell on my head, in rather spectacular fashion, while skiing in Colorado.  Although very dazed and totally winded, I subsequently stood up and carried on skiing.  A week later I was at the emergency room with dizziness and great difficulty trying to explain how the world had become so weird, how I couldn't sleep and asking why my brain wouldn't switch off.  It was like watching constant movie trailers inside my head 24/7.  Within the next two months I was diagnosed with a closed head brain injury and had surgery to replace two discs in my neck with a resulting fusion of three vertebrae.  I could barely function and other than three to four doctor visits a week, I lay on the bed with the blinds drawn reading the same book over and over again because once at the end I couldn't remember anything about the content, and occasionally watching PBS or Home and Garden TV because they were the most calm channels I could find.

I was lucky.  It took only a couple of years for me to recover full functioning.  Many head trauma victims never recover at all or at least lose decades of their lives.  I also had a wonderful spouse who took over all the practical details of our lives and allowed me to heal.  It was the best part of a year until I could go into a grocery store or any other place designed to stimulate the senses.  Bright colors, patterns, loud noises, strong smells were all overwhelming and I had to get away from them.

So why, you may ask, am I celebrating such a devastating event ten years on?

Because today, I can see (with 20/20 hindsight), that, had this event not occurred, my life would be very different and I would have missed all the wonderful events and people that have come into my life in the last ten years.  I am not celebrating the fact that I had a terrible accident, I am celebrating my life since then, now and for the future.

Up until the accident happened, I had great plans for an expansion of my career.  I had a new PhD in hand and some great work experience.  I was destined to be a consultant in an important career related to public safety and I knew I could make a difference.  The Universe, it seems, had other ideas.  My plans dissolved and I was forced to let life take me where it would and to follow the guidance of the amazing people who stepped up to offer advice and support.

First there was my friend who, on hearing me try to explain how confused and weird I felt, related her own struggle with brain injury and ordered me (yes, she really did and I listened)  to my doctor.  Then there was my GP who as I tried to dismiss my complaints as trivial, revealed that she had been on a committee to study brain injury and I had all the classic signs.  There were also other helpful medical professionals and finally a wonderful doctor who did everything he could for me and then told me to  try anything in the alternative medical field that I thought might help, a suggestion I never thought I would hear from a western trained (Harvard no less) medical individual.

There was the spiritual teacher who I met through a writing group (writing being the one thing I could do throughout all this and what a blessing that was).  She introduced me to energy work and many other alternative methods to soothe not only my brain but also my confused spirit.  She encouraged me to explore how my healing brain might be rearranging itself and opening up areas that I had previously shut down, areas that gave me renewed connections to realms far greater and more powerful than my old life had allowed me to appreciate.

Over the past ten years, I have not only healed, I have thrived.  I have explored a side of myself and of existence itself that I had abandoned in my difficult teenage years when I decided that the only way to live life was to be strong and depend on no one.  I learned to trust that there is something all powerful out there keeping the Universe on track and I don't have to do it!  I learned that I can tap into any amount of guidance and support that I need through different ways of connecting to that power using my whole self - body, mind, emotions and spirit.  Most importantly, I discovered that what I really wanted to do, deep inside, was to help others find the same guidance and inner peace and so I created a new career, my own career, unique to me, matching my particular skills and gifts.

Today then, I celebrate.  I celebrate me!  I celebrate my chosen path.  I celebrate the fact that the uncomfortable event of ten years ago, while at first knocking me off my feet and rearranging my thoughts, ultimately set me back on my feet and allowed me to set off in the true direction of my heart.

On this Solstice 2012, a day when some fear the world may end, I am celebrating a new beginning.  Ten years on from the most life changing event of my existence, I can see that new beginnings can happen at any time, for any reason.  Sometimes we choose them, often we don't.  When they occur, it is sometimes difficult to see where they will lead or to appreciate their future impact.  We are too busy dealing with the immediate consequences.  After a while however....or a decade in my case.....we can look back with a more detached and dispassionate eye and see how they set in motion new ways to approach our life journeys and how they allowed opportunities for growth into our lives.

I wouldn't wish the kind of accident I had and its consequences on anyone but I encourage you, on this important Solstice of 2012, to look back over the last ten years and see how events in your life during that time,which you may have found, at the most, devastating or at the least, upsetting, have affected your choices and the place you find yourself in today.  I hope that, like me, you find many things to celebrate.......

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ordinary topic #2 - Bicycles

In light of my previously stated quest to blog about ordinary things, today's topic is.....bicycles.

It is a beautiful day in Colorado.  The sky is clear, sun shining and the air is sweet as only mountain air can be after a storm.  A perfect day for a bike ride.

I took my bike down from its perch where it has sat since about last October, dusted it off, checked the tires and set out for the bike path.  About twenty minutes into my ride I had a realization.....I was really uncomfortable.  My back ached, my shoulders cramped and my behind - well, you don't want to know the state of my rear end.

I have an old mountain bike.  Manufactured before many modern innovations, it has no shocks, a heavy frame and the most spine jarring saddle ever invented.  It has served me well in the past but now, after a decade, my body needs something more in keeping with its needs.  I no longer need to be crouched down leaning almost all my weight on my arms and shoulders so I can shave a couple of extra minutes off my miles.  I'm into recreational cruising, not head down, round shouldered racing.

My thoughts began to drift off into the past.  What happened to those lovely old bikes my mother and grandmother rode?  You know, the ones with a wide leather saddle supported by bouncy springs, comfortable enough for an hour or so of shopping or cruising and wide enough to support a normal woman's lower curves.  The ones with handlebars that are considerably higher than the seat so that you can sit in a normal sitting position, the best to see the traffic and the view.  The ones that have a cover on the chain so you don't get plastered with dirty oil.  The ones with a wicker basket on the front to carry all essentials.  The ones you can ride wearing a skirt or a pretty summer dress.  Wouldn't that be nice?

I came home with a new determination and a new direction.  Out with the mountain bike and in with a "sit up and beg" variety (as my mother used to call them).  A friend told me they make new "old" bikes so I've been scouring Amazon and Googling like crazy.  Came up with a few possibilities.  If, however, you can point me in the direction of a good website or resource, please let me know.

My back and derriere will thank you!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Profound or ordinary?

It's been a long while since I've blogged here. Why is that? I have lots of good intentions but they never seem to translate into action.

 I just returned from a wonderful 2 day writers conference held by Northern Colorado Writers. I attended many informative and interesting sessions.

Among them was Laurie Macomber's Writing for the Web. Laurie gave us an amazing, almost overwhelming, amount of information about how to write meaningful and useful copy for our websites and also about blogging.

 One thing she said stuck with me. If you are going to blog, it must be almost every day or at a minimum once a week. Whoa!! Wait a minute.....who has time to do that? Then I paused. Why am I balking at doing what I love to do once a day or even a couple of times a week? I love to write so what's up with that?

 I needed to get honest with myself. What exactly is holding me back? Is it plain old procrastination? Not really, I'm usually a "get it done" kind of person. Is it fear? No, I'm not afraid to put my writing or my thoughts out there for all to see. Is it a lack of inspiration or ideas? No, definitely not. I'm overflowing with them. Then what?

 I examined further what happens to me as I go along through the thought process of what to write and I discovered something.....I want to be profound! I want to say something earth shattering, I want to give my readers and Aha! moment, I want what I write to be meaningful and lingering. What a load of b.......t!

Then I had a revelation....Blogs aren't about being profound. Blogs are your ultimate stream of consciousness stuff just arranged better so others aren't left scratching their heads. BLOGS ARE ORDINARY.

That's the thing that was standing in my way. I just couldn't stomach the idea that my writing, and my ideas, might be ordinary. Who wants to be ordinary? We all want to be special don't we?

So now I'm cringing at myself. I need to get real. I need to get down to earth. I need to eat some humble pie. If you are still reading and wondering where this is all going, then you are not alone. So am I. What next for my blog? What next for my writing? And most importantly, what next for my ego?

Watch this space.......