Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

June 3, 2018

My Bag of Ways…

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 11:13 am

For some of us, there is no longer a way.  Plain and simple.  There is brain damage so awful that we cannot do many or any of the things we once did.

But for so many of us, there IS a way.  Yes, many times it is not the same way we knew.  It’s not the way we prefer.  It’s not even the easy way.

But there is a way.

Often the way is hiding behind “the old way” or “the only way” we knew.  We cannot find it because we allow ourselves to get stuck on and feel defeated by the old way and the distance between us.

I’ve been at this more than 20 years now and, in all that time, I’ve had to find new ways more than any days are countable.

Some of the new ways weren’t very pretty, mind you.  Many made me feel, at first, almost childlike in their simplicity.  Some of the new ways humbled me and embarrassed me, even.

Until I came to appreciate them.

Those ways.  Those glorious ways.

I’ve learned to embrace the ways.  However different.  However humbling.  However more difficult.  However more challenging.

As long as there are ways, I’m in the game.

And so are you.

Ways allow us to keep from falling too far behind.  They feed us with critical feelings of accomplishment and value which grow so large that they take up all the space once filled with embarrassment and, even, shame.

After I lost my career, I had to find ways to make money.  To work.  To succeed.  And I did.   I tried a lot of ways and more than I ever could have imagined.  The reward for challenging myself to embrace and to follow the new ways was an independent life, a new condo, a great relationship, the realized dream of publishing books, the ability to speak in public and so many more.  It taught me that the new ways were pretty powerful and equal to the task of improving and enriching my life.

Now I’m at it again.  I know I’ve mentioned how I’ve been dealing with this dizzy thing since before Christmas.  More specialists to come, trying to find whatever it is to fix.

In the meantime, I’ve had to dig into the bag of ways again.  Thank God, the bag is full.

Because I cannot work one of my jobs, I’m having to find new ways again.  New ways to develop skills.  New ways to accomplish work.  New ways to make money.  New ways to see my dreams come true.

At the end of the day, nobody cares how we do it.  Our embarrassment or shame is misplaced.  What matters is that we keep trying.  That we stay in the game.  That we are courageous enough to try new ways.  That we keep working the problem from every angle until we find one that we can solve, no matter what it looks like.

It may be smallish.  For example, I’m narrating my books now so they will soon be available on Audible.  For most narrators, they have the stamina to keep their voice and pitch and pace at an easy level for a long time.  Me, not so much.

With my brain injury, I tend to become flat after a short while when I read aloud.  It’s hard for me to read at all, really.  I cannot stay on the lines or follow the lines.   Not fun.  Not good stuff.

But it’s important to me.  It’s worth whatever ways I have to create.

I decided that, in order to get this done, I’m going to have to pause my narrating even after a couple paragraphs to keep my reading lively and engaged.

Not a fun way, no.  Not the easy way, not by a long shot.  It’s going to take me 73 years to read one book.  LOL

But it’s a way.  It’s a great way because it works.

I’m finding a way because I looked.  I’m making a way because I was determined to.  That’s, truly, all that matters.

My bag of ways is full.   How is yours?

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