Updated: Aug 12, 2020
"Experience will give you the Strength to be yourself."
This is one of my all time favorite Tea bag quotes. I got it about 2 weeks ago as I was packing our family up to go camping for a week. I reflected on its meaning as we were setting up camp in the middle of the tropical storm deluge!
I have always been a really obsessively organized, planner and doer. I have always planned menus a week ahead so that I could shop accordingly and then have meals ready to go each day of the week. Dinner was always on the table at 6 and leftovers packed up for lunches the night before. Whether or not this is a good way to function on a daily basis is debatable... ButI liked It. (probably because it gave me a sense of control). Then, about two months after brain Surgery I went into the grocery store for the first time by myself while Mike and the kids went to buy crickets next door at Petco. I had a list (of sorts) but I was Shocked to find out how useless it was. I wandered around the store for 45 minutes trying to decide if I should cry or laugh. Standing in front of the seafood bar, I actually thought of calling my Mom to see if she could help me. I had NO idea how to figure out what I needed to buy or where to find it. When Mike picked me up I had exactly 3 items in the bag- 7 if you count the hotdog buns individually. This was a lesson for us. It was true what they said, My brain did not work the way it used to. My ability to focus in such a stimulating environment was lacking and I was scared because this was NOT ME
This presented itself in a lot of ways over the next year of healing, but meals, meal planning and shopping was where I was reminded of this new reality on a daily basis! Fast forward two years to last week when
we woke up in our tent Dry, and cozy, with everything we needed for that day's Breakfast, Lunch and dinner for Mike and the Kids and for my alternative meals as well. I did wake up and think to myself, "Well then, .I CAN still set up a nice home anywhere! Even in the middle of the woods, Even in a tropical storm". I had written lists, planned two sets of menus for a week, grocery shopped, and purchased equipment for camping safely during a pandemic. Appreciating this really does give me the experience and strength to be myself. I will still take my doctor's recommendation and go to see the occupational therapist for helpful tools and strategies, but I know who I am and whether I am setting up a house, learning a new job, or planning a birthday party, I CAN do it. That Day in the grocery store is past and I have come so far from that place next to the frozen Seafood. We may not really know what we can do until we try it. So, I say Dream Big" It doesn't have to be Big to anyone else, Just dream Big for you then let the dreams grow with your experience and strength.