A Free Day

I have an entire day void of plans ahead of me–it is an unexpected blank. For many people this is quite a thrill. For me, it’s a dilemma–for I am the queen of boredom these days, and try to book 1-2 activities a day (either meeting a friend and/or an errand to run). Deciding things on spur of the moment is not a strength of mine either and so I sit here a bit perplexed and overwhelmed at the giant shadow of a day before me.

What do I do? What will I do for the next few hours? What do I feel like doing? What will I need to do? I am not sure–these days I don’t even pick what food I eat (despite my previous tendency to be VERY demanding of meal choices–my husband is in heaven as he solely picks and chooses meals for the first time in years).

The entire day is a blank page, and that is quite intimidating. I don’t know how to explain it, but that’s the way it is. Just to give you a picture of the situation–it’s after noon, I’m in my pajamas, on the couch “watching” (because I’m not really watching due to my lack of multi-tasking capabilities) James Bond on the television with the dogs, and I have not yet brushed my teeth.  Yes, it’s an ugly scene!

I know I’ve got to get myself out of the house.

I already made a call to my mother. I told my parents about this site by email the other day, so that they can keep up with my progress here–apparently, it is causing my father a great amount of concern! I didn’t mean that to be the outcome, I really thought that this page might be a source of peace to them–their daughter is writing, thinking, and pushing herself to recuperate. Sure, I’ve got short term memory problems, and I can’t write fiction yet, and reading fiction is a task, but how lucky am I to do this much? But then again, we are all impatient people and the reality is that it’s been less than a month since my stroke.

I am, in fact, making remarkable progress. And I am doing a remarkable job hiding my deficits from the world in day to day contact–perhaps it is here in my writing that I reveal all. It never dawned on me that I am such a natural at covering up my weaknesses even to my own parents but it seems I do.

This is how important my writing is to me–and I’m discovering more life lessons as I navigate this stroke and regain much of my cognitive abilities. The first few days, my life was a numb blank–my husband kids that I was quite cooperative! But now I’m regaining my feisty self, and fighting to learn from all of this. Who else suffers a stroke at the age of 33? Not many people, and so I have the chance to learn remarkable things from this–all the more so because I am so lucky to have not been felled.

These days, I live “in the now,” because I have a hard time remembering and not enough energy to invest in the future. It’s a remarkable feat, one which I have largely ignored my entire life. My sense of “now” is expanding–from the fifteen minute span of my first few days (I couldn’t really remember fifteen minutes previous to me, and I couldn’t plan more than fifteen minutes ahead) to a greater span of time. But it is a delicious lesson and I hope to keep this investment in the “now” as I heal.

And my writing–yes, how incredibly important it is to me.

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9 Comments

Filed under Life, The Stroke, Writing

9 responses to “A Free Day

  1. Eric

    I’ve refrained from writing too much – being too male – trying to say or do something to “fix” it – cause that’s what guys do…
    It occurs to me that there’s an opportunity as I sit here in Starbucks in downtown Toronto accessing the free wi-fi provided by our hydro company – to say something that neither fixes it nor provides any overt direction – just to babble I guess.
    One – It occurred to me that perhaps you shouldn’t “hide” anything from yourself or anyone else. You’re hiding that which can’t be seen, can only be felt. Talk about something to wrap your mind around… Your parents are going to worry about whether they know about this or not – they love you, its their job (hell, I worry about you and we’ve not even met in person – yet)…

    Two – I think you would find a great many people who study Buddhism and Zen in particular to be, in some kind of way, envious of you. Not only are you living in the now, but you have to. Not clinging to anything, just taking it as it comes and letting it go as it passes – I (and countless others) have spent years sitting on our asses just waiting for this to happen. No consolation – not meant to be, really – but a different point of view, I guess…

    Three – I use the same grid Moleskine every day as my notebook at work. I have the iBook to do my actual “work” but I plan my work using the Moleskine. Far more interesting than a plain, boring notebook… 🙂

  2. Hello Eric–all good suggestions! But I’m getting to be an old dog, and this old dog is really good at hiding faults and putting up a good front! So we’ll see. For now, they’ll have to read this blog–thank goodness that at least my writing is honest, eh? Some of my most valuable relationships in life are ones I met via the internet (where all communication is via writing), it’s no wonder now!

    Yes, I do value this whole “in the moment” lesson I’m experiencing–I’m realizing it’s a total gift! Even though “the package” is not so nice.

    Yay moleskine!

  3. Jade…..as you write this post, I am sensing what I call a spiritual awaking…a repriortizing…living in the moment to its fullest. Knowing who you are, not the person you were yesterday for that person is no longer or the person that might be tomorrow for tomorrow has not arrived, but to know who I am (who you are) now is what is important. Yes it is a gift to be lived in the moment.

    You are not only healing, you are getting better.

  4. Jade, how did the day end up unfolding?

    I think you’re amazing, the way you’re moving ahead, and pushing yourself. It truly is remarkable.

    p.s. I know what a task it is for you to be reading fiction right now and I can’t tell you enough how much it meant to me that you took the time to read my story. Thank you again. I’m thrilled that you liked it.

  5. Hi Nova–thank you and you’re welcome! Yes, it took me awhile to get through your story and I have a feeling that I did not truly “get” all of it but it is wonderful–I just love the opening lines.

    As for my day–I ended up bursting out of the house mid-afternoon and wandering through town aimlessly (but a pleasant aimlessness). At least I got out there!

  6. I admire how you are responding to this enormous challenge. It’s clear from this post that you have decided to make the absolute best of what has happened. You have a fabulous attitude and that’s going to help you recover, quickly and completely.

    Love the meditation on living in the moment. This is such a blessing. While I’m sorry about the events that sparked it, I am happy for you that you’re getting to have these insights.

    Keep up the great work…

  7. Randa

    So, I agree with Eric about the zen stuff. I am doing zen very lightly, mostly by trying to live as much in the moment as I possibly can. I think you will find living in the now and your ability to do so helps your writing. I can’t wait to see what turns up.

  8. mel

    Yay, you. Enjoy your moments, you will fill that moleskine in time (that quadrille rule is awesome, btw). I agree that living in the now will help your writing, and your healing.

  9. Randa: amazing how the “zen stuff” really does wonders for writing. I, like you, am looking forward to revisiting myself as a writer when I am fully recuperated and writing again.

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