Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Slice of Life

When my doctor  told me I'd have to take 6 weeks off school due to my never-ending concussion, I was not happy.  (understatement) But once I'd been home for a few days, I decided I should use my time well.  There was little I could do as much of my life is consumed by "brainwork", so I decided to spend some time doing spring cleaning and finding some new hobbies--planting some things, learning some crafts, etc. I decided that regardless of how unpleasant it was to stay home, at least I'd have a clean house and I'd have learned some new crafts! I was determined to do all of those things I always meant to do if only I had the time. 

Fast forward a few months. I went into our guest bedroom and I noticed a pile of odds and ends in the corner.  Things I was meaning to donate or put away or toss.  I looked around the house and noticed other little piles waiting to be dealt with.  I realized that these were all remnants of my concussion days.  Those first weeks of time off work. Those weeks of figuring out who I could be without doing the things I love most.

Well, it is now October, 3 months from when the concussion restrictions were lifted.  And, guess what? I still haven't taken care of that pile and my guest room closet is a little bit of a mess again.  The minute I had restrictions lifted, I went back to my "regular" life.

And, the tomatoes I planted?  Well, you can see in the photo above how those turned out...I pretty much forgot about them the minute I was able to get back to my life of reading, writing, exercise, work, thinking.

I'm always looking for the big lessons in life and it seems that there is something to learn from all of this.  My thinking is that the lesson is about accepting the fact that I am who I am. I had some time to live my life without those "brainwork" things that I love most.  I tried some new things, most of which I haven't held onto.  Because really, when given the choice between cleaning and reading, I choose reading. When given the choice between watering tomatoes and almost anything else, I choose almost anything else.  At some point, I imagine the piles will get to me enough that I choose to take care of them before I choose to sit down and read a book.  But, not today.  

 If there are a few extra piles around the house, chances are I found something to do that was more worthwhile than dealing with them.  Rather than looking at the dead tomato plants or the pile on the floor and beating myself up about not doing all that I have decided "I should", my concussion weeks taught me  that I am the one who gets to choose how to spend my time.  And that alone is a gift, something to celebrate.  I realized that I have taken that for granted all of my life. 


  1. I swear, it is scary how similar we are sometimes. I would show you a photo of my dead tomato plant except it was so ugly that Chris made me dig it up and put it in the trash. The piles are in various spots around my house too. Love that you are embracing who you are - I need to do a better job of that.

  2. Anonymous11:28 AM

    I love how you choose to celebrate who you are rather than bemoan who you aren't. And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with piles around the house waiting until the day I'd rather deal with them over reading (not anytime soon). Now I should go home and thank my husband for keeping the tomato plants (and the whole entire garden) alive and canned/frozen for winter enjoyment. If it were up to me, the plants wouldn't make it, but plants thrive under his care. I do enjoy eating them!

  3. You learned a lot about yourself. While I feel badly that your tomatoes have died and your piles are still there, I am delighted that the real Franki is back!

  4. Best quote for a t-shirt: " Because really, when given the choice between cleaning and reading, I choose reading."

  5. Every time I think about the ironing and needlepointing I could've done during my brain rest I feel bad. We need to remember to take it easy on ourselves, Franki!

    Glad your restrictions are being lifted. Hope your migraines are doing better.

  6. Your life lesson is great, "I am the one who gets to choose how to spend my time." That is so empowering. I am no gardener or house cleaner, either. The picture could have come from my own backyard. Thanks for sharing your lesson with us. Too bad it takes a tough event such as a concussion (for me, it was major back surgery.) to make us learn those important lessons. I learned to slow down. I used to be someone who had to do everything for everybody. My injury taught me to take time for myself and to slow down and enjoy life.

  7. What a powerful ending to your slice, Franki. Yes, we get to chose how to spend our time. This is a truth that is easy to forget. Thanks for taking the time to write the story and push to a big idea. I'm happy to be slicing with you.

  8. We do choose how we spend our time. This was helpful to read tonight after a long day and I should chose to go to bed earlier than later tonight.

  9. The piles . . . every fall I have to accept the fact that I didn't conquer all of them during the summer and that they will wait patiently for my attention until another summer. I loved your words about accepting the fact that I am who I am!


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