Sunday, July 31, 2005

Stress and Summer

It's been a bit quiet on the homefront lately. My agent is back from vacation tomorrow. I'm looking forward to coming up with our game plan.

Someday, I promise, I will finish the post I started a few months back about my head injury. The most frustrating aspect is that I need to ask others to tell me what happened. I just don't remember. It's like a friend telling you about something that happened to them. You know the facts because you've heard the story, but you don't have a personal emotional connection to the event. I have a vague awareness of things, but it feels like someone else's history. I went back and looked at some of my old journal entries and they're gibberish. Funny, I thought I was recording such profound thoughts at the time!

I'm very grateful for the progress I've made and for the most part, I really do feel like I can function at 100% again. It was a year ago that I had my major relapse and had to start recovering from scratch. The difference I notice pre-injury and post-injury is my ability to adapt. If I get in a situation that I'm not prepared for, I can tell when I'm slipping back into that state of fog and disorientation. My thoughts and emotions get all jumbled up and I have to retreat to the silence and sanctuary of my home (or that of a trusted friend) to restablize. Generally, this means a lot of sleep. Which means I'm not getting done the things I want to get done, which stresses me out. So I'm learning to expect less of myself, kind of a stop and smell the roses or fall into the thorns proposition. It's a frightening feeling to know that certain triggers can render me helpless, but I'm grateful that those episodes are becoming more rare. Many thanks to the friends whose truthful words and loving companionship bring healing to my spirit and body.

Last summer I was off work. Other than trips to my neurologist, physical therapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, opthalmologist and neuropsychologist, I'm not sure what I did to fill up my days. For the last couple of years, I've wanted to be a visitor in my hometown...check out all the places that visitors go, that sort of thing. Two years ago I was finishing my book and I don't think I even saw the sun! Last year, I had time, but not the health. So this is my year.

For starters, I've been golfing. My dad owns a driving range and I like the idea of golfing as a way to connect with him. He lives in Minnesota, so mostly it's me out hitting balls or playing a round, and calling him for pointers. I recruited a friend of mine to play with me this summer and our goal is to try every course in GR at least once. We've been at it for 3 weeks already and in addition to the exercise, it's nice to see my score come down a bit. The increased frequency has convinced me that I can invest in a few things on my wishlist. I replaced the golf bag I ran over a few years ago (oops!) and finally bought a pair of real golf shoes. All I need is a Sonic Boom and I'm ready to go pro!

My favorite sport of all is volleyball. In my 20s, I had a great group of friends whose play really improved my own. I have many fond memories of Sundays grilling out and watching the Packers, and then hitting a park of play on the sand court. Or Saturdays that we'd rent out a sand court and play til midnight, utterly exhausted. That was a sweet season of life.

I've played in various placed around GR, but haven't been able to find a good sand league. The great news is that a few weeks ago I was invited to play on Tuesday nights. It's not league but it's sand. The first week we played threes for a couple hours and last week we played quads in the rain. Toward the end it was like playing with a ten pound bowling ball! I was exhausted and sore the next day, but it was a good hurt. I hope we continue to play year-round because there's no better exercise for me. If you're local and looking for competitive play, send me an email and I'll let you know how to join us.

In addition to my grand plans for physical exercise, I've been challenging myself to meet new people. I'm such a homebody and would probably be perfectly happy to never leave my house, but God doesn't call us to live solitary lives. We're designed for community so I need to make myself available. As I write this, I'm sitting at Barnes and Noble instead of my office at home.

I was actually here last night with some friends playing Settlers of Catan. It's my favorite board game. Strategy like Risk, but more about building up cities than world domination. The Cities & Knights expansion pack is even better. I'm looking for fellow fans, so if you're a player (or want to learn), let me know and we can set up a game night.

The other priority I've made of late is visiting other local churches. I love my home church and I'm not looking to change church membership. It's been a long season of struggle with my health and now with my book. I feel a bit lost and off track and am looking for direction. God promises me in the book of James that if I draw near to Him, He will draw near to me. I know, from looking at the fourteen years of faith in Him, that this is true. The last 18 months have been hard because He has been hard to find. It's been a winnowing season as friendships and priorities have changed. I want to be available to Him, but need a renewed sense of vision. A friend and I have been visiting other churches (in addition to our own) as a way of drawing near to God. For the last few weeks we've attended a church that is doing a series on connecting: with God, with others, with family, with friends, etc. It's been hitting home. It would be nice to connect with some of the people there, but the teaching makes the trips valuable alone.

And now...time to response to the 100 or so emails in my box...

1 comment:

jagurundi said...

How wonderful a person you must be, to have written so honestly of yourself. The tempo and general tone of your life is inspiring as well as humbling. It creates an "I would be honored to call you a friend" feeling. Thank you.