We all strive to achieve something right? Some of us are more driven than others. Some may be driven by a commitment to service, financial gains or the pursuit of a passion. Something drives each of us and from that we gain relevance, we feel relevant. Our achievements guide our next steps and keep the drive alive. They also tell us how we are impacting the world. We see and feel the difference we are making in our lives and in the lives of others. When we take a step back and are able to reflect on our achievements it feels damn good. We feel a little taller, a little smarter, everything is just right with the world for that moment. But, what happens when you stop feeling relevant? When life hits you with a pause button and leaves you hanging and doesn’t let you know when you might be able to hit that play button again. What happens?

I’ll tell you what happens, you feel lost. What am I doing? What impact am I making? The longer it takes for the answers to come the more of a toll it takes on that drive. How can I sustain my drive if I don’t feel relevant? I don’t know. That is my dilemma. How do I find relevance in this sloth like recovery from this brain injury? I don’t know. I’m not writing this because I want someone to tell me that I am relevant. I’m writing because this is truly my dilemma. How do I find relevance in the monotony of daily medical appointments? How do I find relevance in resting and healing my brain? These things are absolutely important to my health and recovery but the progress at this point isn’t significant enough for me to see it. I want to see it and celebrate it so that it might help fuel that fire. That is not happening so what do I do? I have no idea. I’m stuck on pause. I guess I’ll just write my way out of it…


5 thoughts on “Relevance

  1. I’m so glad you’re writing it out. That’s just depression talking as frank would say.

    The wise words of two people one day started getting my wheels changing.. I did not want to do therapy or take meds because I wanted the old person to come through. The one with loads of energy who could crash at any time. But they said when someone is high only that person likes it and no one else does. The balance is what is key. Different situations. But it took me about a decade to feel stable and lots of work when many times it felt like there was nothing in sight. The depression would be so terrible at times that I did feel irrelevant and sometimes it still lingers just waiting to come out.

    Even though your brain is semi-crazy right now and juggled up a bit, the sanity is hiding out right next to misinformed. Your accident happened but that doesn’t make your life stuck. It’s just a fucked up bump in the road that flattened your tires and is just taking much longer than you expected the dealership to fix. Your life is so relevant in so many ways. The ultimate progress doesn’t need to be seen everyday or felt. You just have to believe it’s happening. If anything, I see it as its only been 10 months.


  2. What a challenging road. I really feel for what you’re going through, I can’t imagine. I would think feeling the need for a sense of accomplishment and purpose, though incredibly frustrating, is a good sign. It’s the real you wanting to express herself and contribute to the world, and to her own growth and wellbeing. Maybe experiment with some new ways of doing that? You’re probably already doing some of this and some of it might not work for you, but I found a few ideas online. Maybe something here might pique your interest?

    • Connect with an old friend with whom you’ve lost touch. Try sending a card or letter to him or her via old fashioned mail.

    • Make Calls. In your busy life, you might not take the time to call people to just chat. When you start to get lonely during your recovery, call family members or friends who you do not get to speak with very often. Let them tell you their stories and help them get over their loneliness while they help you with yours.

    • E-mail thank you notes to all the websites you found especially helpful (hint, hint!)…it makes all the hard work worth it!

    • Anytime you reach out to help someone else in need, you will feel less lonely and less depressed. Volunteer with an organization that allows you to call and talk to people who are lonely, such as people in nursing homes or people confined to their house. Some are:

    • Sit out on your deck or porch for awhile each day and get some fresh air and sunshine. The Vitamin D from the sun will help get your endorphins flowing.

    • Try your hand at sketching or drawing. It doesn’t require any talent, just doodle whatever you like and explore.

    • Learn to meditate and practice, practice, practice. Meditation is great for reducing stress and producing an overall feeling of calm and well-being, all of which contributes to healing.

    • Take this time to put all those old pictures in an album, or to turn your digital prints into real photos. Consider learning how to scrapbook.

    • Research and plan ahead for your next vacation. Visualize something fun to look forward to, even if it’s a dream vacation for a few years down the line.

    • Become an expert on a specific subject: rent documentaries, read books, and use Google Scholar to do free online research on a certain subject. Ancient Greece? Bird watching? History of golf? Research and learn all about whatever interests you.

    • Sort out the pile of mail, bills, catalogs etc.,that has been piling up on kitchen counter since before your surgery.

    • Learn about nutrition and experiment in the kitchen. There are lots of simple, nourishing things to be made. Feeding your brain and body the best will help heal better and faster.

    • Learn to write left handed (or right handed, if you’re a lefty) to exercise a new part of your brain.

    • Inventory all the stuff you want to get rid of around the house and garage, and sell it on eBay or Craigslist.

    • Get started on that novel you’ve always wanted to write.

    • Make a Honey-do (or handyman) list for all those odd jobs that need to get done around the house.

    • Help build the online encyclopedia Wikipedia by editing or starting any topic where you have expertise.

    • Learn origami and create beautiful origami gift boxes or figures.

    • Learn calligraphy and make your handwritten notes gorgeous! This is especially valuable if you have horrible handwriting like mine…

    • Create a list of recipes that are easy to prepare that you can make once you’re up and around but still recovering

    • Learn a new language using Rosetta Stone. Many libraries carry the Rosetta Stone program. Or, learn sign language.

    • Every day write a short thank you (or love note) to the person who is caring for you and put it in the same place for them to find each day.

    • Write thank you notes to everyone in the hospital who was helpful to you. Go on the hospital’s social media sites and comment on the positive experiences you had.

    • Help a homeless animal find a home by sharing their stories and pictures from rescue groups on Facebook. Start here.

    • Pray in your own way. Research new prayers and devotionals.

    • If you don’t yet have a cause that you’re passionate about, research one online (start here) and make a plan to start donating your time and energy to something you care about once you can get around.

    • Be an excellent host or hostess. Send out invitations to your friends and family, schedule visits, greet your visitors enthusiastically even when you’re in pain, and encourage them to talk about themselves and their lives. It will go a long way to help take your mind off your situation, and will make it a pleasant visit all around.

    • There are a number of games that you can play by yourself. Get out a deck of cards and play solitaire.

    • If you have a stack of books you’ve always wanted to read, dig in. When you are recovering, your eyes might not always feel up to reading. Get some books on CD and let someone else do the reading for you while you relax.

    • If you have a budget book that often goes untouched, grab a calculator and crunch some numbers. You do not often get a chance to sit down and work on such things, after all. This is one that might not seem like fun, but with so many things out of your control during your recovery, this is one area you can start getting better today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow…that is quite the list! You’re right some I have tried, some I can’t yet try but others I had not thought about! Thank you for your very thoughtful list. I will be sure to put a couple of these new ideas to practice.


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