Monday, October 25, 2010

Progress Markers

Though I still struggle with "hiccups" in my recovery, there still is wonderful progress. Sometimes it can seem silly to me at some of the things I get excited about, but it is nice to get excited about some things. Here are a few of the progress markers I experienced this past week:
Leaving a message for a friend, I told her to call me, but I didn't tell her what it was about. She called the next morning and asked me why I called. I didn't write it down, but I was able to remember the reason for my call. PROGRESS!

Sudoku puzzles have been a fave of mine, but also have been part of my recovery. I completed four different levels of puzzles one morning, easy to hard. PROGRESS!

Crossword puzzles are another brain exercise for me. The other day I re-opened a crossword puzzle book and was able to answer some of the questions I hadn't been able to answer before. PROGRESS!

My car driving (and remembering how to get to places), re-learning to ride my bicycle and seeing continued PROGRESS in that area, and feeling mentally stronger are incredible PROGRESS markers. I thank God for all He has done, as well as the strength and courage that He gives me to keep moving forward.

I am slower in many areas, but I guess that isn't so bad, at least I am moving forward.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What is the Gauge for Success?

From the day I became aware of my need for recovery from a brain injury, one of my main thoughts was getting back to my work at Lakeside Church. Would getting back to my work be the gauge for my success in my recovery?

When my brain began remembering things again - especially people's names -- was that the gauge for my success in my recovery?

When I began driving an automobile again (with utter enjoyment), was that the gauge for my success in my recovery?

When I began to desire to be back on a bicycle again, when I had the opportunity to learn to ride a tandem bicycle and my riding partner and I completed a 65 mile ride that was purely awesome! Was the tandem bicycle riding the gauge for my success in my recovery?

I have now completed three "solo" rides of various mileage (11 miles being the furthest post-injury) and I have three rides set on my calendar: is bicycle riding "solo" my gauge for success in my recovery?

The situations listed above I think have often been seen as points of success for me in my recovery: by me, as well as by others. But are they?

Not being able to return to my work at Lakeside Church did not happen, so does that mean recovery has not been successful? No, it has meant a new direction of ministry for me.

I do believe each of those things (and the many other things) I have experienced are gauges for something, but I am not sure if it is success. I have been thinking about this a lot and I think I have come up with my answer:

I think these things are gauges of PROGRESS and PROGRESS IS SUCCESS!

Progress may seem really big (like riding a bicycle again, like driving a car again, and like remembering more things), but they each have taken steps to get there. Progress is a lifelong process. We each, injury or not, make progress each day. We need to celebrate the progress and the steps that we successfully take.

Thanks to you all who have celebrated these steps of progress with me. You help keep me going, because sometimes the days are hard. I celebrate you too!