Louise Mathewson - Author & Poet

"A gem is not polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials." Proverb

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Why I Don't Make Resolutions with a Brain Injury

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 7:45 PM

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We are a month into a new year!  I have to confess I made NO resolutions for the new year. Kind of counter-cultural, but I don't celebrate New Year's like the rest of the U.S.   I didn't before my brain was injured, that's another story, but I sure don't now!!   I know as a brain injured person, that conditions inside my brain can change in a moment, and I refuse to set myself up for failure.  I've had enough of that failure stuff with a changed brain.  


Now I'll tell you the story of why I don't make resolutions.


Years ago before my brain injury, early one January, I met a woman from Turkey.  She told our gathering that in Turkey they don't make resolutions at the start of a new year.  Instead, they make wishes for themselves.  


Wow, I thought!  I let the idea of wishes seep down into my heart and wondered what I might wish for myself and how that might feel.  :)   I thought of the possibiility of a life free from disappointment in myself for failing to live up to my resolves.  I thought of the possibility of a life released from shame and failure.   I thought of the possibility of a life where I wished good things for myself, without all the performance junk, which I had lots of growing up as a first child in a dysfunctional family.   I saw that life could be new, free, wonder-full!!


We all know stories of broken resolutions, letting ourselves down, shame, guilt, disappointment, feeling like we've failed or worse, ARE a failure.   Wishing reminds me of making a wish over a birthday cake!   Can you imagine making a wish for yourself, like you would a good friend?!!    Boy, I like the image of a cake with candles for wishes a lot better than broken resolutions, broken promises to self, and a broken heart.   


Now, years later, I know that resolving to do anything when I have a brain injury with the resulting mood ups and downs, tired days, and my Chief Executive Officer in semi-retirement, puts pressure on me and I start the slippery slide downhill into a pit of shame.  Oh, a yucky slide, for sure!!!    


Even though I have some memory issues with my brain injury, I didn't forget the experience of hearing the Turkish woman's story of her country's new year.   And now it is mine!!   


I wish three things for myelf this year:  freedom from housework, more writing time, and freedom from my fears about money.   :D


Ah, a New Year!!   Now I look forward to it!   What do you wish for yourself in this new year?

Categories: TBI, Stimulation

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