Monday, November 20, 2017

What are You Thankful For?

"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." - Henry Van Dyke

Another Thanksgiving is upon us and it is a time to reflect upon your life and remember the strides that you have made in this previous year. People gather together and share a feast together.

Remember how blessed each one of us is to have family and friends to surround us. Many people see Thanksgiving as their favorite holiday because people do not get distracted by gifts. The kids beg to differ at this point but as they mature they will grow to appreciate what it means to truly give thanks. Everyone loves gifts but it is truly special to be able to truly give thanks for all that you have been given. Many argue that the maturity that it takes to truly appreciate all that you have been given is the greatest gift of all. It is my wish for all that you come to a place where you are wholeheartedly able to give thanks for all of the blessings in your life. As we get older it is that much more important to remember to give thanks. One must try to never get too consumed with insignificant aspects of life. The holiday season is about love and reflection.

I am including a picture from a dinner that I went to this previous weekend. I have stuck with my goal of continuing to do things even as the weather changes. I have been meeting more people and I am trying to continue to go out with people even in the colder months. Many of my friends go on short getaways at this time of year, but I prefer to be a homebody. There is always a nice crowd of locals following the bands that I enjoy. I have gotten to know the spouses of the members of the bands and they have provided me a great option as one of the bands is always at a place that I frequent. I am preparing for a lovely Thanksgiving at my brother’s house as he hosts it every year. I would love to hear what you have planned for this Thanksgiving.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I encourage you to give thanks for everything that you have been granted in this life.

Enjoy your friends and family and have a wonderful holiday! I thank you very much for reading and I would be very interested in reading any feedback that you have.

Noelle


Friday, November 17, 2017

It's Up to You to Make Life Worth Living

“The ladder of success is best climbed 
by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.”
 - Ayn Rand


I think a great deal about where my life is going. I believe that anyone who has rebounded from a tragic life event eventually gets to the point where they consider what the next step is for them. I recently met a friend for dinner and a comedy show and we discussed where life is leading and the possibilities for each one of us. People have their own views towards life and I love to hear about them. There are always differing ideas about how to proceed forward. I would love to hear who else has found themselves pondering about the future. 

At the end of the day I am so glad that I have a future to ponder. I need to remind myself of this whenever I feel myself begin to get anxious about my where my life is going. I am a member of various support groups and all of the members try to be supportive and offer advice. I love to hear people’s opinions and I like to research how other brain injury survivors have made a life for themselves. I still go to chamber of commerce meetings to network and hear from others how their stories have gone. This life is a long road and we need to figure out how we can create a life worth living for ourselves.

Each one of us needs to try to network and find out what occupation we are best suited for. Every day is a gift and every day is an opportunity. It is my wish for all of you that you do not waist any days. Every day is a day to get in better touch with you. Many people have found incredible meaning in volunteering. It is my wish for all to find meaning and purpose in how they live their lives. There are numerous different opportunities one just has to be open to seek them. Networking with as many people as you can is always beneficial. I am going to share who it is that I am and the things that are important to me.

As you know I am a huge advocate of networking with many people. I included a picture of me from when I was at a friends house and we were discussing each other’s futures. We need to make right here and right now of utmost importance. All each one of us has is right here and right now. We each need to think about how we can go through our lives while ensuring that we have purpose. I thank you very much for reading and I would love to hear who you go to for advice. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Experience Life and All Its Treasures

Every season has its treasures. The late fall is striper season and they are starting to run! Try to take part in every season’s treasures!

This weekend I was near the beach locally and I saw an incredible amount of fishing boats that were just off shore in the ocean. There was clearly a great deal of activity under the water as everyone seemed to be fishing. I have become quite fond of fishing and I think that I will go out on the next decent weather day. I have included a picture that I captured of the vast collection of boats just off shore. I typically do not go fishing in the ocean; rather I go out on the rivers. I think that all people can get enjoyment from being out in the water and going fishing. There is an incredible serenity that allows you to step away from your daily routines and enjoy the outdoors and the excitement of a wholesome activity. I am already planning a trip and I am enthusiastic that fishing has become a great activity that I can regularly take part in. I share my stories with the elderly patients that I visit at our facilities; I get to see the twinkles in their eyes and truly wish that they could take part. You never know, I share with their families’ maybe they will help to arrange a day of fishing for their loved one.



I think that having something to look forward to is incredible especially when you are in a facility. Those that are injured keep pushing forward in their recoveries to the day when they get out and can return to their typical activities. 

The elderly often reminisce and tell stories about their days fishing and how enjoyable it was for them. They always tell me to take advantage of the many opportunities that I have available to me. I am getting out and doing different things at the change of the seasons. I am going to try and take advantage of my public speaking skills more so this winter. I am going to a “toastmasters” meeting at one of our hospitals this week where hopefully I can network with more people who can share how they have utilized their public speaking skills and used it to their advantage.

Life is about using the resources that we have been provided and making it work for us. Networking with others who are looking to improve and/or utilize their public speaking is a fantastic outlet and I am hoping to learn many things. I would be so interested in hearing ways that you get involved with others. I will go to the “toastmasters” meeting tomorrow and I will be sure to fill you all in on my new experience. I thank you for reading and I look forward to reading any comments that you may have!

~Noelle

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Infinite Pursuit

“Sometimes you make the right decision; sometimes you make the decision right.”
- Phil McGraw

I went out of my comfort zone and I went to a meetup group on Saturday. You never know the different people that you are going to meet.

My recovery has been fantastic but the capstone is certainly my right arm. Randomly at this get together I met an occupational therapist who offered advice and was encouraging me to do different activities where my right arm was utilized. At this get together there were people of different ages and people from different walks of life.

I made a conscious decision to enjoy the environment and the people in attendance. I went to the event of the mindset that I would ensure that I would enjoy myself. I am sure that I met some new friends and now my database of people to do things with has expanded. No matter who attended the get together I know that I would have made it enjoyable.

I was of the mindset that no matter who was in attendance, I was going to ensure that I made the correct decision. You can learn about life by making decisions and witnessing how they play out. I had confidence and I would encourage all to try and gather their confidence and try something out of the ordinary.

Who would have thought that I would have met an occupational therapist who would encourage me on her day off? I am going to keep challenging myself and do things where my right arm is involved to see if I can gain more strength back in it. I would love to hear what you enjoy doing on the weekends to take up your leisure time. What are you doing to further your recovery? I try to put my memory to use in as many ways as possible. I try and remember phone numbers as often as possible. Life is about effort. Each one of us has the ability to work as hard as possible to keep looking for improvement. This is our life and only we are responsible for what comes of it. I encourage you to keep pushing and to dream big. Each one of us has the ability to want more.

When it comes to our recovery you always have to want more. I am never okay with where I am; I feel that I could always be further along. I think that we can all improve things about ourselves. People do better when we are in the pursuit of something. I encourage all survivors to be in a forever pursuit to continue improving. Get the mindset correct and keep trying to improve yourself. I would love to hear your thoughts and I thank you very much for reading.
~Noelle

Friday, November 3, 2017

A World Beyond Your Comfort Zone


“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.”
- Eckhart Tolle


A person has to desire to be in control of his/her life. I decided that I need to be more active as the weather begins to turn. I am generally uncomfortable with going to places that I am not familiar but I have decided to allow myself to be uncomfortable and make decisions not based on my fear of uncertainty; rather to open myself up to new opportunities. 

I do feel enthusiastic and energized about my new strategy for this time of year. I feel as though I haven’t missed a beat and things only get better by change. My bands that I follow will continue playing all year long so I will continue to have places to go. 

I generally hang out with my same group of friends, but I have decided to step outside of my comfort zone and join a meetup group in the area. I am going to go to a bonfire and house party this weekend where I will meet all new people. I am very comfortable meeting people so I feel as though this will be a positive experience. I may make some new friends with people who are interested in making an effort to get together. I have included a picture of me from outside the entrance to a concert that I went to recently. 

I feel as though as the holiday season is just around the corner and I am still making moves to continue visiting with various different types of people. This year is a change for me as I typically slow down a bit as the weather gets colder. 

This year I am putting on my sweaters and realizing that there is really no reason to hibernate! Certainly I am a bit nervous about going someplace new with people that I do not know. Anyone who knows anything about having a TBI knows that survivors are no strangers to uncomfortable or awkward occurrences. I have to remember this as I go forward to a new and different place this weekend. 

I have allowed myself to realize that I am capable of handling some pretty tough circumstances and I am secure in saying that I will be able to enjoy myself this weekend. I will be sure to take a picture this weekend to include with my next post. I would love to hear what you do for recreation and how you meet new people. Never be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone and to try meeting new people. We are what we are. Some people may not accept us but many people will. 

We have to give ourselves a chance at developing a meaningful social life! I would love to hear who else has tried meetup groups to meet new people. I thank you very much for reading and I encourage any comments that you may have.

~Noelle

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween: A Night for Family, Friends and Fun


"I love the spirit of Halloween and the energy that comes with it.
"
- Katherine McPhee


Another Halloween has come. It can all be in good fun as long as you realize and appreciate the day for what it is. It is a good night to get together with friends and dress up in a goofy costume.

Every year I try and appreciate Halloween for the energy of people being together. I was a cowgirl one night of the weekend and I was a “pink lady” the other night of the weekend. A person needs to realize that it can be a fun filled day of laughs and enjoyment. It is my hope that everybody can appreciate the day for what it is.

I greatly enjoy looking at the children as they come trick or treating in their costumes. It is a day where people can step out of their comfort zones and put a silly costume on.

Katherine McPhee looks at the day in a way which we should all try to. The day should be a fun filled occasion.

When I was younger the day was about trying to look glamorous, as I have gotten older I have decided to add humor to the day and not try and look particularly glamorous. I am excited to see all of the kids who will go trick or treating in my neighborhood.

I went to two Halloween parties that featured bands. I have found that music is incredibly enjoyable for me and I try to surround myself with it as often as possible. It is my hope that everybody had a great time and all enjoyed dressing up for the occasion. I would love to hear what everyone was for Halloween.

When I was a “pink lady” there were several other ladies who were dressed up to be “pink ladies” as well. Halloween is about enjoying the people that are with you. Everyone needs to make an effort to get together with people and have a good time. Life is a about making times enjoyable. We are all responsible for our own happiness. We have to make a conscious effort to make our time enjoyable.

I will include a picture from this weekend from a Halloween party that I was at. It is my hope that everyone will get out to enjoy the festivities and the fun of Halloween.

I hope that you will get to see the children dressed up in costumes it is always a wonderful tradition.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Growing Your Self-Esteem


"Your self-esteem won't come from body parts. You need to step away from the mirror every once in a while, and look for another reflection, like the one in the eyes of the people who love you and admire you." -Stacy London

I went to a beautiful wedding of my great friend who I grew up with. She and I became very close during high school when we both saw each other nearly every weekend at horse shows. She is a fantastic friend of mine and I was able to get a ride from another mutual friend who was more than happy to facilitate me getting there. I felt very blessed that I was able to be there and share in her special day. This wedding was an awesome occasion for me as I knew many different people there of many different ages. These people truly care about the whole me. I never tried to conceal my injury from them as they knew all about it from the beginning. I have several pictures from the wedding which I share with a few of the residents that I have become close with. In my heart I am truly excited and happy for my friend as she begins this new chapter of life. She is not someone who ever devalued a person because of a disability. 

I am blessed that I have many people in my life who value the person and do not only view a person as disabled or not. People have so many different characteristics that make them who they are. I have gained confidence in my body and I am proud when I stand in front of people and speak. I recently spoke for the medical school of the doctors that saved my life twelve years ago. Every year when I speak there I am able to sleep a little sounder that evening. My wish is that everyone who has sustained a brain injury can be patient and trust that they will find his/her way in time. This brain injury has taught me to be patient. It took me a great many of years before I knew where I was heading. To this day there are still moments when I am unsure, but I do know one thing; I am trying. I truly believe that everyone needs to believe in themselves and realize that you are capable of whatever you set your mind to. I believe that we can help and encourage one another along the way. I try and share my story with as many people as possible to be a positive influence. I would love to hear any thoughts that you may have and I thank you very much for reading.
~Noelle