Times change, seasons change, people change. Even if nothing seems to be changing, change is still happening – subtle, slow, underground shifting of the landscape of our lives. This is so hard to remember when life is locked up in the icy cold of winter. It is so much easier to remember when the snow is melting.
This winter has been hard, hard in a lot of ways. I worked hard, battled and lost my ADA reasonable accommodation request, took a forced leave of absence from work with associated financial stress, was sick over a month of the season, and had my one year head injury anniversary. Out of all of it, the most difficult was the big question mark that has been my life for the past year – where am I going, what am I doing, will I heal?
The breaking of below-zero temperatures, the delicate shifting that hints that spring is not too far away, has led to a shift in my spirit. In retrospect (always in retrospect), the winter has been a time of rest and healing. Sharing a three week flu virus with Mary created peace between us and laid the foundation for a fun and loving year. Eight weeks of unpaid medical leave allowed me to sleep, and sleep, and sleep some more – rest my body had been craving for months but my mind and plans and ideas had denied. My injury anniversary so distressing because of the reality of the length of my injury, but forcing me to acknowledge that something had changed, that my life path has shifted and needs to be created, written anew.
Thankfully, my mind has continued to return. Although I can’t necessarily put my finger on what has changed, what is changing, I do feel more like myself. More like an independent entity that no longer needs a caregiver, but a partner and family and friends. More like an individual, who remembers her beliefs and wants and feelings. More like a living being, a tree who might lose a limb or bark or roots, but continues to push outward, upward, to grow.