February 21, 2017, Tuesday

Today was the first day Chris drove – alone. We were both equally nervous. There are so many unknown variables in driving and they depend on the ability to react. He called me about 20 mins into the trip, the adrenaline rushing through my ears kept me from hearing him clearly the first time. He got a flat tire on the trailer and stopped to get it fixed. Whew.

He did say it freaked him out a bit at first, unable to discern what exactly was happening. However, he handled it and that is really all that matters…

“How do you think you are doing?”

I’ve asked Chris this twice and the answers I got were very different and unexpected. At first he felt he was 90%. I was surprised, we were still in the hospital and I didn’t see him operating at what I would call 90%.

A few weeks later when I could see him doing so much better he felt he was at 70%. I questioned him on this…he said what he measured against was different.

The first time he was measuring against how bad it could’ve been…

We were still in the hospital and engaging with others on the unit who had a stroke also. Even the staff joked with him that he did not belong there, “look at that guy pretending to be a patient.”
The second time he was measuring against how good he used to be…
Being on the job and holding himself up to his pre-stroke standard made him question and re-evaluate; finding himself falling short of expectations that he had no business having.
This is so poignant in life, not just recovery, right?
That what we measure ourselves against can give us different perceptions of ourselves. Often we measure ourselves against our goals. Which is really setting us up for failure, right? Because we are measuring how far we fall short of those goals. If we measure ourselves against our starting point we would be measuring our progress!
These are little mind games our ego plays with us to tell ourselves a story. If we want to be the victim of our story we will measure our weakness, deficits and shortcomings. If we want to be the victor of our story we will measure our strength, accomplishments and achievements! That’s it. There’s no other secret to anything! Its all in your perspective. There is no ‘truth’. No ONE-way to look at it. The thing is just a thing until you assign it a value, so why not color it bright?
It’s a little like “are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person?” I’ve had a hard time answering that question, because for me it depends on what stage of life the glass was in. If it had been full and I drank half, the glass is now half empty. If it had been empty and I filled it half way, then the glass is now half full.
The journey of life is about marking our progress, our evolution, our ascension. Its not about marking our decline. (Remember progress is not linear!) When we look at ourselves it’s imperative that we look with the eyes that will show us the picture that will inspire us, not defeat us.
How do YOU think you are doing?

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