Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Today, July 26, 2011, marks 5 years since my brain surgery and resulting complications. Every year on this day, more so than on my birthday or New Years, I reflect on the dynamics of my life, my accomplishments, and my goals. Five years ago, in the months following my surgery, no one could predict whether I would regain my basic human functions, let alone my dignity or my spirit. I progressed from being tube-fed in a hospital, confined to a wheelchair, to participating in a physical education class 8 hours per week, working full-time, and, yes, eating whatever I want! These years have been about improving my physical abilities, modifying my career, and building up my stamina. In essence, the last five years have been about ME. Even writing my book, When Life Throws You Lemons...Make Cranberry Juice!, was cathartic for me. After it was published, I realized the effect that sharing my story had on many people. I began giving presentations to share my story. This helped me promote my book, rebuild my speaking skills, and gain confidence.

On this anniversary, I am shifting my focus outward. Inspiring others to work hard to overcome their own tragedy is now a primary goal of my presentations, my blog, and my tweets. Setting short and long-term goals is an important tool to being productive. However, there are daily events/feelings/moods that can get in the way of achieving those goals.

Have you had one of those days recently when you are in a funky mood for no apparent reason? I have! Bouts of sadness can certainly interfere with your productivity. In a previous post, I talked about relieving a funky mood by having a change of scenery. An internal change of scenery. How do you do this? One great way is to use humor. Long before Harry Potter fought off bogarts by imagining them to be ridiculous, Marcia Brady imagined her driving tester to be wearing his underwear! One way to lift sadness from your heart is to imagine the source of your troubles in a preposterous circumstance. The other day, a honking tailgater was the source of my frustration. Before this “gentleman” completely upset my mood, I suggested to my son that instead of showing this guy a certain finger, what if I held up a sign that said, “You’re cute!” I didn’t actually do that, but the thought made us both laugh!

The next time life gets you down, please try imagining a completely silly twist to the situation. My bet is that it will make you laughand feel better!

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