Category Archives: Time

Be Prepared

For me, the biggest challenge in my life comes down to a lack of preparation. Sometimes I underestimate how long things will take. Other times I overestimate my energy level going into a busy week. Over the past few months, taking Sundays to prepare for the busy work week has saved me time and energy in the long run. It’s become part of my mantra of “self-care Sunday”. Now with the time change making the evening darker sooner, I’m getting firmly into my hibernation mode which gives me more time to relax.

Meal preparation for the week has been my downfall in the past. It has lead to unhealthy eating choices and spending money I don’t really have. My new every-other Tuesday work schedule involves me working 10am to 5pm and then 6pm to 8am. Yes… you read that correctly. So this means I need to be able to eat healthy while not spending too much time the day of getting food ready. The theme of this week is “salads” because I’ve been craving a good hearty salad. Almost everything is chopped up in containers waiting for me to combine things when I want. Tupperware containers are so much of a lifesaver I can’t even rave about them enough.

The other big preparation thing for me going into the busy week is cleaning my space up before things get hectic. Laundry is all done and now I just need to fold things. Normally clothing waits to be folded for a LONG time until it begins to form sentience, but not this week. My personal space tends to be a reflection of my inner mind so during hectic times things get really messy. A way for me to address that is taking care of the already existing mess while trying to instill some order to things. Things will still get messy, this is a fact of life, however learning how to maintain and equilibrium of mess is important. Mess is like energy, it is neither created nor destroyed; it only changes shape.

I’ll be off to OCALI Conference in Ohio next week so I’m focusing on finishing up my poster presentation this week and getting everything in order.

Where are you tonight?

I’ve made it know that I have a special relationship with the moon. The passing of time makes way more sense to me from a lunar standpoint than just looking at the days passing.

So what has changed from the last Full Moon?

Well now I’m living in the apartment of my dreams. After the difficult times I’ve been through recently, it feels like I have a great reward for staying genuine and standing up for myself. Today I spent the day decorating and setting up things. Putting things in their place, my place, felt so rewarding. Everything has its own little nook to go in and things fit perfectly. I know I’ll be getting some furniture soon and I can’t wait. I get to really decorate this place and in the spring I have permission to garden!

It’s also been a time of reflection in relationships. As I move on personally and professionally, I deserve to be surrounded by caring individuals. Those who treat me poorly, and who treat those I care about poorly, have no place in my life at this moment. There are some people who are at the end of their journey with me for now. We may meet again, but on different terms. It is a difficult decision to fully remove a person, or people, from your life but it is a decision we must make at times in order to take care of ourselves.

Still, it is a time of celebration as we move into the darkness. This month is already shaping up to be amazing and my trip to the Midwest is beginning in a little more than a week. Don’t ask if I am prepared because the answer would shock no one! I’m looking forward to reconnecting with colleagues and friends.

The Grieving Archeologist

This is the hardest week of the year for me. This is the week where as hard as I try, the creeping depression looms its head. Depression zaps my energy and steals time I would rather be spending working or hanging out with people. This also bites because this week always is always before my birthday and prevents me from looking forward to it. On March 2nd 2005, I sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury that stole my life from me. Not only did I have months of occupational therapy, physical therapy, medical issues, and no support from my school; I lost my memories.

Yes. Everything in my life before March 2nd in 2005 is now lumped as the scattered images in my head. School years, friends, major life events are all blurred together with no real details and only vague shapes of space where things may fit.

I lost it all.

When things first happened, people thought I was exaggerating. Even now, people don’t understand and can’t wrap their heads around the idea. I looked the same, but there were things I didn’t know or didn’t know that I didn’t know. Even know, I’m never going to know everything I’ve missed. I’ve spent the past few years relearning everyone other people learn in grade school about the world around them and I still have more to learn. It’s not like there is a checklist I could go through for memories and see if things are there. Some memories I glimpse scattered in dreams and others take a random trigger to get a peek at what once was.

There sits in my room, wherever that may be in the world, a small box. In this box there are notes and letters and photographs. When my family had to leave our last house, we couldn’t take everything. Most of my childhood drawings, photos, and childhood memories were left and destroyed in the house. In some ways it makes it easier to have my old life confined to the size of a shoebox.

This time of year I take out the box and try to look through things; searching for who I once was.

Like any good anthropologist, I look at the clues and try to make connections based on what is in-front of me and the resources at my disposal. I look at pictures of a little blonde girl playing with some friends and I don’t know who they are or where the picture was taken. Guess can be made, but finding the answers of names or places only gives small details of the story of her life. Was she happy that day? Were these her close friends? Why was she there that day with those people? These are just some of the eternally unanswered questions about the life I use to have.

My accident came 8 days before my 16th birthday and my birthday was spent in a full body CAT scan. When other people celebrate the life they have had on their birthday, I spent mine in unimaginable pain. This year I turn 25 years old, a quarter of a century, and I only remember the last 9 years. People tell me how young I am and my only response to them is “you have no idea.”

It is true, I still grieve for the life I’ll never remember. For years after my injury, I spent my time just trying to survive while hiding the emotional and physical pain I felt. It was only after asking those people who knew me both before and after the injury did I realize what was truly lost. My middle-school and high-school career was filled with anxiety and being bullied. I lived in a home more like a warzone where I was hostage to an abuser others denied existed. My self-esteem was crushed and I felt hopeless in my life many days.

 I can’t leave this post on a negative note, lest you think I dislike the life I have now.

I’ve been told after my injury, I became “Brigid” again. I once again became the strong blonde girl who didn’t let bullies hurt others, who cares about people she may never meet again, who stands up for what she believes in even if she stand alone, and I’ve found the happiness years of abuse from many people took away from me. It’s true I have remembered some of the worst things that happened to me, but it never feels like it was me living those moments. It was all just a girl who looked like me and shared my name. I’ve become stronger because I the things I’ve had to live through have helped make me this way when I didn’t let them break me.

This is the hardest post I’ve written and tears have been streaming down my face the whole time. Part of the reason I write so much now is an ingrown fear I’ll forget. I want a record of my life somewhere because I am missing 16 years of records. Thank you all for joining me on this journey and I am very hopeful of what is next for me. Not everyone gets a second chance to lead their life and I work hard to never feel like I’m wasting a second.

I’m Brigid 2.0: the new and improved version. (Now with 2 Birthday Cakes)

Timey-Whimey, Moony-Swoony

In the history of human existence, we have looked to measure the intangible. We have measurements for temperature, stress, and pain. The most interesting of these intangible phenomenon is time. Time is such an important part of our lives and we plan our lives around time.

When people first tried to quantify time, they looked to the stars. The phases of the moon would change as the sun rose and set. People began to organize their lives around the moons, which became seasons. Each season brings a new blessing and new gifts. Time continues to move forward and the moon continues to move as well.

Sometimes, anytime, and timeless; time is so ingrained into our lives we don’t always realize it. In some moments, time stands still and other moments time flies. People get hyper focused on the ‘right time’ to do certain things, only too late do some acknowledge there is no ‘right time’. Time can be very subjective and time is different for every person.

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In the past few months time has had a different meaning to me. I’ve enjoyed my summertime, but I’ve been restless. I’m a person who needs to be doing things because I can’t be average. I wish I was happy to work a 9-5 job, have date night one a week, and be ‘average’. Average has never been my forte so the lull of life I ended up in earlier this year did not make me be my personal best.

Change has been in the air for awhile but things really started to take off for me at the summer solstice. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and marks the middle of the year. After the solstice the nights get longer and people begin to get ready for harvest/fall/autumn. Ever since the summer solstice, my life has grown at an exponential level.

Love, career, health, and happiness has been abundance in my life since summer began. Things have been going really wonderfully, but it has not been all on my terms. I’ve prided myself on living life my own way and I haven’t been able to fully do that. Months ago I made the huge change to move to Portland instead of Chicago and part of the reason was to start a life here. Now, my life gets to begin the next stage.

Starting in the middle of October, I’ll be leaving my current full time job. My reasons are very simple and can be boiled down to one statement; it’s time. Things have been growing around me and opportunities to support myself without my current job have come to me. Through hard work and networking, things have fit into the puzzle of my life. I’m in a position now to fully go for my dreams and I’m confident in my abilities to help me on my way.

This is not the end in any way, but instead an amazing beginning. This has been THE most emotionally intense decision of my life because the people I work with, my peers, are the reason I’ve stayed in my job for the past year and a half. They have taught me more than I’ve taught them and I’ll be forever in their debt for having them in my life.

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Moons have names depending on when they occur and we take some of these names from the Algonquin tribes. These names embody the time of when the moon is full. The Harvest moon is closest to September and was the time when people would harvest their summer crops before winter. October’s full moon is sometimes known as the Travel moon. My last day of work is on the Travel moon. My future is wide open for travel and adventure. I’m young, but I’ve never been one to wait forever. Time moves slowly for some and quicker for others. It’s not the amount of time that we have that is a measure of our lives, it’s what we do with the time we are given.

This is my time.