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Survivors secret journey

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Harvard University's president

Am I the only one who thinks all the media and news coverage of what the President of Harvard said about men having a better aptitude for science and math then women is simply stating a fact. Since when has freedom of speech disappeared? What did he say that was newsworthy? What point have I missed? It is a fact that men graviatate towards science and math. So what is the big deal that the man is getting crucified over? Is there some small minority of militant feminists just lusting over a cause? Some media coverage? I think it is all petty and ridiculous if you ask me, the man was at a conference and exchanging ideas. I don't think he said women shouldn't be allowed to be mathamatecians or sciencetests. forgive the mutilated spelling of those words! I think enough is enough. This is still a free country the last time I looked. We are allowed to have opinions and express them, we may not agree with them, but they are allowed. Pam

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Music and Life

I can't say how many times in my life, I have used music, more specifically women singers and their songs to pump me up and gather my inner forces to do what was necessary. Ever since I was a teen, I have used this method to cope. As a teen it was to break it off with someone who no longer held the important place in my life. I can't say I thought everything out all the way or that I had an end result that wasn't selfish or self centered or even where I would never be considered an existialist(sp??)Yup in those days of Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks and The Go's Go's, I was young, invincible and immortal, I was a young woman that knew what I wanted and all I needed was some music to convince me that I could fufill the role I was about to play, and go get what I wanted. My own personal Flashdance or Footloose.   That was then...... I sit here and wonder, who pumps me up now? Because now in the decade of my forties, middle age and a survivor, I need to be strong, I need to plan what I want, I need to go get what I want. But it is harder now, I have a more complicated course I have to follow, there are others I need to think of, it isn't just me anymore.With age comes baggage.Baggage in terms of kids, pets and things. I'm like the woman who goes on vacation and has packed to much stuff I'll never need or wear. I need to stop and streamline, get organized. Well, I'm happy to report, Pat Benatar still does it. "Hit me with your best shot", although that song is easy to say but not as easy to stand there and take anyones best shot. Because now thoughts have crept in and question my actions, is it worth it to stay and take the best shots anymore? What's in it for me? It is better as a teen to just stand alone , strong in my convictions, defiant and not think of the consequences? I think so. I need to get back to Daily Zen.com and read some more.

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Who Let the Dogs Out???

Well ever since I read Jean's blog, that song has been rattling around in my head today. So I guess it could mean the thoughts I've been thinking today. Yes, I put the words thoughts I've together, at times I do have real intelligent thoughts. Sometimes they might even make sense to everyone. I say this because of when I first stroked the posse of inlaws suddenly treated me as if I had not only a stroke but had become retarded too. I hated the feeling that gave me, so I quite happily now rub it in every chance I get that Hey! I'm not stupid, I'm not retarded, I just sustained brain damage! Besides the spouse is blond. Theres a reason that there are so many blond jokes out there. Besides if that man had an original thought of his own, it would be lonely. He has me convinced that every neuron he was born with went into the growth of facial hair. Anyway I was chattering about thoughts. I read a post from a newbie who was scared this morning. That got me thinking and I realized that I have gotten to the point that I am bored with this whole stroke event. I'm not overwhelmed by it and it doesn't scare me anymore and I got another Milky Way today too. Getting the milky way is fast becoming commonplace, nothing to get excited over, I don't even put the step stool back in the bathroom anymore, it has a new place tucked next to the fridge. It is funny how one day a new skill is something to get excited over and a few days later it becomes no big deal. That is how all of my recovery has been. The excitement is shortlived to be replaced with getting on with it all and not looking back. I can remember when I was scared, when I had a million unanswered questions. That seems like ages ago.( Who let the dogs out? Who? who? Who? who? who?) See? I even need to write the words out? Does this mean I'm becoming obsessed and focused on details? Gee, that would be a new thing and might even be helpful to my life now. Pam

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SOME THINGS WEREN'T MEANT TO BE...

There are just some things that weren't meant to be. I get on a roll that is fed by success of accomplishing one thing, I get all heady and cocky and think I can now rule the world. I decided to cook tonight. My choice was Shrimp Fetticini.But it would be helpful if I had the ALL the right ingredients. I didn't, but I cheated--- thank god for Bistro on the Go! Throw that baby in the microwave and within 10 minutes the kitchen smells as if I've been slaving there all day. OK, one obstacle overcome. My 7 year old daughter wants to dance, she learned how to do the Macarina last saturday. I think of my success on the step stool this afternoon. I quickly run threw the steps of the Macarina in my head, no problem, I can do anything today. We start facing each other. I put my good arm straight out in front of me palm side up. Our heads are bopping to the music. I try to put my left arm out palm down, but gravity is against me. Alex jumps over to help me, it is time to put the left hand palm up, she twists my arm towards me. I'm suddenly yelling louder then the music because my arm doesn't twist that way. She stays by me and helps move the left arm in each position, now it is time to shake the hips and jump around to face a new direction. I get shaking my hips, we're smiling at each other, she's happy I'm doing something I used to do pre stroke with her. I'm shaking my hips and before I know what is happening, my left leg feels left out and joins in the shaking and my balence is shot. I'm suddenly on my knees. Yup, I shook the house, I probably have a reading on a richter scale somewhere. I learned something today though--- I still can't dance. Pam

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Look what I did for chocolate!

I am 40 now and have discovered the merits of eating chocolate. I may be a late bloomer just finding this out, but I can claim brain damage, and the fact that I am now in menopause and have put the "P" in PMS. But it is simply amazing what I will now do for a Milky Way bar.   The spouse buys Milky Ways in bulk now, because both kids and I love them. I don't need them, but a treat is nice every once in awhile. They reside on top of the fridge. Now when one has stroked and has a balence issue, climbing on anything is out of the question, at least it has for me for the last three years. That being said, I got my daughters little step stool today, put it in front of the fridge, and stood there deciding if I could do this or not. But those damn milky ways have been chattering to me for days! I thought,"I'll just go really really slow." So I came to terms with trying to get myself a milky way. Of course the thought of biting into the carmel nugget covered in blissful chocolate was a huge motivator.   I took a deep breath and lifted my right leg and placed it on the step stool. I grabbed the top of the fridge and stepped on the stool. I got lightheaded and saw stars and blinking lights, my heart was pumping like I had just had a grueling cardio workout. I caught my breath, steadied myself and put my left foot on the stool with my right. I stayed perfectly still, I was afraid to move. I slowly lifted my right hand from the death grip of the fridge and slowly reached up. hoping my aim was good for the box of milky ways. Now I am short, not quite 5'2 and I'm sure I resembled that little guy who looks over fences and all you see is a big nose and eyes. I can't think of his name.I never took my eyes off of my target and I started talking to myself. Outloud. You can do this, steady........ Almost there.....I felt my fingers grab the candy bar out of the box, I almost forgot to move slow as I was teetering on the stool as it was. I grabbed the top of the fridge, with a few fingers and leaned my forehead on the fridge and closed my eyes. I was dizzy, I slowly very stiffly stepped off the stool. I was standing upright on the floor holding a Milky Way in my right hand. I was also grinning from ear to ear because of two things. I had overcome an obstacle that the stroke had given me and I had sucessfully gotten a candy bar myself. I was secretly delighted that I had stepped on something to reach something high. Now if I only had a shot of Backslides today, what a day it would have been. I now understand the lengths I will go to for chocolate. Yummmmm, it was worth it, Hammering heart and all. Pam

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Surprise by Design

Today at 10a.m. the heating system guy was here. My head is swirling with facts of Propane vs. fuel oil. Not only that I also have to remember it is a small tiny little space I am working with. I have it in my head how I want the layout to be, the other half has his vision. These visions are not one and the same, not even close. I am trying to design it with my living in it alone, disabled, he is designing it with the speed of a slow day at a McDonald's drive thru in mind. He wants to get it done, finished as quickly as he can. Which I think is wonderful, the sooner we are apart, the better it will be, but I'm not giving up certion things I need.

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Thoughts on the day after a party

No wonder I want a divorce! It amazes me everytime the point is driven home, that I actually at one time stood in a chapel, knees shaking, heart pounding from excitement that I was about to marry this man I now can't wait to shed. It is hard to hold on to newfound understandings of my feelings. I am different now, true the stroke changed me. But I feel that every time I have a lightbulb moment where the light shines into the dark recesses of my mind and I see something for how it is now. I need to defend that newfound knowledge from the sarcasm and ignorance of the complete moron I am married to. The bikers I had a shot with last night, were sniff sniff "white trash". Well they may not be my next choice to have over for Sunday dinner or even a backyard BBQ next summer. But they were fine to have a conversation and a shot with at the bar. I'm so tired of judgements and labels. I'm tired of it being stated as fact that I have no judgement at all. I have judgement, it just doesn't shine a good light on the spouse. I can't say how many times I've secretly chuckled to myself as I shed each and every social restriction one by one. I've peeled them off like an article of clothing and quite gleefully tossed them aside like smelly socks. That is the survivors secret journey, almost like my very own coming of age story. It is comforting to be finding myself again. I kinda like this person who is me. Pam

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The Morning after a Party

Well if you judge what my entry will based n the title.... No, I did not have a different partner in my bed this morning. And no, I did not have a hangover. Although the second could have easily been the reason. I did try a new shot last night called a "backslide", I only had one shot as it was potent stuff.But it tasted good and didn't cause me to shiver or grimace on its way down my throat. I can remember doing pitchers of Alabama Slammers and every shot I swallowed made me shiver. Backslides are a dangerous thing for me to think are tasty. I watched them being made and I've committed the recipe to memory I think. Considering who was at the bar doing these shots and the lifestyle they lead, getting into the habit of participating and keeping up with them wouldn't be benificial to my health. I've always viewed the real deal Harley bikers as a tough crew to compete with. Even their women are tough. But they have the right attitude towards life, live it to the fullest and to hell with the rest. Well that is my cleaned up version of their outlook. I think I can say it was a nice walk on a different side of life last night. If my husband and I had been at this party together, it would be a safe bet that I never would have been out in the bar in the first place, talking with these people and drinking shots with them. But I was there alone,and able to do what I wanted. So these are my morning after a party thoughts. Maybe I am still trying to convince myself of something, I'm not sure. I do know that I like the charm of not being restricted to a social code anymore. It is so freeing to interact with people different then myself. To rid myself of the snobby social codes I've embraced over the past few decades. To just be myself, on a even ground with them and talk as one human to another. Thank god I had the stroke to have this second chance at life, to right the wrongs I adopted.I never knew what a snob I had become, I was no better then anyone else. Now, it is a better perspective to see others eye to eye. Pam

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Today- day one

Well history is being made, my first blog entry. It is 10 a.m. and I am showered and dressed. Wonders never cease! Well really we are refinancing our mortgage and today is the closing, so I had no choice but to be on the ball today. Once we refinance, I'll get a line of credit to renovate our small barn in our backyard into a small little house for me. I'm excited about renovating and designing and decorating the barn. It is a whole new life and chapter. I'm looking forward to it. Actually I'm looking forward to the whole idea of being single and getting on with the job of creating my new post stroke life. I have been in limbo for three years. Waiting for the spouse I had to get on with acceptance, to be by my side helping to create this new life. But one can only wait around so long for someone to get their act together.   I thank god I had the stroke. By having the stroke I believe that my eyes were opened to many things. Living my life doing things that are important to my inner life. Being free from the social restrictions or obligations that I was wrapped up tightly in. A chance to really see my choice of a life partner. An opportunity to expand my mind learning about zen and the chance to explore other ways of thinking. I'm not just existing on auto pilot anymore. I never would have learned to use the computer, never explored the internet, never met the friends I have. I am alive and healthy and retired and I have the blank canvas of a whole new life stretching in front of me, what more can I ask for? I'm not knocked down, used up, or finished by this event called stroke. I am empowered and taught by it. I have been given a chance to make a life again, reminded by a ghost of christmas past what I once wanted out of my life. I've been not so gently reminded that I lost sight of what was important at one time. I sold out my ideals to have the life that was ripped from me. I do not waste time anymore yearning for what once was. I see the error of my past ways. Maybe I judge myself harshly, but I am trying to live each day honestly, free from the considerations of society and self. Pam

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