Life After A Stroke … It’s the Little things

I don’t believe people truly think about handling every day menial tasks. I know I never did before the stroke. One never thinks about the muscles it takes to spread the fingers of a hand or lift a foot from the floor. It was second nature before this. Now, it takes considerable conscious effort to do things as simple as place my hand on the keyboard. 

When I was first hospitalized, I was asked to do things like touch my nose with my finger then take that finger and touch the finger of a doctor not even a foot away from me. A pretty simple task, right? It was one of the first of many times I bawled like a baby while in the hospital. Watching my drifting, shaky left hand move from my side to my nose then to the doctor’s finger and back was one of the most difficult moments of many while I was being cared for during those three weeks. Knowing how easy it had been on prior occassions and how smoothly my right sailed through the air practically crushed me.

I was told many times how much better things may possibly get and they were happy to see that I had any motor function at all. Being an independent, single woman who has taken care of herself most of her life those weren’t words I wanted to hear at the time. Having someone assist me to the bathroom or knowing I had to wait for someone to be in the room with me while I dressed or shifted from bed to chair was a struggle.

By the time it was time for me to be discharged, I worried about everything. Knowing I had to walk with a walker and a brace on my foot scared me. The fact that short walks fatigued me and standing for even twenty minutes tired me out to the point where I had to rest for just as long concerned me.

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I was reminded how far I’d come. Those little things reared their head and strengthened me. They also spurred me on. Being able to walk from one room to another with no one watching or assisting  me,  preparing and taking my own medicine, with some effort being able to put my hair into a ponytail (one of the only ways I currently wear it), being able to squeeze a foam ball or play with Play Doh, having almost one hundred percent clear speech were all things I needed to celebrate being free to do.

Am I currently completely independent? No. I can celebrate what I can do and not dwell on what I can’t do. I’ve been fortunate enough to run into some caring individuals who have been willing to lift things for me when I need them lifted or aid me with carrying some things. They are not always there, but I’m grateful for when they are.

*Rose*

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#AuthorsMind The Art of Being an Author

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I absolutely love being a creative mind. There is something about having a blank canvas, sheet of paper, or page (Word document) in front of you that represents the endless possibilities and excites me. Knowing the world I create has numerous options and a vast number of creative outlets is a thrilling thing.

I’m infatuated with the notion of getting to know the inner workings of these characters. I know most of the authors of the world sound crazy or quite possibly schizophrenic when they speak of hearing voices. We are all a touch off kilter. It doesn’t diminish the truth of the matter.

the voices are real and have a tendency to be rather demanding.

I have been awakened from sleep by a few and kept awake the entire night writing out the information I’ve been given. I have had times where I am in the middle of a shower and had to jump out to jot something down. 

These are examples of the “negative” side of living with a creative mind.

there are times when I have to be antisocial and somewhat of a loner in order to deal with the voices that have taken over my brain. I’ve had days without sleep and limited eating because I am so immersed in a world I am creating. 

The “writing cave” is and can be your best friend. It can also be your worst enemy if you allow it to completely consume you. Don’t lose yourself to it.

I have the greatest friends. They know when to pull me out of my own mind. They rescue me from myself some most days.

There are times when I doubt myself, my “craft,” and my ability. I’m human. I look at things that inspire me to press beyond the doubt and fear. I will share a couple with you.

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The world needs creative minds and imaginative individuals. The beauty of this life would be lost without them. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the negative or what the “naysayers” have to say. If being creative is the first thing on your mind when you wake up then run with it. Literally, if that is your outlet. You will be amazed at who you inspire and how much happier you can be when you do.

From one creative mind to another: 

     Dream big and allow your voice to be heard. The world needs it. 

*Rose S.*

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Move on. Time waits for … #Fighton

I guess today is one of those days where I’m taking a moment to reflect and review. This year is a milestone year for me and I feel completely inadequate. It’s seven days into the new year and I already don’t feel equipped to take it on. With this thought and fact in mind, I feel a desperate need for inspiration.

I believe we all have a moment or moments where we feel like we are coasting through life and need to do some evaluating. I’ve reached that point. I’ve lived so much of my life for other people that I woke up one morning and realized I had no sense of who I was.

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I have lived quite a bit of life in the short time that I’ve been on this earth. It’s unnerving when I think about the places I’ve seen and what I’ve accomplished. The fact that there is something in me that is still pushing for more, willing to strive for more is shocking.

I’ve heard on so many ocassions, “I could never do that” or “I’d be scared out of my mind to just up and go like that.” I’ve never been that person to fear the unknown in that manner. I embrace it and run toward it. Still, I sit in front of my computer today and wonder what is the next step? Where is the road leading me?

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I don’t know. I know that there is truth in the featured image for this post. If it is weighing you down and causing you to feel limited and unhappy, it’s time to let it go. I know for a fact that it hurts like hell to do so. I feel the pain of it, the pressure from it, but know, in the end, my joy will multiply once I say goodbye to what’s holding me back.

I love the following quote because there is so much wisdom in the words. It is a reminder that life is hard and you must be ready to do battle to get what it is that you want. The thing it doesn’t say is remaining unhappy, seek sadness, struggle and endure sadness to obtain your goals.

“The longer you wait for something, the more you appreciate it when it finally arrives. The harder you fight for something, the more priceless it becomes once you achieve it. The more pain you endure on your journey, the sweeter the arrival at your destination. Remember… all good things are worth waiting for and fighting for.”

#LostCauses Manners? Chivalry? What are those?

 

Chivalry and Good Manners are apparently behaviors that are disintegrating into the ether. It’s completely lost on the current generation of 20-somethings.

Today, I was entering the office building where I work completely loaded down with a large box in one hand and bags in the other. I punched the handicap button (only time I ever use that button – by the way), so I am able to juggle my packages without dropping them. Two men with a rolling cooler between them and a box on top of it proceeds to quickly move forward to exit the door I am trying to enter. I nearly lost my box attempting to sidestep them. 

I was so surprised by their behavior that it took me a moment to continue on with what I was doing. On the very same day, a male was standing in the elevator and saw me holding some things in my hand (there was an event at my work on this day and we were setting up for it) and looked up to acknowledge me. His gaze returned to his phone and I had to again juggle my items to push the floor I needed.

Appalled? I was so beyond that. I made a showing of pushing the button and he gave me a sheepish, apologetic look before exiting the elevator.

As you may have noted, I didn’t call into question chivalry alone. I also called into question “manners” in the title of this post. This day was a day for me to be “fit to be tied” as my Momma would say. 

Food is being laid out for a group of people who you work with on a daily basis. While you are heating up your contribution, you make yourself a little plate and think nothing of it. You’re probably thinking, what’s the issue with that?

The plate is a sampling of everything being offered. Instead of you waiting for the collective group to come together, you are standing in the kitchen having a snack or two of food that isn’t yours. When you’re caught, you just shrug your shoulders. Others look at you in disgust and you just move along without a care in the world.

On the same day, a group of people are standing around having a nice little chat. One of the members of the conversation begins to sneeze and it comes in a series of three. The others continue to chat away as if nothing has happened. The sneezing individual excuses themselves and no one acknowledges it. They continue to converse while the person looks on. Eventually, the person walks away and returns to their desk.

I was sitting not far from this interaction and watched all of this. I share an office with another person and we’d said, “Bless you.” We don’t believe it was heard over the voices of the rest of her group. It boggled my mind to know that none of them even stopped to check on the poor girl. Was the conversation that important that they couldn’t stop to check on the well-being of a co-worker? Not in my opinion, but in their’s it must’ve been.

I posted a question yesterday on my Facebook page because I had a note in my notebook to do this blog last week. The things I’ve shared happened over a week ago, but I found the notes I took for the blog post and figured: why not? 

My thoughts haven’t shifted on the subject. I am still bothered by the issues I raised and I believe it warrants discussing. I figured I may as well share my thoughts, weigh in on the subject.

What do you think about any or all of the scenarios I posed?

The following was cute and I felt I needed to share it:

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*RS

**From the journal of a clustered mind.**

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#Meme Fun things #Monday

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I have a love-hate relationship with Monday just as quite a few others do when it comes to the first day of most people’s work week. The photo above is me pretty much every Sunday. I feel like it sneaks up on me every damn weekend. I probably should be used to it by now, but I’m not. I have this ever pressing need to scream out my frustration every single time I look at the clock on Sunday afternoon. It hits me like a ton of bricks that I only have a few more hours before I have to get some rest in order to start my work week.

It often makes me wonder who in the hell determined we as a society should have a standard work week of five days on and two days off? That is CRAP! Are you kidding me? 

If anything, it should be four days on and three days off. My goodness. Oh, how amazing that would be!

This is what I’m thinking when I first wake up on a Monday:

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These are just because they cracked me up:

This is what I feel the moment I check my evil, bitchy, and negative side: 

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*RS*

**From the journal of a clustered mind.**

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#GuiltyPleasure To Sweet or Not to Sweet …

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Like most people, I have moments where I have an insane need for something to stave off my hankering for something to snack on. The above slideshow only showcases some of my favorite guilty pleasure items. Have you ever had a need for something or a taste for something so strong that your senses overload you with the very essence of it?

Have you ever had a need for something or a taste for something so strong that your senses overload you with the very essence of it?

If you haven’t, then count yourself as one of the fortunate individuals on the planet.

I’m not one of those fortunate individuals. I’ve suffered endlessly from significantly GRANDios sweet tooth cravings for years.

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Herein lies my issue (s): how do you steer clear of these things when you know they aren’t any good for you?

Answer: You don’t.

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I refuse to be the one to say that I am going to ever give up giving in to my “guilty pleasures.” The longest I’ve ever lasted without giving in is three days. My usual rule is if I crave it after two days, then I give myself permission to have it.

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If you want to get my highly upset then tell me that I need to let go of the sweets forever. There might just be an epic battle that ensues afterward.

With that being said, to sweet or not to sweet? Is that even a question?

#Time More Hours Please

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I oftentimes say, “I wish I had more hours in the day.” What am I really saying? What is it that I’m really asking for?

The more I think about it the more it dawns on me that maybe more hours isn’t exactly what I need in my life. Maybe, what I need is a better way to allocate the time that I have.

Nah! I just need MORE HOURS PLEASE!

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Most people try to jam so much into the few hours that we have in a day that they are beyond overwhelmed. I look at a computer screen all day then turn around and come home to look at another. In most cases, I fall asleep looking at some type of screen. As much as this may exhaust me, it excites me as well.

Why? The screen time during the day time is to ensure my family has what they need to survive. The screen time at home is to make sure I have everything I need to survive.

What do I mean?

I am sure that the firs part of that statement is pretty clear.The second might not be as obvious. When I’m home, I put on my writer hat and take care of the business I need to attend to in order for me to continue to be the author I so want to be. I am either responding to emails, reviewing messages, or working on a manuscript. the screen I look at before I fall asleep is the one that allows me to be the avid reader that I am or the home viewer I choose to be.

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These things are necessary for my sanity. It allows me the “break” I need in order for me to get up the next day and start this crazy ride all over again.

Maybe I don’t need more hours in the day. I think this balance thing might just be working out for me.

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*RS

**From the journal of a clustered mind.**

#BigChanges My Something New

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Something new for me this week/month/year is finding a new space in the big state of Texas. I’ve recently moved to Houston. I know. If you follow me on Facebook it states this has been my home. I knew this was coming so I decided to have my settings already set up with my new hometown.

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Let me just start this by saying: HOT DAMN! I don’t know if any of my readers have ever crossed from Louisiana into Texas via automobile. If you’ve never done it, I recommend doing so. There is a bridge that is scary as hell but amazingly beautiful at night to take in. (I suck because I don’t recall the name of the thing.)

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This is a joy to learn how to navigate.

Ha! I figured it out. Aren Cambre is the name of the bridge. (picture below) I’m  so excited to be here. My brain is not fully functional because I’m still adjusting to the area, heat, and time difference. It’s only an hour, but even sixty minutes has the ability to affect your well-being. New hometown, new job, and new adventures as I try to get everything in order. Goodness gracious, the things that I need to handle.

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My thoughts were that I was on some form of roller coaster

Along with the newness of this place is the book that is soon to be released. Here is the cover, a teaser, and an excerpt from my upcoming November release.

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Preorder your copy

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My answers would come in the form of a phone call from my mother of all people.

“Hey Mom, how’s it going?”

“Oh good. I was hoping I didn’t call too late or wake the boys.”

“Congrats. You caught me in a rare moment of quiet.”

“Ah! I won’t keep you long because I recall all too well how few and far between those moments are. As a mother, you tend to cherish every second of them.”

I chuckled, “That’s exactly it. To what do I owe this call?”

“I had the strangest … visit today.”

“You did? From who?”

Never in a million years did I ever expect her to mention the name that she did.

“Nathaniel Porter. He surprised us with a rare visit and a bottle of wine. He just arrived back from a trip to Italy. Did you know that he’d gone there? He mentioned seeing you in Savannah a few months ago.”

Every part of my body felt as if it seized and locked in place. My hope was that nothing was said that would make my mother suspicious. I should’ve known my … Nathaniel was better than that.

“We did see each other.”

“I can’t believe that you were so close and didn’t make a trip to see your parents. I miss my other daughter. It’s not fair that Marilynn gets to spend so much time with our grandchildren. I want them to know me just as much as they know her.”

I hoped I could keep my mother on the subject of the little competition that she had going with Theodore’s mother. I just needed to be on the phone long enough to appease my mother’s need to keep in touch with all of her children and make a quick excuse as to why I couldn’t remain on the phone.

After about five minutes of reassurance that she’d see her grandchildren soon, I prepped to end the call when Nathaniel was brought up again.

“I was surprised to find out that Nate didn’t have the correct phone number for you. As close as you two have always been, I would think he would be one of the few that had every way to contact you at the touch of a screen.”

I clearly heard her unspoken question, but didn’t respond to it. Instead, I waited.

“Hmm. You’re quiet. Is there something going on that I need to know about? He said you’d left a bag of yours with him and he’d wanted to get it to you. If that weren’t odd enough, he appeared taken aback when I mentioned Theodore. The man seemed genuinely perplexed when I asked if your husband had been there on business or not. I actually had to say the words, ‘Theo is Clare’s husband.’ The devastation on that man’s face told me that there was more to the story than met the eye. Now, I ask again. Is there something that I need to be made aware of?”

This is why I have stated on countless occasions that mothers should automatically be given detective badges upon giving birth. My mother is a human lie detector and can sniff out misdirection better than anyone I know. Even with her skills, I find myself fighting the urge to spill my guts. I don’t want to discuss this. It’s too much. It’s more than I want to deal with right now.

The handle of the door twisting saves me from having to respond. I know who’s on the other side and I’ve never been so happy to hear that my husband is home in the entirely of our short marriage.

“Mom, I have to go. Theo is home. We’ll talk soon. I love you.”

I hear my mother’s tsk as clear as if she were standing directly in front of me.

“I’m going to go now, but know that I will be calling again soon and you will tell me what’s going on. Know that I know something’s not right, young lady.”

I’m beyond glad that I’m not in front of her. Those two words tacked on at the end would get me to sing like a canary. Until I get a handle on things, I don’t need to talk to anyone about what my feelings may or may not be for Nathaniel Porter.

“Mrs. Taylor, I’m home. Where are you and my babies?”

I hear Theo call from the foyer and turn in the chair that I’ve been parked in since I first entered the library.

“Mom, I’m going to go. I don’t like to be busy when Theo arrives home. He usually has a million things he wants to share with me.”

“Oh, all right. Fine. Go. I’ll call tomorrow.”

There’s a call I’ll be dreading, but know I will answer when she calls. I also know that the call will come tomorrow. She won’t be ignored and I’m unable to decline a call from her.

If only I could follow through with some of the hopes that floated through my brain, I would be so much happier.

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Add to Goodreads and enter for your chance to win a paperback copy of my first release: 

Goodreads Giveaway

*RS

**From the journal of a clustered mind.**

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The Windows that slay me #colorfuleyes

I am a very visual person. I have always been. I’m the type of author that uses my imagination along with visual references. The problem is I tend to get caught up in my research and have to remind myself where I was in my story. Why am I writing about this? Of course, this just happened to me. I am supposed to be putting together a character description for a story that I’m working on and I am being swept away by the beauty of some of the eyes that I am coming across.

I have these for the males that could easily cause a woman to overheat:

(Yes. I know there is a certain set of eyes posted twice. Aren’t they pretty.**pauses for a moment to take in the sights.)

Anyway, these are the females that could tempt a saint with their peepers:

Now, all I have to do is get my mind back on the story at hand and the character I was supposed be working on. I might feel like I’ve accomplished more than just this post.

*RS

**From the journal of a clustered mind.**

A Place for Me to Create #createaspace

I’m in need of a space, a place where I can go and know that it is mine to create what I wish to create. I know I want a place that is perfectly representative of me and my colorful self. Herein lies my issue:

1. I am eclectic.
2. I am colorful.
3. I don’t know where to start.

Have you ever gone to Pinterest and felt overwhelmed by the multitude of ideas that are there? It is astounding and a bit disconcerting to say the least.

Here are some of the things that I’ve found where I like something that I see, but don’t think it’s exactly me:

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Since I am so eclectic and colorful, I need my office area or creative space to be the essential space that taps into both aspects of me. It also has to give me the room that I need to allow me the freedom to move about. What I don’t want is a place that I’m unable to feel comfortable enough to make a mess in or appears the area isn’t inviting.

A couple of these have potential but have the look of “serious business” happening in their spaces:

 

I don’t know.I think I might table this and return to it when my “writing bug” dissipates a bit. For now, I sit on my bed in my room and allow my characters to use me in the best way they possibly could.

*RS

**From the journal of a clustered mind.**