We must rise to life’s challenges
This is a quote is by Lady Mary in season 4, episode 8 of the tv show Downton Abbey. If you read the post I did last year on ‘Adjusting the Sails’, this is the big picture. A way we rise to life’s challenges (and don’t I know about that) is by adjusting the sails.
Most people know my first name is Evangeline. I was named after the poem Evangeline (published in 1847) by Henry Wasdworth Longfellow. It’s a great read. My mother loved that poem as a youngster. (Good thing she wasn’t a huge fan of Hiawatha!) The official nickname for Evangeline (face it 4 syllables is a lot) is Vangie. At a very young age, I decided I would omit that ‘e’ and my parents were very supportive. Evangeline means ‘bearer of good news’. I have very strong opinions of the stroke and consequently don’t see myself as a bearer of good news, but I see myself as a good bearer of news. With the stroke, I have risen to the challenge!
I have said that I have ataxia. I am not paralyzed. I was right-handed before the stroke and the ataxia is worse on my right side, so I’ve learned to do things with my left hand. There are some things I still do right-handed (like using the mouse on the computer), but those are things where I can stabilize on something that doesn’t move.
We love Jessica Rabbit from the movie “Who framed Roger Rabbit?” My favorite line from the movie is where Jessica says “I’m not really bad …. I’m just drawn that way”. I love that line. She knows that people form an opinion of her based on her looks and is constantly behaving in a way to refute that image.
In October, there is a World Stroke Day and they have a statistic that one in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime. That number is higher than I thought. An AVM was the source of my stroke. Strokes which have AVMs as a source are more rare. I have learned heaps about the brain, AVMs and strokes. This whole thing has been a learning experience and I’m thrilled to share any little bit. Believe me, Matt and I have learned heaps. I did not chose to have a stroke — but I did. Like I’ve said before … “no one says someday I want to have a stroke!” So now I just deal with it. I recall that friend who said “the stroke is what it is”. That is my rising to the challenge (and taking every one along)!
There is a great quote by Doug Larson that goes “A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows. Be a weed.” I really like that quote. I think it’s ok to not grow in rows. It is a good example of rising to the challenge! (Straight rows are over-rated!)
Another one of my favorites by the Persian poet Rumi goes “Out beyond right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Now imagine in that field there is a tree and on that tree is a swing made from a tire. Now think of the fun you can have on that tire swing. I think this is a great example of rising to the challenge. It’s difficult to rise to the challenge or to think of that place or time beyond right-doing and wrong-doing might be scary but think of the fun on that swing!
These are two of my favorite quotes which put perspective on things and give us a whole new light as we rise to the challenge. One is a saying from the cartoonist Maxine which I have shared before. “A hundred years from now, this won’t matter. It barely matters now.” The second is my quote … “I’ve been thrown out of better bars!”