When I was younger, my dream house was literally a castle. It was located in the country, surrounded by a forest. The grounds were wooded, with an expansive lawn, maze, and gardens. Behind a hidden door in the library was a passage to an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, gym, and indoor track complex. One could swim through a tunnel to emerge into an outdoor pool. The outdoor pool was landscaped as a wooded glen. The castle itself was replete with a library, excellent kitchen, rooms, and hidden passages. Some of the passages featured slides that dropped either into the swimming pool or the “dungeon” ala Scooby Doo. Naturally, I had the money to afford this glorious house and the employees to keep it maintained. I must have married rich or won the multi-billion dollar lottery. Naturally, the castle was “haunted.” Whenever there were guests, mysterious, but harmless “happenings” occurred. Sometimes, people would get lost in the walls. My practical self knew I would never afford to build a haunted castle. It was still fun to dream and joke with my friends about it. We had quite the elaborate plans at one point. Some dreams are not meant to be achieved. Other dreams are lofty, difficult goals. They are achievable, with luck and hard work.
As my recovery from TBI continues, I find myself redefining dreams. Or, perhaps, redefining my present. Prior to my injury, I ran marathons. Running was a lifestyle. It took considerable time and dedication to maintain the level of fitness I had. The distance captivated me. It was a challenge to redefine my training to improve my time and recovery. The last year before my injury, my goal was to achieve “Maniac” status by completing three marathons in 90 days. There are many ways to be a Maniac. That is a “Bronze” achievement. It was a start. I planned to go further. If you are a runner, are you a Maniac? http://www.marathonmaniacs.com/index.html
The continued issues of TBI makes marathon training too difficult and demanding on my body at this time. The migraines and fatigue prevent me from putting in the mileage without having problems. I still run but not as intensely. There are advantages. When I run now, I am free from the constraints of mileage and time. I am no longer a slave to my Garmin GPS. Faster! Faster! No longer! Running is more enjoyable at least when I’m not triggering a migraine. I learned to listen more intently to my body. There is a fine balance between improving my fitness and myself sick. The lesson a learned was about balance. Running is now more balanced in my life. I hope to run another marathon someday. Perhaps even become a Maniac. However, I do not want to be driven anymore by the watch or my own mind howling faster! or not good enough!
What are my dreams now? They are more practical; returning to work full time, conquering the migraines, running a marathon. The freedom of imagination is shackled by the reality of living life. My castle is a house with a mortgage. Responsibility is part of being an adult. Is all this a part of “growing up,” a sacrifice on the altar of adulthood? Or another reminder from the wonderful gift of TBI? I want life to “make sense” now. There is safety in routine and predictability. Dreams break away from the mundane. Anything is possible when you break away from “what always is.”
Imagination is not just for children. Adults need creativity in oder to enjoy the experience of life. And, in a practical sense, to earn a living. Most jobs require some application of imagination, even if it’s applied logically, “If I do this,then that will happen” is, after all, imagining a future outcome. But, enough about real life. It is time to play and use imagination for creativity. I often watch my ferrets going about their business. They are totally in the moment. Even when they are intensely trying to drag a toy that will not fit under the couch, they have a sense of enjoyment in their fierce concentration. The joy of play! RIght now, Brigid and Bobby are playing chase and pounce. They take turns chasing each other through the house. Brigid pounces on Bobby and wrestles him. When he wiggles free, he chases her and pounces on her tail end. She’s not convinced that’s a fun part of the game. Brigid is a cat. Having one’s tail pounced on is not part of cat. Brigid is fairly tolerant of ferret antics. I think being raised from age 8 weeks by a business of unruly mustelids had an impact. I often wish I could experience life as a ferret. The freedom to just play and be in the moment fully.
Tonight, I will break out of the mold and play. Time to blow soap bubbles….