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Mindset May 🧠

Mindset May! I can say with full transparency that I didn’t always have the mindset I have now. I used to definitely have a lot of negativity in me, life wasn’t fair, why did bad things happen to good people? But then I realized it’s life, bad things do happen to good people. No rhyme or reason they just happen and yes you can react to it poorly like I so used to be guilty of, or you can react to it in a positive way and do your best with whatever comes your way and become better because of it. It took some major traumas in my life to understand that. If you don’t find the positive in it all, you are bound to become miserable and unhappy. I felt the world was out to get me, but looking back at it all now I can see the world was out to teach me positive lessons, how to be strong and how to make the best out of it all, even through the super negative things that happened. Simply flipping the script on things would help that. Who cares why it happened, how it hurt me or how it tried to ruin my life, but what are the positive things from those situations and what did I learn from them that I can take with me for the rest of my life. Truth is, it happened. It may have sucked and been life changing, but it happened and it was up to me to choose what to do with it. Sit and cry, wallow, become depressed and have the why, why me, poor me attitude or be strong and find all the gifts given to me through those situations and share them and become stronger and better from them.

Perspective vs Mindset. Perspective is the way you see the world and it’s not based on reality, but what has already happened to you. Perspective is how we see things, Mindset is what we think about what we are seeing. Your perspective is how you are seeing things like this pandemic and how it’s shaping you (Rachel Hollis #risexlive) An example would be through this Pandemic, no big deal because of all I have lived through, all the trauma, all the hard things, it makes going through this not hard for me. It makes it easy to get through this. I understand it’s hard for others and this affects them so differently because of the differences and it’s totally based off of what you have been through. I fully believe that my Traumatic Brain Injury prepared me for this pandemic almost 2 years ago. I learned to be isolated. I learned to be alone. The only difference is that I am still able to travel and that keeps me sane and happy, and right now we can’t travel. So that’s been hard, but otherwise my major life changing brain injury sadly prepared me in being quarantined and alone. My day to day isn’t extremely different except I can’t work or volunteer now which has definitely affected my mental health. I totally understand how not everyone can relate to this pandemic in the same way, my son being one of those people and it’s hard to fully understand and be there when your perspective is so different. But I try.

The month of May is when I would learn all about becoming a parent on May 13th. I would learn it in a not normal way, as I have discussed a few post back. My son was born and days later he was diagnosed with a life threatening illness. But through all this hardship and it lasted for years, it still affects us with his learning disabilities, I learned so much about how to go through something so unexpected, how to be there for others going through things that are so hard and I learned that the medical field is where I belonged. As I write this with a brain injury, I can honestly say I understand my son so much better now. I forgot that he too had injury to his brain as an infant and some of the things I do now are so what he does, I’m sure the way I feel and am unable to communicate is so normal for him, I get it now.

Right when he got home, he was home for 1-2 days before back to the hospital in the NICU.

The month of May is when my amazing grandma Betty was born on May 18th, she was a strong, courageous woman who taught me so much in my life. She taught me what it meant to be strong and brave, I first watched her battle Guillain-Barré syndrome, going from an unconscious state unable to breathe or talk, paralyzed from the waist down to fighting her way back to being able to breathe, talk, walk and get back home. It taught me how to be strong, how to live a life with no excuses and live life to the fullest. It taught me how important family was and to never take them for granted, it taught me how to show up and be there for your family.

My amazing grandma Betty and grandpa Jack

The month of May is when I would go through two major accidents that truly changed my life, first when I broke my back May 25, 2014 and then when I broke my brain, May 16, 2018. Both of course had to do with a motorcycle. Of course, I wish neither had happened but I learned so much through both of them and have found a new purpose in life and I’m alive, so I am okay. I will never be the person I was before May 16, 2018, but I will appreciate who I was before and who I am now and definitely take life a little slower and never for granted.

Images from my broken spine, a blast fracture and a couple compression fractures
Once I was no longer intubated after my TBI and DAI May 2018 and the tire tracks on my neck from being ran over. It tore my carotid artery.

The month of May, May 15th is the day Jerry McEachern was born. He was like a second dad too me. He was amazing and so funny, I definitely had a post previously about him. He left this world too early due to a motorcycle accident, but he lived his life so full of life, fun and he was such a good dad and husband and I am so grateful that I grew up with him in my life since I was born as he was friends with my parents before I was even made. His laugh and zest for life and quirkiness was a little piece of heaven.

Jerry McEachern 💙

May is when my best friend would welcome her baby girl, Julia into this world on May 29th. The same day that is my college best friend Christians birthday, the man who would change my life and teach me so much about life through my college years at Portland State and when I was a struggling single parent newly separated from my husband at the time. He got me through some tough times and I reconnected with his recently and am so grateful for him and for reconnecting.

Baby Julia is born

May 9th is when my mother in law Barb would be born. She is an amazing woman who has taught me so much, she is so great to her grandkids and has done so much for me and my son. She is from my first marriage and I am so thankful to still have her apart of our life.

May 2010 Barb and I in Vegas

The month of May would be when I spent most of the month in the hospital at Salem Hospital, spent it in a coma, have no memory of this time of my life. I was there for 3.5 weeks, no memory of it. It’s also the month Jaxson would also spend in the hospital NICU after he was born. It weird to look back at it now, like mother like son I guess. We both were inpatient May to July in our lives, and we both don’t have memory of it. We both had surgeries in May. Not something I would wish anyone to have as something in common, but it happened and we do and it’s so odd, such a weird coincidence. But we both beat the odds too, so that’s amazing.

Jax and I, 3 days before my accident, his 13th birthday.

So as you can see May is a weird month for me. May also starts with the letter M which is also for Mindset. Life is all about your mindset, it can be either super shitty or super great, it’s up to you to decided what it will be. Life hasn’t been easy, perfect, exactly as planned. Life has been messy, out of control at times and I didn’t choose for these things to happen. But I did choose my mindset and how to take it all in and what to do with it. May for me is full of miracles. I am a miracle. My son is a miracle. The people I know who were born or lost their life in May are miracles and they all taught me so much. I could make May be one of the most horrible months of my life, but instead, I decided to make it one of the most important, best months of my life. Learn from what you go through. Don’t make one month or one bad thing ruin your life, learn the purpose of it all and find at least one good thing from a horrible experience and find the purpose in it all. It’s there, it may be deep down but I believe you can find something in everything, a purpose in it somewhere in your life. Shifting your thought process can make such a difference in your life and I highly recommend it, my life is so much richer than it once was all due to a simple mindset shift. How is this experience I am going through happening for me, not to me?

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