Archive | January 2015

What Do You Learn When Things Are Easy

I seem to pick tasks that seem to be easy, but turn out to be difficult. Sometimes I forget that I still have disabilities from the stroke. Then I am quickly reminded, and my “easy” task turns into “therapy”. Besides, what do you learn when things are easy? Not much!
When I first came home from the hospital after the stroke, I was paralyzed on one side, and everything was a new experience in living life that way. I am stubborn, so I wanted to push through the difficulties without help. Ha! Initially, I needed help with everything. Within the first year, I was doing most things by myself. Some things better than others! Intense weakness has replaced the paralysis. When I would be doing something that was too hard, and someone would try to help, I would say that it was therapy for me and I had to keep trying. There were also times that I’d try to get Bryan or the kids to take over what I felt was too hard, and they would say “No, it’s therapy!” Haha! They never let me get away with quitting! They did learn that there are limits to that, though! They are still very helpful, and I am thankful for them!
What started me thinking about all of this today, was a recipe that I chose to make. I bought a new cookbook called “Quick and Easy Dump Cakes”. The title had me assume that all of the recipes in the book were easy. A dump cake is a cake where you dump a box of this, and a can of that, into a pan and bake. No mixers involved, and not very much measuring, either. Simple! So, I read every recipe, and decided to make apple bars. It wasn’t a cake, but a cake mix is used in the recipe. It sounded so good!!
Well, after I started cutting the hard butter into cubes, I was ready to be done, and I had just started!! Then, I had to use a pastry blender, which is a tool that cuts the butter into the dry ingredients to make them into a crumbly texture. My right hand very quickly gave out because of the shoulder and back action that it takes to do that task. So, my left hand took over. Then I thought, this is therapy. Back to the right hand to mix. Right hand, left hand, right hand. It was so hard to do!!!!
I finally got it to the correct consistency, and then I had to add an egg. Seems easy, right? WRONG! At this point, my non-swearing self wanted to start swearing! But, I always say that people can “feel” what you put in to what you make. So I bake with love, and people feel that love when they eat whatever I make. If I started swearing and getting frustrated, then people would feel that when they ate the apple bars. So I put on my happy face, said it was more therapy, and I got through it using both of my bare hands. Then I was really happy to be putting it in the oven!
They finished baking, cooled a little, and I had to try one. They’re pretty good, but not something that I’ll make very often. I think I’ll try a dump cake next time!
I like it that people can’t tell that I’ve had a stroke. But then it’s hard when I cant go somewhere, or participate in a function because of the stroke, and I feel like they don’t understand. I know my limits, and I can only do what I can do. My body quickly tells me, in one way or another. Sometimes it’s physically, and sometimes it’s internally. My blood pressure may shoot up with or without warning.
So, I plug along, and continue to find the therapy in things that are difficult. I remind myself, and now I remind you, what do you learn when things are easy? Not much! So, embrace the difficult things with a smile, and know that you are learning something. But know your limits, too!
I’m happy to be back on my blog, and I’m thankful that you’re reading it! Life is really good!!