Redesigning everyday life – Start climbing

Last week I got permission to start a reintegration project with a foundation that specializes in people with brain damage and getting them back to work, or other meaningful social activity.
My work with the revalidation centre is almost done , I can manage my day to day life pretty well without going into the red. It still takes a lot of careful consideration and planning. But for now it’s more than enough to manage daily things. Next step will be getting back to work, with specialized help, which is paramount. At the recovery centre they do not have this kind of expertise as their focus is on the day to day.

So it was important to get the approval of the government body that issues my social benefits as they need to pay for it. In the old days, before the new law my employer would be responsible for my salary, recovery etc for 2,5 years. Since I just switched jobs and only had my second short term contract out of three maximum, with the new law the government takes this responsibility, and must make sure I get back to work instead of the employer as my contract ended.

the idea behind this law is to reduce the risk for employers and make sure more people get long term contracts. In real life a lot of people only get the 3 short term contracts and then get replaced, especially with generic work. The new law works it’s magic, but that’s another discussion altogether. Just some background to sketch my situation.

So with the government now has taken on the role of employer , I have to make sure everything I want to do and has to do with work related recovery has to be approved. So last week I had a meeting with my case manager and I told my story, and why I already wanted to get a head start with this new trajectory. The main issue is that all things recovery are going slow. And if I want to take the full effect I need to get started.

My case manager understood this perfectly and has worked it out very fast, so last Friday I got the OK and tomorrow I will have my first intake meeting, and hopefully get started quickly. I am looking forward to it as it’s a new step. I can now go forward again. Learning that all things take time was very valuable.

I am now back in the valley , it’s time to start climbing the mountain.

Focus find it and keep it

Focus is something I lack these days, not general focus but the ability too focus on a task for a long time. This wasn’t always the case, as I mentioned before my main fault was in wanting to do to much things that required a lot of focus. Now that that problem is out of the way I needed to get started with developing new projects. I have now come up with a very short list of things I want to do in the coming months, other then recovering.

First thing on the list is writing, simply because it’s the most relaxing thing I have been doing lately. It helps tremendously in calming me down and shaping a form of order in my sometimes chaotic head.

The second thing is getting my physical condition back on track, just as I got back to a nice level my knee gave in and I my running was halted. Now the knee feels solid enough to start working out again, no running yet as I want a final check to make sure it’s not damaged in any way. But some strength and core training I will be planning for the next few weeks to get my blood pumping a bit. And that’s it. No more no less.

There are other projects on the list but for now this is it. The projects are clear and manageable. Which is important. My targets are modest. For writing I want too work on a blog post every day and publish one a week. I will write about stuff that inspires me , gives me energy and helps me in my personal development.

In this process I am also making some minor adjustments, like turning off the sound of my phone so I don’t get distracted. Leaving computers off and only write on paper. Setting very small goals and hitting them. This should help in increasing the focus. It’s very interesting because on a larger scale cutting back and planning already have been producing good results. So on we go.

Minimalism

Watched “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”, on minimalism. Short version of the definition is living a meaningful life with less. Less stuff, meaning less material possessions, and stop the never-ending chase of more stuff.

Giving more space for time , perusing life goals , and focussing on experiences and way less on chasing materials possessions. I have been interested in this subject for a while now. The documentary outlines the trade off between time , money, material possessions and valuation of these items in life. So If I buy this product, what will this add to my life. It’s not advertising getting rid of all of your stuff. Just ask the question will owning this make me happier. For example , my record collection is an ongoing source of happiness, listening to the records, feeling the records, cataloguing them (yes even that) makes me happy. So should I get rid of them, no. Because they add value to my life. That’s the important question.

It’s not about living out of a suitcase and owning nothing, it’s about making life interesting, intriguing and happier when you get rid of the things that don’t add value to your life. Changing your way of thinking and getting out of the more and bigger is better rat race , rewards you with more time spend on things you value the most. It reduces your financial obligations and lowers the need for a high paid and high stress job as well as the need to finance your life , or should we say lifestyle.

It’s interesting because when thinking about it, you work hard , have less free time and what do we do in general, we spent our hard earned money as fast as possible in our limited free time. And the race continues. Advertising and popular culture creates this goal people trying to achieve, whether it is consciously or not. And a lot of people seem on auto pilot in that direction in one way or the other.

Trying to think about life differently is hard, for me it is anyway. Because ‘success’ is still measured with your job, financial position and stuff you own. While it should be measured by what makes you happy in life, not what society’s definition of a happy and successful life is. Food for thought.

Running and recovery

Since my encephalitis I have been suffering from concentration problems, analytical and problem solving issues, among other things. My recovery has gone fairly steadily upwards in the beginning but now is stalling a bit. One thing that is helping me a lot is exercising. Especially running. It helps me regaining my energy and makes me feel very happy. As my Paris marathon got cancelled I have now selected a new Marathon as a nice goal to work towards. It’s not going to be an attempt on my PR, the aim is to get across the finish line in one piece.

My recovery experts told me I have to select a goal to work towards and that there should be no pressure. So this is what I selected. I will keep a log of my training activity and share my thoughts on how it’s affecting me in general and towards the recovery.