5 Things My Concussion Taught Me

About a week ago, I managed to hit my head quite hard on a corner while doing laundry. Trust me, I know there are approximately one thousand more fun ways to get an injury! After I was still experiencing symptoms 24 hours later, I went and got seen by my primary care physician who ordered at least 4 days off work, 6 days of NO SCREENS and a month (a month!) of ‘unitasking’ [she basically said, try to limit your brain to either one input or one output at a time for at least a month]. It was humbling and taught me some more than someone who’s taken more than her fair share of tumbles for equines in her lifetime would have expected.

  1. Unitasking is actually faster – I finally took time to switch our ‘coat closet’ from winter to summer. While our house lacks a good landing zone (I appreciate the one at my SIL’s each winter SO MUCH), we have a shoe organizer hanging behind a door that holds hats, gloves, C’s shoes, etc. I have been putting off for weeks. Well, without a screen or podcast or music, I got it done in less than 15 minutes. There is something to be said for just jumping into a task rather than hunting for the right song or playlist before diving in.
  2. I have forgotten how to be a self – I have to admit, the first day of ‘no screens at all’ I really struggled with what to do with myself. I ran a virtual 5k I signed up for, I cleaned up the house and then I just kinda…looked around. Chores and exercise aren’t truly, deeply self care – they are a function required of living. We have to live in a clean, safe place and we have move for health!
  3. I don’t let myself get bored anymore – In the haze and daze of Instagram and connecting and sharing, I have obscured that still small voice that says who I am. We know that this digital life that so rarely allows for good, real BOREDOM is so hard for kids – why do we not assume the same for ourselves? I know I will need to make space to be bored more often.
  4. It is really hard to break up with your phone – they are addictive. A few friends have read and really like How to Break Up with Your Phone and I wasn’t convinced but after this forced break (where I totally still checked it and texted resulting in about an hour of screen time a day) – I know I need to do better, model better.
  5. Our human bodies are fragile – Hardest but maybe the truest? One good whack brought me to a week off work, days of walking where I wanted to go and time for a real break – rather than one where I tried to cram in all the projects, budgeting, and to do’s that are still on my list.

What I Read: Feb & Mar ’19

Run Fast. Eat Slow and Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow by Shalene Flanagan: I raced thru these two cookbooks and really enjoyed them. We tried a few recipes and I wish there was a way to own 1 of both together; there is some redundancy.

Home by Toni Morrison: I listened to this as an audiobook read by the author and I really enjoyed it! The subject matter can be heavy but hearing Morrison bring her own words to life was a thrill.

Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchin Rubin: I also raced thru this book. If you are a devotee to Rubin, like I am, there is not a lot of new information in this book. So much of it is in her other works or has been discussed on this podcast, I was frankly, disappointed I spent money on it. I will get wait for her next release from the library.

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo: Another book I picked up in person from Louise Erdrich’s bookstore in Minneapolis. (How I wish I could pop into that store more frequently! Although, I suppose it is good for my bank account and groaning bookshelves that I can’t!). There are some beautiful poems in this book and there were some lines that just absolutely punched me in the gut.

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: Another audiobook to the rescue! I work with a lot of data on a daily basis (sometimes I’m update millions of records a day) and I really enjoyed this take on big data. Stephens-Davidowitz has some really interesting takes on things that the Internet can tell us (specifically Google searches) – for example, Americans are significantly more racist than they admit, abortion is more common than people believe (with a terrifying increase in DIY methods) and more. If you are interested in Big Data, it is certainly worth checking out.



Baby C: 2.5 Years old! (no longer a baby)

Likes: Thomas the Train, anything train related, the library

Dislikes: anything about the potty (spoiler, this changes after you hit 2.5), not being able to help

Who You Saw: nearly everyone our family’s various Christmas celebrations!

Where You Went: Minnesota, Cleveland with Mama and Daddy

Milestone: You started a new daycare! Mama started a new job and you are now able to go to school right near her new work. You are loving it!

What I Read: Jan ’19

The Bookshop of Yesterday’s by Amy Meyerson: I found this book sort of trite and formulaic. There was a twist I should have seen coming and after it, I was no longer interested in how things ended up for the characters.

Together: Our Community Kitchen by the Women of the Hubb Community Kitchen: This was a Christmas gift and was so much fun to read! I always forget how different UK cookbooks are from US ones though – there will be some conversion to cook out of it!

The Blue Jay’s Dance: A Birth Year by Louise Erdrich: I bought this at her bookstore and I cannot believe I didn’t know about this one from Erdrich. I told a friend that I cannot be objective about her writing and that continues to be true for me. I found this enthralling, engaging and felt it captures that fuzzy period of late pregnancy and the first year post-partum perfectly. Life continues around you and the cocoon a mother and little one share together.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue: This was a book club book and I listened to it as an audio book. I am so glad I did! It was one of the first audio books where I felt the voice actor brought more to the story for me. Following an immigrant family from Cameroon to New York City in 2008, this is a moving narrative about the modern American Dream and who gets to partake in it.

What I Read: Dec ’18

Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee: I listened to this one and I found it to be much too long. Chee focused so much on clothing – for pages at a time and while I am sure the historical research is spot on, I found it tedious and distracted from the main character.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: I devoured this. Another selection for book club, I have seen it at Target for ages and I am so grateful for the nudge to pick it up. Seriously, thrilling, amazing work.