My mom was this project's inspiration. Despite being active and healthy, in 1997 at age 61 she fell on stairs in her home, dying of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). After her death I opened a perpetual calendar she'd previously given me. It contained daily inspirational quotes, something she and I both collected. On my January birthday, I found her note next to the day's quotation saying, “If we are not together today, know we love you.” That was special! A month or so later she had written next to a quote “This fits you so well. ” I paged through the calendar, finding notes here and there as quotes inspired her. It was an amazing gift.
After my own 2002 TBI, my sixth concussion, I was left with residual cognitive challenges. As a family physician, medical office clinical manager, pilot and daughter of a mom who taught me how to be organized, I found I was using tools and strategies to make my life run smoother that many others did not use. Doing volunteer presentations on how to use these cognitive tools to better function after brain injury for a state brain injury agency led to the idea to put together a calendar with daily inspirational quotes and brain tips. This calendar can help anyone trying to find ways to improve their cognitive functioning and is a great gift from family and friends who can add personalized notes for inspiration.
ExcerptsJanuary 1 -- I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are: making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. (Neil Gaiman)
Attitude -- If we keep trying to do things the way we did before our brain injury, we are more likely to fail. We have different competencies now and to succeed we need to find and use new tools and strategies to augment our skills.
January 11 -- Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. (Helen Keller)
Self Care -- Taking care of you helps your brain function at its best. Good sleep, nutrition, regular exercise and emotional balance are the foundations of good health as well as good brain health.
June 21 -- If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present. (Roy Bennett)
Behavior -- When constantly worrying about something, think what would be the worst-case scenario. How bad would that be? Could you handle that? We are usually very resilient and if we can handle the worst, the rest is much easier.
Barbara Stahura: Review of Brain Tips Inspirational & Motivational Calendar by Cheryle Sullivan, M.D.
One of the challenges of living with brain injury is keeping your life running as smoothly as possible. Another is remaining optimistic and hopeful while living a post-injury life. Cheryle Sullivan’s Brain Tips Inspirational & Motivational Calendar will help you on both counts. As a perpetual calendar, it will inspire and motivate for years after you open it for the first time.
Cheryle’s mother was only 61 when she died as the result of a traumatic brain injury. After six of her own concussions, Cheryle, a family physician, lives with cognitive challenges. She needed a way to stay organized and keep her life running on the right track, and she began collecting and using various tools and strategies to do so. She later created the Brain Tips Inspirational & Motivational Calendar to share her tips with other individuals living with brain injury and their families.
Each day of the year has a tool or strategy, and they cover topics including time management, self-care, attitude, energy management, communication, attention, and even travel. They are only a few sentences long, making them easy to understand and follow. The daily inspirational and motivational quotations come from many sources, ranging from Yogi Berra and Eleanor Roosevelt to Will Rogers and “unknown.” They all offer good food for thought and, if you take them to heart, they will keep you uplifted and moving forward.
Barbara Stahura, CJF, co-author of After Brain Injury: Telling Your Story, A Journaling Workbook