November 7th, 2011


Journal of gratitude, day #9: my mind

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of all, and to give the holiday more meaning, I've been journaling gratefully. Today is Day #9. I'm grateful for my mind.

I don't want this to sound like I'm in love with my mind, or think that I am so much smarter than other people, or that I'm an arrogant person because I think I'm smart. That's not my style at all. I realize that I have an awesome mind, and I just want to be able to express that in a (somewhat) detailed way.

As you know, I was in an accident about 12 1/2 years ago rendering me paralyzed from the shoulders down. The accident took my body from me, and in the painful weeks following that awful realization, I realized something else -- I still had my mind.

And my mind is awesome. If I had to choose between my body and my mind, I would choose the mind every single time. So I'm so grateful that I still have it, and that I can use it for good purposes.

I love that I can remember so much stuff. My earliest memory was when I was barely over one-year-old. I have a bunch of memories from when I was under the age of three. As painful as it is to remember sometimes, I have extremely clear recollections of elementary school and middle school. Surprisingly, my memory became a lot less awesome as I gained friends. I couldn't remember everything like I used to, probably because I was filling my brain with things to remember about people instead of just the events that happened in my life, or things that I learned in school.

Speaking of school, my brain is good for that, too. I graduated high school in the top 10% of my class, and I did great in college. I graduated with distinction with my associate degrees, cum laude with my bachelor's degree, and I was .02 GPA points away from graduating with distinction from my masters program. (I still had a 3.83 GPA, though.) Though I haven't taken a math class since 1998, I still remember just about everything I was taught, even though I have no reason to retain that information, other than I have helped/do help all of my siblings with their math homework. I realize that this paragraph might come across as bragging, and if I'm honest, it might be bragging a little bit. But I love my brain, you guys! I'm so grateful for how smart it is! Maybe it would be worse to be all, "yeah, I'm not that smart or whatever," but really thinking that I am? I don't know. As you can see, my mind is not the best at figuring out logical processes.

I have worked really hard to have my mind be what it is today, and I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for the good ideas it has, and the creativity it has, and for the memory capacity and capacity for retaining knowledge and remembering things about people and places and other things. I'm also grateful for when it's kind of dumb, because it makes me laugh. For instance, sometimes, when I'm really tired, and you know how you take that extra long blink sometimes, but when I do that sometimes, my mind thinks -- for a fraction of a second -- "Why did it get so dark?" And then afterwards, I laugh, because it's really funny.

I'm grateful that I can help so many other people with the knowledge that my mind has, and that I can be thoughtful and kind, and that I have the capacity to change who I am by my thought processes. For example, sharing used to be extremely hard for me, especially sharing my food. Being paralyzed, I just take what I can get, really, but sometimes people will help themselves to what they are feeding me. It used to annoy me to all ends of the earth! However, I decided not to be annoyed by that anymore, and I should be happy to be able to share with people who are helping me, and in the grand scheme of things, it's not going to matter if I had that one missing bite of mashed potatoes or spaghetti or whatever. Now it doesn't bother me at all, and in fact, I like it. Being able to change for the better is the decision-making process that I get from my mind, and I'm grateful for it.

I know that I have so many things I need to work on to be a better person, but I know because of my mind, I will be able to do it and be successful. I'm so grateful for my mind and my brain!

This is my high school graduation photo.

This is my college graduation photo, nine years later. I'm looking hopefully into the future. :-)