Monday, 7 January 2013

In the pursuit of joy

Shortly before Jake's accident I was listening to Liza Tarbuck on Radio 2 when she said that her philosophy for life came from a Bob Dylan lyric: "the best is always yet to come". She put particular emphasis on the word always and if she had written rather than said it I believe it would have been in capitals, bold and italics; ALWAYS!

At the time I completely connected to and loved this sentiment and decided to adopt is as my own. I printed it out and put in my office so I didn't forget.

And then, and then...

It is hard to believe that the best is always yet to come when the absolute worst has actually happened. I can honestly say that I haven't revisited those words since the accident and it is no longer on the wall of my office (or the floor, I checked), so I suppose I must have taken it down during that murky, dark time when I was too bewildered and befuddled to know what was happening.

So when I woke suddenly on Saturday night with the thought "what the hell was that saying I was going to adopt?" racing around my head and careering into my skull, I decided to take it as a sign. At this stage it is worth noting that I'm not one for attributing random thoughts to 'signs' or other fanciful tosh of that sort, but the feeling was so strong I have decided to go with it.

Not a moment too soon either if my last few blogs have been anything to go by; blimey, what a moaning minnie I've become!

So, how do you genuinely believe the best is always yet to come when you are faced with climbing a huge jelly mountain smeared in butter with your feet tied together (just a metaphor folks, there is no actual jelly)? You make it happen, that's how.

Almost as soon as Jake was moved out of ITU (for the first time!) I announced that my mission in life was now to bring joy to Jake's life, whatever that looked like. Out of this was born the concept of 'Project Jake's Joy'. The focus of PJJ would be to find life experiences and opportunities to give purpose, meaning and joy to Jake's life, giving him buckets full of reasons to be glad to have survived in spite of his remaining deficits and challenges.

But do you know what occurred to me as I lay in bed rooting around the back of my brain for that phrase? If it's just about Jake, what will that mean for me, my life, my friends and family and ultimately, what impact would that have on our marriage? What good is fighting to get Jake back to joy if I lose myself in the process? How will that help?

So I am now Team Leader of Project Joy and that is what I am going to make happen. The focus of PJ is to find life experiences and opportunities to give purpose, meaning and joy to Jake AND everyone who loves and supports him.

Project Joy is a bit formless at the moment; currently there are lots of ideas and not a lot of firm plans, but hopefully you can help me there. If you have any ideas, particularly if you have experience as a survivor and someone who supports and loves one, please share them.

So far we have:

- Volunteering at the Cats Protection League (we start this tomorrow!)
- Imp of Doom restoration
- Wednesday date night
- Posh hotel mini break (booked)
- Gran Canaria holiday (booked)
- Weekend visits to friends in London
- Companion cycling trips
- Beaulieu motor museum
- Imp 50th anniversary weekend for the unveiling of the finished Imp of Doom

- Joining a local girls only monthly dinner club (this one is just for me!)

Tomorrow sees the delivery of our new car (yes, the evil insurance company wrote the other one off) and next Tuesday is the much longed for and yet dreaded criminal court date, so never a dull moment in brain injury land!

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