Learning and Inspiration from the Simplest of Sources

by Helene Louise  

Learning and Inspiration from the Simplest of Sources

As much as I thrive on having a routine in my life in order to fit in everything that needs to get done on any given day (and maybe get to the things I just want to do…), I recognize that the “learning and inspiration from the simplest of sources” as I recently wrote about, is sometimes facilitated by stepping out of my routine for a time.

This past week for example, I spent a few days in Maine. I know November isn’t exactly prime time for tourism, as evidenced by the fact that many of the tourism-related services like the bike rental shops were closed for the season and that we narrowly missed a major storm the day before we arrived. But, if you don’t need to rent a bike and you don’t mind bundling up, there is beauty and inspiration to be found in so many places. In my case, walking along the wind-swept coastline, a blustery palette of blues and greys, and nothing but ocean as far as you can see, was a chilly but refreshing reminder that there is so much beyond my to-do list and whatever frustrations I might feel as I myopically move from task to task in my usual routine.

And surprisingly, beyond the reminder to look above and beyond my daily list, I was also unexpectedly reminded of my past. In a Scandinavian-themed store, I came across all sorts of products and items that spontaneously brought forward warm memories of a time decades ago. I was born in Sweden but have grown up proudly Canadian. Still, the memories brought forward by objects I hadn’t seen or thought about in years was a heart-warming reminder of the person I was before I became a mother, before I faced the challenges of figuring out how to help my daughter after a childhood stroke, and before my days were defined by the activities that make up my current routine.

In a way, these recent experiences reflect the perspective I am generally trying to bring to the broader discussion about the importance of hope and perseverance in the context of rehabilitation after a childhood stroke. The importance of looking beyond the diagnosis in the short term and maybe drawing on one’s experiences from the past to move forward. Even when she was a baby, I always believed that my daughter could be more than the sum total of the dark limitations placed on her by the first specialist we met. A decade and a half or so later, that had certainly proven to be the case. I continue to appreciate the learning and inspiration I find from the simplest of sources—both at home and away.

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