I’ve blogged before about Jill Bolte-Taylor. She’s a scientist who studies the brain. So when she realised she was having a stroke herself at a relatively young age, she found the whole thing quite fascinating. Anyway, there is a TED talk (see below as it’s worth posting twice) and she has a book that’s widely available: “My Stroke of Insight”. But someone recently posted a PDF of whole book to a Facebook stroke group so I’ve included that link too.
(Click if you prefer it in paperback or Kindle format.)
It’s all change at my end.
After the stroke I took three months before going back to work, initially part-time. But I left the role exactly 6 months after the stroke. Something I never would have predicted before it. Then I finished a Masters degree and did some freelance work. I graduated in July, just after my house – which I rented – was sold. So I had to make some really big decisions. I feel the need to buy a house so I can pay it off over time and have some security. And I couldn’t do that anywhere I actually wanted to live in the city in which I lived (as an indication, the relatively ordinary two-and-a-half bedroom house with a tiny courtyard for a garden that I lived in sold for £820k..!). So I needed to change the way my world worked to some extent too.
So I moved to a place where I only knew a couple of people. I had coffee with anyone that would have coffee with me. And within a couple of months I got a job offer from a really big firm that needs a specialist in both what I used to do for a job and what I studied at university, and are willing to have me based in the city to which I moved.
Do I really want to be in that place doing that job? Honestly, I have no idea. Some days yes and some days no. There is somewhere else I’d rather be but that didn’t happen; and for Christmas and New Year I’ve been back in my old city feeling no particular reason to go back to the new one much before my work start date. But it’s city that is loveable, there are people that are lovely, and there is a salary that will work for house buying on offer.
Today I have to go see their medics, by chance in my old town seeing as that’s where I am this week. I know they can’t un-offer me the job – the bits of law you learn are interesting! It’s because I ticked the box to say I need ‘reasonable adjustments’ which by law they have to provide. It’s not much: a high backed chair for when I spend a reasonable amount of time at my desk, and the note that I’m going to (a) stick reasonably close to my contracted hours – not my old natural style but it’s going to be my new one so I’ll have to work that out and (b) I’m going to hold them to the offer of working one or two days from home each week. Those of you who know me know I hate working from home. I really do dislike it. But I want a life outside work too and to have that I need to balance the one inside work to make sure that can happen.
In reality, everything I want to do will be compromised, of course. But without winning the lottery, what can one do?