It’s not doing what you want, it’s wanting what you do (as in the Sheryl Crow song “Soak up the Sun”: It’s not having what you want, It’s wanting what you’ve got.)
It’s so easy to get caught up in all the things you can’t do any more. And the more you think about what you can’t do, the more depressed you get. I’d rather focus on the new things that I can do as I recover from the stroke and enjoying doing whatever I’m doing now without comparing it to what others are doing or what I did in the past.
I remember my friend Tony Gough’s older brother telling us once after we finished a very challenging bike ride from Mill Valley over the Golden Gate bridge to San Francisco and back that it didn’t matter to him how many others may have accomplished something before him; it was his accomplishment that mattered to him. That struck me as a very profound insight for a young teenager and I’ve always tried to remember his attitude whenever I’m tempted into comparing myself to others. It’s been very useful since the stroke to keep me focused on what I am doing and not wasting time wishing that my life was different.
The stroke took away my ability to drive (at least for now) and that means that I have to find other means of getting around. I take bus and BART if they’re going my way. I take the paratransit if that’s an option or I figure out how to get a ride. So getting out and about is more difficult than it used to be; but I still can do many enjoyable things. And I can still have adventures. It doesn’t matter that they aren’t the same kind I used to have; I am still extending myself and discovering new horizons.