There are several different themes and variations to this proverb, I found them researching this one, but this one struck home for me.
Now, nobody really wants to fail. Failures don't give you that warm fuzzy feeling and pride in your success, does it? Nah! Just the opposite. It feels like a punch in the gut by a wrecking ball. So the choices are really two: excel or accept somewhere in the middle. Somewhere in the middle works until you learn to excel.
After a stroke, it feels like you've been punched in the gut. Your whole life has been turned upside down and even twisted in a kaleidoscope fashion without the pretty image. Unless you are one of the blessed few that recover everything within a month after your stroke, you are looking at adversity that may last years, or even the rest of your life.
At first, it's frustrating to relearn what you knew how to do yesterday. It's a hard, rocky road. There is no smooth, grassy lane to side step onto. You just have to knuckle down and plod on to regain even the previously simple tasks you had been doing for decades before your stroke. Learning or relearning is never easy. Just after my stroke, I compared myself to my six-month old grandson. I was having to learn to feed, speak, walk, and toilet train myself all over again.
Once the basics was relearned more or less, I entered into childhood again. There were tasks of reading, comprehension, math, cooking, and cleaning. I'm still struggling with some of these items even five years after my last stroke. All this time, I'm also battling grief over the loss of what my strokes had taken away from me. Temper tantrums, think a two-year old, stemming from frustration. This is compounded by PBA (pseudobulbar affective disorder), tremors, and spasticity added as side effects of my strokes. Nothing like kicking a horse when it's down.
All of this happened in a matter of months instead of years because I'd been here before. I was a head strong with a genius level IQ before my stroke. I still am somewhere in the deep recess of my mind. It's still trying to navigate around the dead patches in my brain. As I said before, I'm still trying to perfect my relearning in all the ages like toilet training from the toddler age, tempering my adventurousness, and rebellious side, but holding onto the fun.
This journey through adversity, I have learned more than I did the first time around this life and gained a level of wisdom I couldn't have learned without it. I've always thought that death was an absence of learning. A stroked brain is the mother of relearning a different way. I've used my creativity to a level that I couldn't have dreamed was possible by figuring out how to do what I needed or wanted to do. It's cockeyed, but it's getting done. So what if it isn't done the same way everyone else does. I'm a unique individual in a world of copy cats. You know what? I kind of like it like that. Why be ordinary in you life when you can be EXTRAordinary.
Nothing is impossible.