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In May of this year, while on the highway commuting to Wednesday classes I was teaching then, I was in a car accident.
Following the sickening impact, and after the car finally came to a complete stop, (time feels so different during events like that), I was grateful to be alive – I still am!
It could have been so much worse, but that said it hasn't been easy.
Our lovely red car has now been replaced. I had no broken bones and neither did the other driver, who was up and out of his car much more quickly than I was. I experienced whiplash and learned a lot about concussion and how complex brain injuries are and subsequently PTSD as well.
In addition to learning a lot about my brain, I've been working on patience with myself, adapting to changed abilities (a moving target) and learning to pace myself better, possibly for the first time in my life.
In the past I've always been either full-on or off. I functioned as a flip-style switch, not a volume control knob or dial.
And while I think immoderacy is a character trait that will continue to affect how I do things, I think I am shepherding that energy more and more so that I can manage better not only under my present circumstances, but once all the accident's after-effects are behind me, to work at a more sustainable pace in the future.
There will still be crazy (read therefore exciting and inspiring) projects, intensive work periods and so on, but it's all a question of degree, pacing, rest periods and what supports do I have in place.
This past summer I hosted two interns for the first time in my studio. I have had volunteers (including many friends and students!) help me with big projects in the past, for which I am very grateful, and imagine will have again in future, but the interns were a way to build up to delegating and working with other people on a more regular basis, so I can spread the load more!
So this past Thanksgiving weekend (almost two weeks ago now, as I publish this) I had a lot to be thankful for: my husband Kal Honey, who's helped and supported me through everything, my family and friends, my work and students, and looking back to see how much I've recovered since the accident.
Do you use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to focus on gratitude, or maybe for you it is a daily practice? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
If you would like a free and easy-to-use gratitude journalling page as a pdf you can print, just contact me via this website with the subject "Gratitude Journal" and I will email it to you.
As a visual artist I like nothing more than getting up to my elbows in paint or little plastic toys, or wading in at the deep end in pursuit of an idea. When I am not teaching others in a similar vein, you can find me researching, writing and noodling around in my studio, seeing where my latest lines of inquiry lead me.
All images and content on this website © Kim-Lee Kho 2005–2018 except as indicated. All rights reserved. No reproduction without express, written permission.