Graphic design uses a concept called "negative space." It's the empty space around whatever it is you want your audience to look at. Negative space helps define the subject. Properly used it's as important as what is there.
If the subject is "my life," then the stroke helped bring it into focus. What's important? As I regain energy, how do I want to use it?
Two years before the stroke, I left an all-consuming career to pursue a lifelong dream to write. I did write…some…but in the heady rush of freedom, I also let my life become busy with non-writing. I cleaned my house and tended my garden as if Sunset magazine would be doing a photo shoot. I tutored out of a compulsive need to contribute financially. I devoted myself to becoming the Best Auntie in the World.
Since the stroke I don't clean. I don't garden. I don't see my nieces and nephews as often. The stroke created negative space. In the quiet parcels of time between therapy and the few household chores I manage, I find myself drawn to my desk. It's relatively comfortable to sit here gazing at the computer. But there is only so much on-line Scrabble I can play and then I yearn for something more. I start to write.
The stroke is helping me to become "the me" I always wanted to be. As if by design.