FEATURED IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A picture of a woman riding a bike. She is wearing black leggings and running shoes. The picture only shows the woman’s legs. She is riding in a park.


A book I read by American psychologist Susan Jeffers encourages people to “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”.

The advice given to those of us with a brain injury is caution, caution, caution.

This time we are living in, full of fear, makes it difficult to put a foot forward and test the waters.

A present I was given sits in my garage, taunting me every time I pick up a garden tool, or take out the garbage. A pretty new bicycle, purchased to replace the last one I was given, that was stolen from our shed after only two short rides.

My soul wants me to get on that bike and see if I have any balance left after my concussion, to feel the air blowing through my hair, that is, the hair that would stick out of my newly purchased helmet.

The words of my neurologist about not hitting my head again bounce through my consciousness, revealing my tendency now to waver between listening to sound advice and doing it anyway!

I ponder a sense of responsibility to stay out of emergency wards, no broken bones or twisted ankles. Three years into this pandemic, they are too busy to occupy themselves with the results of my contrarian experiment.

As I remember the early pandemic days, where hugs with a loved one, a lunch with friends, hiking too close to others, could all cause one to become ill, I’d search for the balance between fearing and doing. Slowly things changed, and slowly smaller adventures slipped into our days.

On reflection, those early days seemed to hold no adventure, yet I filled them somehow. Reading, crafting, writing all took up time, but I worried that life was slipping by, that exciting life I used to know.

Feel the fear, but in 2023, pause, reflect, perhaps do, perhaps don’t. Be safely open to new adventures, and remember everything we’ve been through to get here.

Elizabeth MacGregor is a retired teacher/guidance counselor who enjoys being on a lifelong learning journey.