​Welcome 2021!

Posted by Amber Collie in Life After Paralysis on January 07, 2021 # COVID-19, Lifestyle

Many of us have high hopes for 2021 and are quite happy to say goodbye to 2020. What a year 2020 was. Life on this planet has changed in many ways. With the sudden worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, a new way of life has taken form. Stay at home policies issued, no personal travel, businesses closed, folks began to work from home, school is now online, words like remote learning and hybrid have been introduced. Doctor appointments are now telehealth appointments. Personally, I hadn't heard of Zoom before this pandemic. We wear a face-covering in all public places, staying 6ft apart from other human beings. We no longer shake hands or hug. I took a selfie recently with my daughter were both wearing masks. I commented, "I'm smiling. You just can't see it." So much in our world has changed, and quickly! But I am amazed and reminded of how we can adapt.Amber and Zack

For eight years, I was my son's full-time caregiver. Zack broke his neck in a beach accident when he was 15, leaving him a C-4 Quadriplegic. He had moved out two years ago with his fiancé and help from an outside caregiver, but once the Coronavirus hit, I was re-employed as Zack's part-time caregiver.

I can remember waking up on Memorial Day 2010, having plans to go to a neighbor's pool party. Life was moving along as normal. Probably stressed out about how much laundry needed to be done. Suddenly, with one phone call, my family's entire world changed forever. Our path was abruptly switched onto a devastating one, one that would take us places I never ever thought possible.

No one knows where life is going to take you. I have learned the long and hard way that I can make plans, but I better stay the hell flexible else the universe will force me to be. Sudden shifts in life happen all the time, both in small and large ways that change your life.Zack

We have zero control over certain things. Control is something I have a constant war with. Before we go doom and gloom, the quite amazing part of this is that you actually do have control over your reaction to these life shifts, however insane they are. Emotions are powerful. I am an emotional person and I do a lot of things based on my emotions. I used to think I had no control over them, and I let them run my life. I found out that living this way feels like I am on a constant roller coaster. With all life's ups and downs, this way of living is exhausting! I have come to recognize the difference between the things I cannot change and the things that I can. I have no control over this pandemic, my son's injury, my daughter having diabetes, or the death of loved ones. I do have control over my response to these things. Acceptance is crucial, then choosing to find and focus on any positive side or find the lesson in the mess. Do not get stuck in one place, and things will continue to evolve and shift around. While I do have hope for the New Year, I have made a list of small and larger goals. I continue to practice accepting life's challenges, searching, and appreciating all the good things in my life.

Cheers to you. Stay healthy, grateful, and flexible. Welcome 2021!

My life has had many parts, I could write a book just on that section but let's fast forward to when I married Adron Collie. Two weeks after turning 20 (yes, very young!) I had Zackery at age 22, Levi at 24, six years later Kaden, and 18 months after that daughter Laila, making me a busy mother of four. At that time, I also ran a photography business. The year Zack was injured I had a child in Preschool, Elementary, Jr. High and High School. Four kids in four schools! I thought I was so busy, just getting their drop off and pick up times correct was a challenge. I have to laugh now thinking back on that because little did I know my life was just about to turn upside down.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.