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How-to create your own survival guide

Posted on by Patrice Jackson
Survival Compass

Survival Compass

How did we get through our challenge? I can’t say for sure if it was our natural optimism or our military “can-do” attitude, but each day we faced together the adventure in front of us and stayed determined to embrace the journey. We faced death as we faced life, together, as one. We drew our strength from each other to help the other one cope—it is just our natural reaction to adversity.  We also turned to others—friends, family, caregivers — and they were a bottomless source of help.

As time went by, I saw a pattern in how we were dealing with our challenge. We refused to be disheartened or give up. We didn’t cut ourselves off from others, especially those who wanted to help. We planned special activities and outings designed to heal and lift our spirits. And we continuously thought of it as an adventure and remained positive as much as we could.

This pattern, we realized, was actually a series of strategies we’d been using to deal with our crisis… and they were working! Seeing that they could also help others, no matter what the obstacles, we decided to share our journey.

After indoctrination at the hospital was concluded, and things began to start hopping, it was time to give our first report to family and friends. The hospital staff, God bless them, allowed us to use their internet, remember this was 2002, before the Smartphone or Wi-Fi Hot Spots. Our first email to family and friends went out typed by Rickey: “Adventure—Day One.”

All the following emails we would send were labeled by the day of the adventure.  We never do things half-way. I know many people keep notes or a journal about their challenges, whether it’s a disease or a flood. But we decided to take it one step further and put together an Adventure, Day One Survival Guide. It describes what we ended up calling our seven mile markers—or strategies. They have helped us immensely and are incorporated here.  And, while this idea of treating a challenge as an adventure may not come naturally to you and your family, we hope you will be inspired to give it a try. It didn’t take long before our family and friends were calling our experience an adventure too.

During this time, to go with our survival guide, we also designed a logo for Adventure, Day One as our symbol for survival. Having a symbol is like having something to hang our hat on, something to formally mark the occasion and gauge how far we have come. The logo, seen on the book cover, Adventure, Day One, depicts the circle of life and the branch is our journey. Each leaf represents our growth on the journey of self-discovery that strengthens our spirit and grounds our direction as we face our challenges going forward.

The leaves stand for:

One: Positive attitude is a choice – you are in control of your attitude, make it a positive one.

Two: Embrace the moment – make a memory, for you may never pass this way again.

Three: Leave your mark – you may only get one chance, make it count.

Four: Stop and take notice – pay attention to those around you, for we are all connected.

Five: Believe in someone or something – don’t give up on your faith.

Six: True character shows in adverse times – be of strong character.

Seven: Make a difference… one day at a time

Here is our story of how we used the seven strategies to help us stay the course, avoid the worst of the storms, and sail on home again. What an adventure!

Available at Amazon Adventure, Day One

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