It is late at night. I am just so tired. So tired.
I should be asleep, but the truth is that I am keyed up, feeling like I am studying up for a final exam that I don’t even know the questions to. Sort of like the going to class naked nightmare thing, except I’m awake and I have clothes on and all I have to lose is the carefully pieced together health insurance puzzle that I have accumulated over 18 months of living here in Minnesota.
So here I am.
Stressed and trying and tired.
I can’t live like this every day. No one can.
I need my happiness.
Obviously I think life can and should and needs to be better than all that. So of course, I have been working on developing something of a life plan. They don’t have to be 30 year plans to be a life plan, you know. They can be this fall life plans. Incremental plans. And so I have a few.
I am excited and terrified both, though. Because all these plans require a wheelchair I can sit in daily for long stretches of time, and I have had too many days in the last few months where I am dreadfully uncomfortable and pained because my wheelchair no longer fits my body. I feel afraid that it is an understatement to say that.
But I have to try anyway to do what I have been dreaming of, because there is something quite sad in waiting for life to be perfect before you live it.
There is only this one life, this one happiness.
I am going to do my best, come what may.
In between the tedious necessities, we have the joys.
Tuesdays from 10:30–12:30 I have knitting circle. It meets two blocks from our apartment. The Saint Paul Community Education organization hosts it. That’s a wonderful thing, because it means that they can hire an interpreter to come and sit with us, and I can spend two hours talking to fellow enthusiasts about, you know, this whole knitting and yarn and crocheting and creating thing. It is a wonderful outlet.
Fridays from 6 to 8 I have ASL chat. We talk about whatever in ASL, in a group setting of people from different backgrounds and there is just something delightfully weird and wonderful in talking about homecoming week at your shared alma mater, and neither of us remembering the modern name for either of the freshman dorms.
That’s for right now. Ongoing.
October is when things will get harder and more interesting.
Mondays from 4–5:30 I will have bowling, a disabled group where I will be doing something I actually do miss very much from my stint in assisted living, bowling together in a group of people. This group event is for two months, and they are specially set up for all sorts of bodies, including those who use wheelchairs. I’m very very much looking forward to it, as my grandfather and my mama were bowling league members for many years.
I will also be starting the courses necessary to get my CDI certification. It has been a long time dream of mine to become a Certified Deaf Interpreter, and while I have no expectations of a career let alone anything more than being someone who can do something helpful every once in a while, just because I have little resources does not mean I don’t still want and don’t still feel the need to give back and contribute to my community, especially the local community that has given me so much. I applied to a local organization’s training program, and I was accepted to it, and I am really quite excited about it. The classes are paid for, and the testing will similarly be covered, because of the grant that the organization received, as the need for highly qualified CDIs is still acute. Fortunately, the training is being broken up into chunks of a weekend per month for the next few months. I just have to somehow manage the hard part: getting through two days in a row of sitting in my wheelchair for 12 hours each day. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about that. I am. But I am looking forward to this all the same.
So that’s how very stressed out very tired people work on getting better about all that. They sign themselves up for interesting things, and they find ordinary things to get really and truly excited about.
Then they go and do their best to do these things.
Here’s where you come in, though. I am not getting better. I am holding on. Holding on is important. It’s wonderful. What I’m trying to do is to do better, be happier, enjoy what I can enjoy. The problem is that I struggle these days to get around in my beloved wheelchair that I have, and I struggle hard to sit in it for extended periods. But I still need and want to do more than to stay in bed all the time. One incredibly major source of stress in the last month or so is trying to get one of the sadly handful of insurance companies and waiver programs that I am on, to step up and pay for the new wheelchair. Let’s just say that doing it that way will take months, at best. It terrifies me to think of waiting for months. I’m not saying I refuse to wait, I’m saying… it’s very difficult at best, and very stressful, to try to do the process of getting a proper wheelchair, and no, I can’t just get a crappy $100 rental style wheelchair. I wish, but that’s not how this works. That is much too heavy to load into the car, much too difficult for me to push myself around in, too large for me to be able to sit in for anything longer than a few minutes without a great deal of pain, and I do know all this from experience; I had one for two years before I had my current pink wheelchair.
A good wheelchair is really not different from a good pair of shoes, and it makes just as much difference in one’s life.
The beautiful and amazing Michael put together a pagefor me. I don’t like asking for things. (Ask him how long he asked me if there was anything he could help me with. Just this side of forever, I think.) I don’t want a “thing,” though.
I just want happiness.
You won’t be able to completely get rid of stress, but there are many ways to manage it so that it affects your life less in a negative way. In some cases, you can even use it to produce positive outcomes.
In its simplest form, that feeling is the presence and awareness of pure calm, peace and relaxation and nothing creates that better than hypnosis! Of course, the presence of cellular/psychological love, means the absence of all the other Stuff!
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