November Blogathon: Thankful Thursday

This is a special edition post for 2 reasons, 1. I’m posting on a holiday & 2. Thankful Thursday happens over at Run Sickboy Run as well.

What am I thankful for?

Community: I’m SO thankful for the community that’s formed around me. I spent my teenage years and a good portion of my early 20s wondering if I’d find a group of friends (a community really) that I felt like I really belonged to. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a community of friends that’s formed around me (instead of my needing to search for one). It’s great to be able to say that whenever I’m feeling stressed or in crisis mode (or any other emotion) that all I need to do is reach out and someone will be there.

Opportunity: My life has provided me some pretty awesome opportunities, so anyone that tells you that living with a disability would be (or is) a complete downer it only looking at it from one angle. I’m thankful that I have people who think of me when an opportunity arises that would be a good fit for me (and for them).

Vocation: I’ll just say this, I’m glad not everyone has to discern their vocation and that their vocation finds them. Other than that, read this.

Vacation: (Looks the same at the item above but it’s much different) My job, as in the main source of my income, doesn’t have paid vacation (or other benefits for that matter) so a vacation isn’t your typical vacation. Even so I’m thankful for the time off. It’s not so great for my bank account but it affords me the time to catch up on things and get in some downtime.

Sleeping In: I love sleeping but I’m particularly thankful for people who decide to sleep in. I’ve been going swimming at least once a week for a few months now & the pool is always far more crowded than I like (even 5 minutes before the place opens). Lately the place has been deserted by the time I’m taking my last laps. I’m hoping this trend continues, selfishly, even if it means getting up early in the winter.

Prospective: I’ve had some pretty crappy days lately; some days I know the reason(s) some days I don’t. It’s not the most awesome thing, especially when you need to keep it together in order to stay on top of my schedule. Thankfully a little prospective has a way of going a long way these day, and I hope I don’t lose this ability anytime soon, like ever.

November Blogathon: Christmas Music & Other Favorites

I happen to like the Christmas season, even if it’s been different in the last few years. However I make no secret of the fact that I can’t stand when Christmas paraphernalia starts to make an appearance before Halloween.

Christmas in a season, not a quarter in the fiscal year, and shouldn’t be treated like one (except if you’re in retail management, but the general public shouldn’t “buy into it”).

Disclosure Alert: I have busted out the Christmas music during the non-Christmas season in the privacy of my home if I’m in the mood.

I like old school Christmas music with a little redo and a Straight No Chaser hit or two, typically.

What I most look forward to in December is the time off of work. I know, it’s an obvious answer, but when you work nights and weekends working in the winter is particularly torturous. When you’re finishing your dinner and getting ready to crawl into your pajamas my work day is just beginning. Sometimes it’s not that bad but when it’s dark and cold it’s pretty miserable, because there are at least two walks across the parking lot every night.

Plus my muscles and joints don’t do so well in the cold so I prefer to be indoors and in flannels before temperatures go below freezing. Wearing snow pants is always an option. I do have a pair that happen to be pretty kickass, but they aren’t exactly New England style (another reason to love Montana).

This December I’m also looking forward to reading a book (maybe 2?) of my own choosing. I knew recreational reading would take a backseatto course required reading but I wasn’t anticipating it taking a complete and utter nosedive (which it’s done). The joke people were making about reading fiction after graduation wasn’t as much of a joke as I thought.

There’s typically a lot of vegetating for me in December, and now that I have a tablet it just takes things to a whole new level.


November Blogathon: Worth 1,000 Words

I’m supposed to post my favorite family photos today. But my family wouldn’t approve of being featured on my blog (and to be honest I’m not too crazy on the idea either). I’m going to cheat on this one & share one of my favorite “accessibility fails,” since I seem to have so many of them in picture form lately

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A closer photo once you get down the ramp.

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Not the best situation when you really have to pee

November Blogathon: Favorite Fashions

And we’re back to the posts I just act like I know what I’m talking about…….

I’m not the biggest fan of fashion trends. It’s not that I don’t want to be. They just never seem to work out for me. So rather than try and keep up and get pissed off I just do what I do.

I’m short, but not petite, so therein lies the problem.

My fashion sense goes something like this, if I find something that fits and I like it then I get it in every color possible (or at least every color that’s sensible).

It’s the “Noah’s Ark” philosophy of fashion.

There’s also the matter of wearing a school uniform from grades 2-8 (in both public & private school) & being subjected to a dress code in high school (although that was more lenient, even by basic dress code standards). Any hope of a fashion sense I might’ve had ran away long long ago.

There’s also the fact that I hate shopping. I used to really like shopping the sad thing is I can’t really tell you why. I think it was just one of those teenage phase things that you don’t understand unless you’re in that phase at the very moment.

Why do I hate shopping? Basically because I hate trying on clothes & I hate returning clothes; and either or both are pretty much a requirement when you have one of those body types where almost everything age appropriate doesn’t fit without alteration or everything that fits isn’t exactly age appropriate.

I’m 30 and I can easily be mistaken for being half my age on a good day, so one must tread lightly.

Seriously people have thought I’ve younger than my cousins who are in their early teens. It’ll come in handy in a few years, but right now it’s just obnoxious.

Trying on clothes for me basically means “let’s see if it’s possible to alter this without making it a completely different outfit” or making it look ridiculous. If I had a $1 for every pair of pants or shorts I left without because putting a dart in the waistline would be the worst thing to happen to the waistline I’d have enough capital to start my own clothing line.

Trying on clothes also means I have to venture into dressing rooms. I’m sure I’m not making a major jump here in declaring that almost every wheelchair user on the planet has had their fair share of dressing room nightmare stories (I’m talking’ to you Wet Seal, mostly, but not entirely).

I won’t bother discussing shoes, since my distain for footwear is fairly well documented.

And lest we forget the venture to find pants.

I couldn’t help but think of a certain line from You’ve Got Mail.

“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.” – Joe Fox

I just want a pair of pants that I don’t have to decode before I even take them into the fitting room (or by some miracle straight to the register). I’m trying to branch out a bit in the area of personal style. Basically I’m learning that my body has different types, which is freeing me for different wardrobe possibilities. It came to me after reading a tweet on Tw!tter.

Have you ever been in a casino when someone’s hit it big on a slot machine? That’s what happened inside my head.

If I bought pieces that I could combined with each other than I could have “standing/walking unassisted outfits,” “wheelchair outfits,” and “with crutches outfits” (If I ever go back to using crutches). Because each has its own challenges, I’ve discovered.

The best part is I can wear something other than sneakers, no matter what I have on.

November Blogathon: When I Grew Up

I don’t think I can come up with the full list of things I wanted to be when I grew up. So obviously none of the have panned out. However I’m still waiting to “feel grown up,” never mind actually be grown up, so something could pan out eventually.

There was that time that my high school guidance counselor assumed that I would become a nurse because my mother’s a nurse. My mother then asked the guidance counselor if she had ever even met me before this one meeting, because if she knew anything she knew I would never be a nurse.

Point: Mom

Then there was that one time I was reviewing my health history with a nurse practitioner when he jokingly asked why I never considered become a physical therapist, my answer was “because I wanted to learn something new,” obviously.

I think I’ve had similar goals for why I wanted to be whatever I wanted to be at any given time.

I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and maybe help them see things a little differently.

It’s hard to say if I’ve achieved this goal but I’m working on it.

I’ve realized I spent a lot of time (probably far too much) trying to be something I’m not. It wasn’t that obvious, it was certainly subtle from my prospective, but with each change I’ve made I feel like I’m getting closer to what I’m supposed to be as grown up.

The funny thing is, if you have a weird sense of humor, I feel like who I’m meant to be as a grownup has been following me around for quite a while just waiting for me to turn around and embrace it.

So what did I want to be when I grew up?

If you can think of it it’s probably something I thought I wanted to do for at least 5 minutes. None of it has panned out as of yet, somewhat thankfully I admit.

And let’s get real for a minute, I have CP I can’t just have any job I wanted (actually that applies for everyone regardless of ability). So there were countless things I wanted to be when I grew up that I knew would never happen, so let’s all be thankful I was never interested in Ballet, for example.

I did want to be an Olympian. That was one of the few things I convinced myself I could do, even with CP. I just figured I’d automatically be one of those heartwarming human interest stories you see between events and commercials.

This was before being rejected from even trying out for the swim team & before I knew there was this thing called the Paralympics for athletes with a variety of disabilities. I don’t want to close the door on my dreams of Olympic glory but it may be a little late to make a run for Rio (and I’ll probably be too old for Tokyo?)

When it comes down to it I wanted to make an impact on people’s lives. I wanted to make them see things differently or think of something they’ve never thought of before. I never wanted to be someone’s inspiration, but if that happened along the way who am I to disagree.

Now all I have to do is grow up :)