Sunday, February 23, 2014

Thank You

Another reason why I write this blog is to share things that have gone well with my assistants to inspire and hopefully help those who want to live on their own with a challenge. So, this entry is a story about something that worked well for me and I understand if it does not work well for you. I just thought it might be helpful. 

As I said in my previous entry, I just lost two assistants and for the most part my time with them went well. So, I decided I would write thank you notes to show my appreciation for what they had done, things I will never forget about them, and things that I would like to leave them to hopefully motivate them to become an even better person as they both go on to higher positions in their life. 

I used to think thank you notes were a waste of paper since my family has always been environmental, thanks to my brother's beliefs and business. But I realized how important just a few words can change a person's outlook on life, inspire them to be better and continue to follow their dreams. I think that the idea of writing thank you notes to your good assistants is a good way to help them feel good about themselves. Everyone needs validation in life and this is the perfect way to do so. It is amazing how just those two words, "Thank you", can make a difference in a person's life. You might not even know what that difference will be, but at least you made an impact in their journey of life. 

I would like to leave you with a quote that perfectly summarizes February for me. 
"My life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next". --Gilda Radner

With much appreciation,

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Pieces of Life

Do you remember when you were a kid and you wanted so badly to get that 500 piece puzzle from the store, then it took forever to convince your parents to buy it for you, but then when you got it home you were like, “What did I get myself into!?” That is how I feel when I am about to hire a new assistant and the interview goes well, I think the training process will also be a breeze, but unfortunately that is not always the case. In the same way, I believe that my assistants may think the same about me that working with me will be a breeze. Even though this person may have good qualities and credentials to fit my life, it might take them longer to learn how exactly to fit my needs. In a way this makes me like a puzzle because I sometimes have needs you cannot see on the surface. So from the very start, we have to work together to make the pieces all fit together.

That is why I get so excited when I go to my friend Paula’s house for New Years. Because aside from the party time, it is a time to get together with friends who are older than me with disabilities to discuss my concerns, so that the year starts out right. We talk about health concerns and share experiences. It’s an informal, open-ended discussion among friends where I can ask questions and be mentored. This conversation helps the year start smoothly. This year was no different. I got to go to one of my friend’s houses that is totally accessible, and by that I mean the kitchen included. Everything is adapted so that she can reach all the utensils and appliances. Even something as simple as this helps me get inspired for the rest of the year.

I believe I have two puzzle pieces to deal with at all times, if not more, due to my disabilities. One is the assistant piece, which I just had to deal with recently because I am losing two assistants that I’ve had since March. The second piece is that even though Cerebral Palsy doesn’t get worse, the symptoms might be aggravated due to weather or difficult situations in my life, which are happening right now. This time around I am experiencing tightness and spasms, but sometimes it can mean uncontrolled movement. So it is always a puzzle to figure out how to be comfortable with the new problems that arise due to my puzzle pieces and I am working to put them all together, but I know it will take time, I want to thank all of my readers for supporting me in this difficult time of putting the pieces back together.