Accessible Parking Spot Drama

Accessible Parking Spots (I’m referring to them as APS here)
You know, the parking spots with the white or blue wheelchair icon on them…

I get it…maybe it’s raining, you are only going to be five minutes, or maybe the next available spot is twenty cars away so you grab that APS next to the store entrance. But don’t forget, you are ABLE, yes, there is that important word you forgot, you are ABLE to walk from your car to the store entrance.

The person, in the car with the Accessible Parking Permit, who cannot park in the spot you have taken is UNable to walk those twenty car widths. Or they may be UNable to exit their car in the regular spots which are more narrow because of much needed mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs.

I, almost daily see someone take an APS without a permit. They glance at me as I exit my vehicle next to them, a look of entitlement mixed with wonder if I am going to say something. I haven’t yet. To be honest I don’t need any extra drama in my life. My health issues have me focused on more important drama. And I am ever thankful I am walking with assistance rather than not walking at all.

But on days when I am tired and feeling poor, I really get even more frustrated when I can’t secure an APS to get my errands completed. Those days I do want to leave sticky notes and give a sideways glare. But alas, I don’t. I don’t need the drama.

But here’s the thing people, I shouldn’t have to decide whether or not I want more drama in my life. I shouldn’t have to watch able bodied and permitless people use spots that many other people really need. And on that note, what gives with people using the APSs as waiting spots. …Cars running, music blaring, cell phone typing drivers? But maybe that is another topic to gripe about on another day.

So please, revel in your able-bodiness and walk the extra bit and be thankful you can. Use an umbrella if it’s raining and enjoy it. I can’t hold an umbrella and walk with my two crutches without looking completely asinine and falling over. Puddle jump and be happy you can. Remember we are all worthy and everyone deserves respect and kindness. Rainy or dry days.

Healing Frustrations

Bluergh. I’m just not feeling it. And I’m not even sure what it is. This healing business is exhausting. Some days I almost feel “normal”  and other days I am so tired I am beside myself with frustration.

I am so desperate to get back to where I was before all this health trauma. I want to go back to dancing, I want to go back to being energetic, and able to focus. It is mind numbingly frustrating to have my brain not where I want it. It feels like a snow globe. All the bits of fake snow are swirling around in pretty patterns not really making a connection to the base.

See I am struggling with memory. I tried to join a choir. Try is not really the word because I made the commitment. It’s just that it seems like a try because I cannot seem to learn/memorize the songs. And the songs are not overly difficult but I just cannot seem to commit the words to memory. The idea of muscle memory isn’t working for me. My brain is acting less sponge like and more like that teflon frying pan. Nothing sticks, even yummy cheesy eggs.

Prior to all this crappy health stuff, I was able to memorize choreography, lyrics to songs, remember events, and things to do. Now I’m addled. Urgh.

I just read an older article from the Globe and Mail that was discussing the relation between memory issues and anaesthetic from surgeries. Maybe that is the root of my problem? Maybe it is party caused by the copious drugs I was taking? Maybe it is from the interrupted sleep I have? Or maybe it is from the fact my brain does not stop rehashing the events of the past year?

Or maybe, like the rest of me, my brain is just plain tired from all this healing. It seems to take a lot of energy. Maybe I need to renew my patience card? It’s not like that was ever my strong suit. And maybe, just maybe I need to accept where I am and let life just flow. Be that annoying surfer dude who rides the big waves without a care for anything else but his hairdo and board wax.

Which reminds me (the hairdo comment that is), I was offered my first seniors discount last week. Apparently I need to up my hair and makeup game and bling out my crutches.

Finding Happy in the Noise

I am a little behind schedule. It’s been a noisy week. And a sad week. I find myself turning on the news only to turn it off again a few moments later. Either the newscaster is talking about the horrific event in Quebec City. Or she is telling us about Trump’s latest blowhardic nonsense. Or if I am particularly unlucky it is himself clogging the airways with what I consider idiocy. But I have no intention to make this station about the Man in Orange. Sorry for even bringing him up.

Either way it was all very noisy and my heart feels unsettled. And with that unsettled feeling my thoughts have become even hard to catch. And like my desire to keep trying to find good news in the news, I might be trying for the impossible.

I truly feel like we are all the same but essentially different. The world would be such a dreadful place if we were all the same. But yet we are the same in that we carry such a great ability to love, hate, and feel overwhelmed. And I think more and more of us are feeling overwhelmed and I really hate that because I know that feeling so well.

Finding out you have a bunch of tumours in your body that are uninvited and clearly unwanted is overwhelming. Feeling alone and isolated is overwhelming. Feeling sad and not being able to not be sad is wretchedly overwhelming. Making a to-do list of what seems like epic proportions is overwhelming. Looking at a list of unpaid bills is overwhelming. See, I’m sure I don’t need to go on. I have a feeling you know what I’m writing about.

Maybe we are all overwhelmed these days. So rather than leave that Bell Let’s Talk day in last month, maybe we all need to continue to chat about how we feel. I know telling a bunch of loved friends I was feeling littered by tumours helped me. I know chatting about the noise of the current week would help too. And trying to find happiness, just even a smidgen everyday.

I’m trying really hard to find the happy in every day. It isn’t very easy when you don’t feel well. But I am learning you can borrow some from someone else. Today I tried yoga, I was clearly not the most fluid or balanced. But I didn’t fall over. That my friends is something to be joyous over. Because I was like a bowling candlepin. I was tipping and swaying and I even saw my neighbour look nervously at me. I think perhaps she was wondering if she was fast enough to evade my falling frame.

So my friends dust off a little happy. Even if it is realizing there is enough milk for your tea or the fact that that when you smile in the mirror someone beautiful is smiling back at you.

xoc

#BellLetsTalk

Today is Bell’s Let’s Talk day. A day to raise awareness and funds for Mental Health. A very good day indeed. And here I am adding to the clutter of noise that is tagging* into Bell’s initiative. This is important.

Truth be told, this day makes me a bit sad. Sad that we have to have a big corporation backing awareness for much needed mental health discussions and acceptance. I mean it’s great that Bell threw their hat into the ring. I think it is fantabulous they are donating seriously needed funds. I just wish it wasn’t one day. I wish everyday was a day that mental health was discussed with acceptance and love. By anyone, whether they are a big corporation or a small child.

I truly wish and desperately want Mental Health to be as easily discussed as Arthritis, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Diabetes. Seriously, we are all affected. And sadly a whole lot of us don’t even know we are. So many people suffer in silence, or even suffer without knowing why. Some people are suffering more because they feel ashamed or feel overwhelmed. And some suffer twofold because their family or friends just do not get it.

So stand up and tweet, hashtag, and shout about mental health today…. #BellLetsTalk A whole bunch of nickels can really add up. You may have someone you love who might be in anguish. And when the calendar turns to tomorrow, keep tweeting, chatting, and loving. Even if Bell isn’t donating funds, you can donate your acceptance.

Donate your thoughts and love to the big wild world. Share your love and understanding. Our brains are complicated organs that we haven’t exactly figured out yet. It isn’t always a choice to feel sad or overwhelmed or incapable. Sometimes our brain chemistry just sabotages our truly awesome selves.

Because we are all truly arwesome.

*
#BellLetsTalk

Change

So it’s that time of year. The time when we re-evaluate, make lists, look toward the future with glistening eyes and hold every intent to change. That ridiculous old age ideal that with a new year we must change ourselves in some way. That dreaded phrase…New Year Resolutions. Yuech. We intend to hit the gym to lose those muffin tops, say goodbye to that annoying habit, drink less, or eat more (healthy).

Some of mine have included not eating after 7pm, starting a journal, to be a better parent, watch less screens, or walk more. And each and every year I don’t make it past the first month. But strangely enough that doesn’t stop me from trying again the next year, and the next, and next. We don’t like to give up.

Personally I don’t think we really set ourselves up for success a lot of the time. It’s one of the things I have learned as a parent. Attempting any new behaivour requires a good foundation. You really have to set yourself up for making success happen. Sometimes that means making your goal easily reached. Or perhaps like Broadway, you need to set a stage that is worthy of a Tony win.

So this year instead of one big overwhelming resolution, I have promised myself that I will succeed. I have set the stage, set my mind, and reminded myself not to be scared of failure. I intend to embrace change.

That ensures my success. To embrace change. Change is everywhere. And rather than be scared of it, I will smile through it. So if I walk even a little more, wahoo! That is change! If I skip the late night pizza snack, hooray! Maybe that muffin top won’t be so mushy. But either way, I intend to be grab on and see change as a great thing.

Last year brought me lots of change. Scary change, overwhelming change, the kind of change that makes your stomach knot and your intestines let go. Change I could not alter, detour, or stop.

But I can alter the way I look at all that nasty change. So this year I intend to see things differently. Embrace the change. And not let it drown me. Find the sparkles hidden in the fog because I have plenty to help me float. I will take things day by day as the tides change below.

So here’s to setting myself up for success. I’m jumping in with my floaty and life jacket firmly secured. I will bounce and float on the waves of change.