I have developed a habit in the sixteen years that I have lived with a spinal cord injury, whereby every morning I practice the following: first thing after waking up I give thanks for another day, then I get my phone and at look sites I have bookmarked for motivational quotes. Today I was very excited to see a quote from Charlie Chaplin! I grew up loving Charlie Chaplin, and relished every chance I got to see him on TV - and with only four television stations in London, it wasn’t that often! What struck me the most about him is that though he was often acting silly, he still had an undeniable confidence and poise. The quote this morning read, “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.”
Reading it, the first thought that came to my mind was, “I have no lasting troubles.” But how can that be? Of course I face daily challenges like we all do, like a sometimes a less than ideal bank account, or a sick kid - and beyond the daily challenges of life - I am disabled and I have a neuromuscular autoimmune disease. Yet, that is exactly how I feel, that I have no lasting troubles.
Challenges are a part of life, and I believe how we let those challenges affect us defines who we are. In my case, I have had to figure out how to “roll” with punches, and make my life work as wheelchair user.
As a wheelchair user, I encounter obstacles every day that able-bodied people don’t, and learning to take these in stride has been a long journey. For example, at the grocery store most everything is displayed on shelves designed for people that can stand, bend and kneel. I can’t stand, bend or kneel. But, I have developed a pretty good reach, and become pretty good at asking for help when I need it.
I am an award winning published author and blog writer. I have wonderful husband and three children that I get to love every day. But, beyond that I feel truly grateful and successful because I have reached a point in life where I wake up every morning and feel ok with being me.