November: The Review

I saw something on social media that mentioned that there’s one month left of the decade. I tried not to be freaked out about it.

Instead I put my head down and went to work in every form one would think possible, and some not.

person using macbook pro

pexels-photo-2733667.jpeg

shallow focus photography of white camera

black ball point pen with brown spiral notebook

woman in white shirt standing near glass window inside room

Onto the last month of the decade………

photo of man running on road

October: The Recap

I don’t love October.

I don’t like October.

I don’t loathe October.

I have a “oh here we go” attitude with October.

I won’t bore you with why, nor do I want to go through the mental strain of reliving all Octobers of the recent past. It’s not worth it in any sense.

Instead…….

Books: What the hell is a book? I’d have to look at G00dReads to tell you the last thing I read, and don’t bother asking me what it was about because I wouldn’t have a clue if you handed me one.

Media: I’m falling more and more in love with the DVD but less and less with the cable company. Want to save yourself time by not calling customer service? Just unplug everything for at least 30 seconds and plug it back in. You’ll feel smarter than the people you’ll end up taking to on the other end of the phone. If that doesn’t work, have a technician come to your house it may cost more but it’s totally worth the expense.

Pre-Advent: I’m not really sure if this is a thing or not but I heard about it on Catholic In A Small Town so I’m assuming it’s a thing in some circles, anyway, I may not be ready for the holiday season mentally but I’m basically done with my shopping. That’s right. I got myself squared away by the time H@llmark movies started. No, I don’t hate Christmas but the run up to it drives me bonkers.

Travel: I very much enjoy my bed during fall so “travel” constitutes getting out of bed.

Physical Stuff: Fall is a time for annual visits of sorts so there’s more travel than usual, see the getting out of bed thing, everything is stable. Not always awesome but stable. So, moving on…..

Employment: I remembered, this time through firsthand experience, why I don’t usually look for work from September-December. The reason being seasonal employment. It’s not worth the work for the rate of return, or lack thereof in this case, unless you want a second, or third, short term job.

Digital Content: The state of content creation is interesting from my point of view, especially if you look at Catholic and/or disability centered content. It seems like everyone is coming to the same conclusion in their own time but one thing that seems to stand out is the mud slinging towards others that comes along with it. I have to tell you, I’m tired of it. If you don’t want to podcast (or whatever else) that’s your decision. You don’t have to drag others down on your way out. Move on and let someone else have their moment, or whatever. People can evolve. People can take time to figure things out. Let them.

Blogging: I’m considering my options. A final decision will be reached by December.

How many days until Summer?

September: The Recap

Remember my mini crisis about social media last month?

I attended a 3-day meeting that resulted in my talking at length about the benefits of using social media for greater patient/family engagement for quality improvement in complex medical care.

It was great.

I then sat in a café waiting for breakfast and ended up watching a young family of four eat their breakfast together or rather eat their breakfast while the kids watched their own tablets and the parents were on their phones (if we’re really going to be accurate here).

The children were quiet, just how many people wish children would be in public places, but it was a weird quiet.

It was depressing.

I’m in no position to judge how other people live their lives, in public or private, but watching that family just made me think about things, and here I am blogging about it, so it may seem hypocritical.

Maybe it’s the only child in me, maybe it’s age, but I found the whole experience of people watching incredibly lonely. This family had a perfect opportunity to have a completely wonderful breakfast out, something many people would envy, but here they were watching screens.

Meanwhile everyone else in the café was, seemingly, having meaningful interactions with each other, almost as if it was the time before cellphones.

I stayed off my phone and all social media for the rest of the day.

It wasn’t some sort of protest, but it made me think about how I spend my free time, which is usually on some sort of social media platform.

I, like most people, don’t have a lot of free time. So, what I do with my free time seems to matter more than it used to.

I can’t be the only one who feels that way, or am I?

Social media is amazing. Technology is amazing. But it should be used as an enhancement for people’s lives rather than a replacement for the most basic human skills one should be able to use on any given day.

I have friends I wish I could sit and have coffee with, but I have to settle for emails, texts, video chats, etc. I use what I have available to me to connect with people. Yes, I send texts and emails far too much to people I can see face to face. It’s something I know I need to be more intentional about. I can’t complain about how no one interacts with each other anymore if I don’t do something about it myself.

There needs to be a balance. I wish more people would see the need for it.

August: The Recap

It’s difficult to know what to say about this past month. I’m (still) trying to rehab my shoulder. I know it could be taking longer than it is, but it still seems too long. I’m trying to take things slowly, but I’ve learned firsthand the double-edged sword of rehabbing as an athlete. Being goal orientated isn’t the problem; being patient and taking the time it needs to take to reach goals successfully is the problem.

I was out of the pool for a month. It went faster than I thought but it was still a long time away. I’m slowly working up to what will hopefully be full workouts sooner rather than later.

I had planned on staying away from the gym too, that is until my legs looked like they were having episodes of Clonus, at least to the untrained eye. I never thought I’d look forward to “leg day” but here we are.

Since my schedule has been cleared (basically obliterated) it’s given me more time to do other things.

And by other things I mean not leave the house and toll the internet for anything that pops into my head, which ends up being a lot of stream of conscious thinking.

I’ve been able to really look at the content that’s out there. A lot of it is great. A lot of it is a complete dumpster fire.

A while ago I wondered if I was screaming into the void known as the internet. Now I’m seeing a lot of people screaming, and it’s not into a void, it’s at other people.

While I’m enjoying countless Tw!tter threads and the exchanges happening (good, bad, and indifferent) I’m mostly enjoying them as a spectator. I want nothing to do with it as a participant. I have no desire to defend or deflect anything on social media.

It got me thinking, if this is the nature of social media now, do I have a place out there?

Of course, everyone has a place online, and if there isn’t one, you can make one for yourself. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get noticed or be accepted by others.

I’m at this crossroads of my digital life. There are plenty of people out there doing what I want to do, and I support them as much as I can, because they express themselves better than I ever could. Add into that that I’m finding social media is causing me anxiety and my lack of desire to engage in dialogue in a “public square.”

I’m finding more enjoyment in being a spectator than being an active participant, and that’s just fine with me.

I’m hoping once I get back to a more normal schedule things will just fall into place. If it doesn’t, I’ll figure it out. The internet isn’t going anywhere and it’s not like you can go “off grid” that easily these days.

Other that, Mister Lincoln, the play was great……

July: The Recap

I finished my steroid pack for my pinched nerve.

minions

 

I was feeling loads better, but not 100%. I figured it would take some time, since it typically takes six weeks to fully recovery and I did seek treatment on the earlier end of the timetable, so I figured my muscles needed to catch up with the nerve.

I tried to take things easy by lightening up on the dryland lifting and yardage in the pool, but I had a feeling something was up.

61064287

I made an appointment with the provider I had originally tried to get to treat the pinched nerve. He had some different ideas about my injury, like that it’s possible that they are injuries. Getting right to the point here. No swimming until further notice.

say-what-nc

Which I refused to accept on face value.

grumpy-cat-saying-no3

But they did put in a referral for a provider I’ve been trying to see for over a year. So that’s happiness.

6887406195_ff05a643de_b

I scheduled a PT eval at the first possible opportunity. I don’t have time to waste.

ain-t-no-body-got-time-for-that-2

I haven’t gotten a timetable for when things should resolve themselves other than if I’m patient and do exactly as instructed it should take too long, two things I’m really good at.

oh-come-on-13987608

If you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to recovering myself, even though I am completely and utterly over it.

njkefd

June: The Recap

What can I say about June?

I thought it was my first summer without a class schedule. I guess it’s possible to completely forget about an entire three-month period because that’s exactly what happened. If you asked me two years ago what I hoped I’d be doing now the last think I probably would have said is, “be taking classes.”

Right now, that’s all I want to be doing.

Because God’s a comedian.

So, what has the month looked like for me as a normal person?

Not much is different on the work or sports fronts, so I’ll skip to other stuff.

Reading: I’ve discovered the joy that is K!ndle Unlimited. I’ve read a lot about people who have either gotten lost at sea or decided to sell everything and sail to various points around the world.

Travel: Flights to Australia and New Zealand are cheaper than I would have guessed they’d be.

Podcasts: I haven’t recorded any new episodes and there’s nothing in the works to start up again, at least not at this point. I have been listening to more podcasts, Catholics of Oz, Raising The Betts, and St Dymphna’s Playbook are my newest additions. Sean’s back in production with Just A Catholic Dad, and I’m loving it.

In the Netfl!x department: I caught up on The Casketeers and watched Dead To Me in one day. Both could be viewed as pretty morbid, but I enjoyed them both in their own ways. The Casketeers made want to see how much a fight to Auckland would be. I’m curious to see what season 2 of Dead To Me will look like because I think it could have been a one and done series. I started watching A Wrinkle In Time but keep stopping it. I don’t want the movie to wreck the book for me, I think.

Books: I’m cleaning out the mounds of books I’ve accumulated over the years. I’m not getting rid of as many books as I would like to or thought I would I thought I’d end up with 2 piles “keep” and “donate.” Instead it looks like I’ll have at least 3 piles “keep,” “donate,” and “haven’t read yet.” It turns out there’s a pretty big pile of books I’ve accumulated that I never got around to reading. I’m not sure I want to at this point, but I might as well while they’re still in my possession. Maybe something will spark me.

Blogging: It’s pretty obvious that I’ve slowed down my own substantially in the last few months, but my reading of other people’s blogs has picked up. Most of them are written by celebrities, at least allegedly, as much as I’m enjoying reading them, I think I like the inner workings of “normal people” more.

Health and Fitness: The month ended with a bang, or rather a pinch. A pinched a neve in my neck, we think. I did the same thing during college and I was told it would likely reoccur often so making it over a decade before a 1st re-occurrence is an accomplishment, although a weird one.

Onward to July……..

May: The Recap

Would you believe I almost forgot to write this post? I was looking at my calendar to calculate my work hours, one of the many perks of consulting, and I realized that it was the end of the month.

Here are a few highlights, in no particular order whatsoever:

I cohosted another podcast for Special Chronicles. It was a long hiatus, but intended and if you listen to the recording, I think you’ll understand why. I may be back for more in the future. I may not. Time (and content) will decide for me.

I spend nearly a week in the Nation’s Capital. The longest I’ve spent there since undergrad over a decade ago. It was an awesome trip, but I wasn’t prepared for it. I found myself doing things, like getting on the metro, that I used to do multiple times a day, that felt familiar and foreign all at once. At times it felt like the planet shifted on its axis a few degrees.

Short course (Swimming) season has more or less ended. I’m happy that I ended the season on a high, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m a little frustrated to be feeling like I’ve hit my stride, or stroke, only to have a break now. But it only gives me more to work for next season.

I met a lot of new people, more than I thought my introverted brain could handle, and loved nearly every second of it; even if it did take me a while to recover from all of it.

I also met Heather, behind Family Synapse. We’ve been following each other on Tw!tter for years and we somehow managed to sit at the same table and talk to each other for hours before realizing who each other was. Then we were able to take on the city with each other (when I really didn’t want to on my own). It was probably the best surprise of the week.

Once I got home, I tried to get right back into the swing of my everyday life while taking in everything I learned the week before. I felt like I was back in school. There’s still so much to read and more emails to send even now. It’s a lot to manage but in a good way.

If I didn’t have to sleep, I’m pretty sure I’d be one of the happiest people on the planet right now.

I finally broke down and bought a new tablet, after having a basically nonfunctional one for years, I should have pulled the trigger a long time ago. I don’t know how I ever managed to get as much as I have done without the ease of use of a tablet. Not to mention I can now work from bed, or any other more comfortable environment, much easier.

I’m not really sure how this past month with play into the rest of my life but I can’t help but feel like it was some sort of turning point. I’m just trying to sort out what (or where) the turning point is and where to turn once it’s been identified.

It probably won’t be the easiest thing, because very little of my life is ever easy, but what’s that saying, “I don’t need it to be easy, I need it to be worth it.” Is that the saying?

Whatever happens I’m oddly optimistic about it for the first time in a long time.

April: The Recap

I feel like my brain in on a loop similar to Groundhog Day, same thing, just a different day, with the exception that April is not March so I’m back to monthly recaps rather than daily posts.

I was wondering what would happen after making myself write for a month straight, whether it would spark something or just beat what little creativity I had left to death.

It turns out neither one happened, but I’m still sorting out what I’m doing here, and even if I belong here at all.

I used to love blogging. I couldn’t get enough of it whether it be writing or reading blog posts. I still like it these days, but I don’t think it would bother me if some other medium were to take over, whether I would partake in a new medium would be a wait and see type of deal.

A few months ago, as recently as February in fact, I didn’t think I had anything left to say; if I did someone else usually put thoughts similar to my own out on the internet before I could get the words through my fingertips.

It turns out I do have stuff to say, but blogging may not be the best place for it. A podcast or vlog could be a possibility, if I had any interest in the production value either of those would require, which I don’t. In fact, I’m pretty sure I would have a Y0uTube channel by now if I cared enough to learn about the production aspects of it. I do like production, but as soon as editing comes into play, I check out. It’s not for me and I don’t want to look for someone to do it for me, but if someone were to offer, I wouldn’t automatically say no.

So, I’ll continue to write. It just won’t be here, unless it belongs here.

Not one, but two positions I applied for a less than a year ago have reopened. I’m wondering if I should apply again or take the first no as a final no. As I sit here now looking at the exact same requirements I did months ago I can’t say I can see why I didn’t get an offer but I can tell you so much has changed for me, at least mentally, that I’m looking at the same thing fairly differently. However, my brain is still screaming “don’t reapply” because it just seems like a weird thing to do.

I’m wondering, again, what the perfect position would look like for me.

It’s not what I thought it would be if you asked me what it would be when I graduated from high school, or college, or at the end of my volunteer contract.

It isn’t even what I thought it would be at the start of this year, if I’m being completely honest.

It’s not like I don’t have anything in the works. It’s the opposite. I have a lot going on, but it’s all on a timeline that has varying endpoints. Meaning at some point there’s a high likelihood that I’ll have little to nothing to fill my days with, again.

So, I’m doing what every other sane person does, or would do, in my situation. Keep looking for more work, whether it be something else on a timeline or something more long term. It’s quite an experience, one that I keep getting thrown into, and it’s not always positive.

Normally I would take every ouch of bad news and hang onto it for a while. It can take me a few days to “level off,” normally.

But lately?

Every piece of information that is less than 100% awesome I just think, this is taking me to something greater, and I’m totally fine with that, at least right now, in this moment.

It wasn’t easy getting to this place, and I don’t think this feeling will last forever, but I’m going to take full advantage of it while I have it.

 

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month: 2019 (Review)

Cerebral Palsy awareness month ends this weekend, which means today is the last day for my month-long marathon of posts. I always say that it gets harder and harder to come up with topics each year, and this year was no exception.

However, this year I managed to stir up more controversy than usual. It’s not something I intended on doing but I’m not 100% sorry for anything I’ve said either. So, I’m in a different position this year than I have been in years past. I’m happy to have a blogging break but I’m taking what I’ve learned this month and I’m going to use it in my future endeavors, in some fashion.

Rather than try and sun up the month with some grand conclusion I’m just going to outline all of the posts I’ve written this year and include some others.

As for next year, we’ll all just have to wait and see what happens.

2019 Posts:
Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month: 2019
That Thing About The Road To Hell
A Question About Questions
Spread The Word
End The Word
Back To Basics
Growing Up Disabled
Cerebral Palsy: Blogs
Cerebral Palsy: On Twitter
Cerebral Palsy: On Instagram
It’s Not Easy Being Green
Cerebral Palsy: Books
Cerebral Palsy & Aging In Community
Difference Is OK
Cerebral Palsy: Movies & TV
7 Questions: A Few Years Later
Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day
Poor Fortunate Souls
Chase Dreams, Change Dreams
Cerebral Palsy In The Future

(Previous posts)

Cerebral Palsy In The Future

This topic makes me a little nervous, although the title implies some level of boldness, so let’s hope that’s the direction in which this is going to go.

Cerebral Palsy in the future, what will it look like?

Selfishly I hope it’s still around in 20, 30, 40, 50, or more years from now.

Why?

Because I don’t see the need for a cure.

Living with Cerebral Palsy isn’t a walk in the park by any means but I rarely, as in almost never, wish I didn’t have Cerebral Palsy.

I’m not saying that some cases of CP shouldn’t be prevented if there’s a direct case and effect for it, like an infection that then results in injury that results in a diagnosis of CP.

What I’m saying is I don’t think all Cerebral Palsy should be eradicated.

Cerebral Palsy is a disability not a disease that needs to be treated, unlike something like polio, for example.

I don’t see CP in itself a problem, the comorbidities that can accompany it are a different story, the problem with living with CP is more about faults in the healthcare system rather than the diagnosis itself, from my point of view.

I wish more doctors knew about Cerebral Palsy and were willing to have people with CP as their patients. I want to get the same quality of medical care as my able-bodied peers. I don’t want to keep seeing the glazed over eyes and quizzical faces when I go over my medical history, just because I have the most common motor disability in children.

I would rather curing efforts go towards something like epilepsy, which can improve the lives of many people with and without CP.

I also wish there were more studies on CP past the point of the early teen years. I wish I knew more of how my life could look like 10 or 20 years from now. All this effort goes into the pre-adult years but not what happens after. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Children with CP grow up and become adults with CP so we need to know what we may be facing in the future.

The lack of treatments for adults is another issue that’s probably too complicated to go into here and now, especially with the way things are progressing in medicine at this point in time.

Plus, eradicating something like CP feels like taking a step towards designer babies in a sense. I’m not sure why I can’t put many words to why I feel that way, but it is something I have thought about.

I hope Cerebral Palsy is still around 20, 30, 40, 50, or more years from now. The one thing I do hope for CP in the future is that we have better education and care by the healthcare system that often leaves us looking for somewhere to go or feeling like there’s no place for us.

I don’t think we need to be fixed but we do need to be treated better than we are now.