Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
– Saint Francis of Assisi
I noticed this quote in the signature of an email, probably because creative signatures are becoming a rarity.
It made me think of living with CP & working alongside medical professionals for effective care.
Start By Doing What’s Necessary.
My mother “likes”* to tell this story where other moms of kids in my peer group would invite me (and my mother) to their play group. My mother would say that although it would be nice to go to play group but that I had PT at that time (usually). The mother who had invited us to said play group would usually reply, “Can’t you just cancel that?”
My mother’s answer was “No.” Her answer was always “No.”
She’s often said that she didn’t want to sit around and make small talk with moms that didn’t understand why PT was important anyway. She didn’t want to sit around and listen to people brag about their kids either.
I don’t fault my mother for her response. I didn’t even know how frequently she had this conversation with people until a few years ago. If anything I’m glad she kept all of this from me, because I would’ve resented her when she said, “No,” so it all worked out for the best.
Socializing is important, but when you have a disability so is therapy. Therapy allows an individual to learn what they’re typical peers already know. It’s a necessary part of growing up, that is if you want to grow up and be able to keep up with your peers.
There are plenty of other examples that I could’ve used to illustrate the “necessaries” of CP, but PT seemed to be the obvious choice since I had a good story to go with it.
Then Do What’s Possible.
Doing what’s necessary enables you to better do what’s possible, and sometimes enables you to be able to do what’s possible, at all.
You may not be able to do something the same way as your peers but you can do it, and with style!
The cool thing about doing what’s possible is that the more you do the more you can do, even if you weren’t able to do it before.
The best thing about doing what’s possible is…….
Suddenly You Are Doing The Impossible.
This is a dead giveaway given the first 2 points, but I can prove to you that it’s true.
I never took care of myself physically. I did what was necessary, pretty much, but that’s it.
I never took care of myself, until I saw what taking care of myself actually meant.
The only reason I started going to the gym at all was because I had met my post-op PT goals yet I wasn’t able to do much else. I could dress myself but unable to get clothes to dress myself with. I could get up and down a single stair safely, but only if I had to.
Going to the gym is different than going to PT. It isn’t any easier, but it does change things up a bit. Some goals took longer to achieve than anticipated but I got there. I had every intention of stopping once I was “better” but things didn’t exactly work out that way.
I’ve lost some ground recently BUT in the last few years I was able to do things I’d never been able to do before; I honestly thought some of them were impossible.
So, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
*I say “likes” because this is something she doesn’t bring up at every opportunity but it’s one of those stories that I’ve heard enough times that rolling my eyes each time I hear it has become an automatic response.
*A similar version of this post was written on March 6, 2014
I’m participating in WEGO Health’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. If you want to find out more about Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge visit their blog, Facebook, Twitter. You can find more posts by searching #HAWMC.