Monday, December 31, 2012

LUCKY 2013

A new year is almost here.    Time to reflect on 2012 and look ahead to 2013.  

At the end of 2011, I had finished the ten week training session at the independent living center and was looking forward to being considered for part time employment with them, after completing a six month volunteer period. Sadly, things did not turn out as I had hoped.  I view the year I spent there as a learning experience.  I am happy I had the opportunity.

I'm still a greeter at my library, a volunteer job I began in the summer of 2010.  I am now volunteering there three days a week and ( as of December 2012) I have logged the most hours of any volunteer there.

I had several book signings in 2012.  The most memorable one  was at a cafe where I had the opportunity to meet the editor of the Ballwin-Ellisville Patch, an online newspaper.  This blog is now part of the Local Voices section of that online paper.  I feel honored because, while I don't live in the area covered by the paper, the editor felt my blog was unique and important enough to be part of the paper. 

Any disabled person who relies on caregivers has struggles from time to time.  It's a fact of life.  While I have had difficult times in 2012, I got through them and continue to live independently, 

My main goal for 2013 is to become a freelance writer.  I am making small steps toward that goal.  I'll continue to try to do book signings whenever possible, as well as my blog and anything else I can to reach my goal of freelancing.

I want to continue to live independently.  I appreciate the assistance of my family and caregivers.  Their help is invaluable to me.

Whatever your goals are for 2013, the important thing is not to give up.  Believe in yourself.  If there is something you have always wanted to do, do it.  Don't listen to other people who may tell you your goal is unattainable.  Don't let others crush your spirit.  Even if you don't achieve your goal, you can still feel good about yourself because you know you tried.  If you give up without trying to reach your goals, you might miss out on some really great experiences.  I have probably said these things in previous posts, but as a new year begins, I thought they were worth repeating.

I don't have a lot of new goals.  In 2013,  I'll keep living my life the best I can. I'll continue to write. volunteer my time and try to help other people any way I can.

What are your goals for 2013?   Have you thought about how you can achieve them?  If a goal seems overwhelming, break it down into small steps.  Take your time.  Do things at your own pace.

The title of this blog is Lucky 2013.  That doesn't mean that I think goals are achieved through luck.  It means that if you set a goal in 2013, work hard and reach it, think how lucky you'll be to have had the experience.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!












Monday, December 17, 2012

WE ARE FAMILY

After the tragic massacre that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I didn't think it was appropriate to just write a Christmas post as if nothing had happened.  Twenty-six people died because a crazed individual went on a shooting rampage.  Twenty children won't be with their families for Christmas. 

 I want to share my thoughts. 

Everyone is busy.  So busy that sometimes we take the people that mean the most to us for granted because we assume they will always be there.  Then, we see a tragedy like the one in Newtown, Connecticut, and we realize just how fragile and precious life is.

I think we have lost sight of the fact that we are all one big family,  As a country we need to support each other.  If you see someone struggling or in pain, lend a hand or show that you care by listening if someone needs to talk.  It could make all the difference in a person's life. 

I used to ride to the store in my power chair to pick up a few groceries for my mom.  One day the wheel of my chair got stuck in a grate in an alley.  Two women came by.  I asked them if they would go and get help for me.  "Oh no, we can't get involved," they told me and walked on.  Thankfully. a few minutes later, someone did come and help me. We need to help one another whenever we can.

Families need to sit down and talk to each other more.  Turn off the cell phones, put down the Ipads and video game controllers and talk about your day so that you know what is going on in each others lives. Stop texting and start, talking. Looking at your phone when someone is speaking is rude.  It sends the message that your phone is more important than the person who is speaking.  Be connected to each other, not just your phone or the Internet.

I think we need to turn to God in prayer more.

What I've said is nothing new.  Some of you may even find it corny.   I hope not.  I hope it starts you thinking of ways you might help or offer support to another person.   We will all need each others help and support as we struggle to deal with this terrible tragedy.

Tell the important people in your life you love them.  Hug your children and make sure they know you love them and how special they are to you. 

This Christmas Season, my thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Newtown, Connecticut. Especially to the parents who lost their children.   I pray that someday we will finally have "Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men."













Thursday, December 6, 2012

A DAY TO CELEBRATE

Monday December 3, 2012 was the International Day  of Persons With Disabilities.  It was a global event sponsored by the United Nations.  http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1597 

 If 15% of the people in the world live with  some kind of disability and the disabled population is the largest minority group, why wasn't more done to create awareness about the day?

Sure, there was a program at the United Nations, and a proclamation by President Obama,  but  wouldn't it have been cool to see how people in the United States and countries around the world observed the day?  Wouldn't it have been fun to see it trending on Yahoo or Twitter?  I am disabled, and had it not been for a posting on Facebook last Sunday night, I would not have known about the day at all.

The purpose of the day was to raise awareness of the barriers the disabled community around the world still face, to discuss ways the barriers can be removed and to highlight contributions made by disabled people in society  We do not yet live in a totally inclusive and accessible world. I'm not sure we ever will.  For that to happen, every one's mind set needs to change.  People need to see the person,  not the disability. And,let's face it, there will always be people in the world who will look at a disabled person and only see their disability.  It's sad, but true.   

There were celebrations all over the world.  Why weren't they live streamed over the Internet or shown on the news?  Why did I have to learn about such an important day via a Facebok posting?

My hope is that someday all barriers will be a thing of the past and everyone will be thought of as equals.  That disabled people will live a world that is totally accessible and includes them in all aspects of life.  That we live in a world that always treats disabled  people with respect and dignity.   That we live in a world where disabled people always have a voice and don't have to fight to be heard.  I hope that a child born today will be accustomed to seeing disabled people in their community, 

My dream is that someday there will be no need for an International Day of Persons With  Disabilities because all the barriers,  that now prevent disabled people from the equality they deserve, have been removed. Eyes have been  opened and views have changed.  If we all work together maybe, just maybe, my dream will become a reality after all.