Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Back To Work

The sun is once again creeping over the horizon. It's not here yet; the sky is shifting from black to steel grey to an orangy-yellow, all in a continuous band. It will be a clear day today, cold and crisp, sun shining.

I am beginning to realize why the doctor said that if I wanted to travel I should do it early. We did a road trip to Vancouver over the holidays. Aside from the usual mounds of stuff that seems to creep into my truck for these trips, my son was relocating from Abbotsford to Calgary. So all of his stuff had to go into the truck. Then, on top of all that, there was my walker and my wheelchair. That stuff takes room too.

Minor logistics are involved. These minor logistics will get more complicated once I am forced into a power wheelchair. At that point the back of my truck will be jammed, and that's just for a road trip. What about air travel? What happens when I need a breathing device or a feeding tube? Then travel becomes more difficult, even a simple trip.

There is another reason the doctor said to quit work and travel. For many people, work is not terribly fulfilling and most people haven't had the opportunities for travel that I have had. So giving up life dreams in order to work just doesn't make sense when you have a limited amount of time.

It's a bit different for me. I gain great fulfillment from what I do. My work has a direct impact on the lives and learning experiences of over 100,000 children and 10,000 teachers. Decisions and choices that I make can mean an improved learning experience for a child and a better teaching environment for a teacher. Or it can go the other way if I make poor decisions.

Some days I get to go into the schools and see the direct impact of my work. I get to change lives, hopefully in a good way. So leaving my work to travel doesn't seem like a great decision to me. While I am not always thrilled about going to work, most days are good. I have decided to take a bit more time off, a week here and there, but mostly I look forward to each to day and heading to the office.

Eventually that decision will also be taken from me. I will lack the strength to work. Unfortunately by then I will also lack the strength to travel or do much else. Of course the decision to work or not work is generally made for all of us; some by enforced retirement, others by life's demands, and others by illness similar to me. We control very little in our lives and sometimes even these simple choices are not ours to make.

While I can make the choice, I choose to contribute.

1 comment:

  1. You are so brave Richard, and I am very proud of you both in you previous to this disease and so very much in the midst of this terrible illness. It seems that we all can take a page from your book and not complain about our nothings.
    love you darling