Saturday, 31 May 2014

A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day; I'm pretty sure today will be a good day too. In a way it is kind of a shame that I write first thing in the day. The rough start to every day, the wish that it would not start as it does, the struggle to dress and get going, these things make for a tired and somewhat depressed state once I come to the keyboard. All days start difficult, but many, very many, end up pretty good.

What makes for a good day is usually a combination of two or three things, activities and events that remind me of a full and active life, a way of living that goes beyond the limitations of my wheelchair and disease. It's not just one thing; it is the combination of these things, a day with more than one focus, a day focused on something other than myself.

Almost always, good days involve other people. These are the days where I interact, engage in conversation, share stories and ideas, thoughts and feelings. I am a social person, an extrovert who truly comes alive in the company of others. Mine is not the solitary existence even though this chair and disease force solitude upon me on a regular basis. It's not that I must always have people around; indeed there are days when I just want to be alone. It is that my true self is best seen in the company of others, with the light of social activity lit brightly on me.

The need for social engagement does not always mean getting away from my apartment. Sometimes, as will happen today, the party comes to me. Today we are bottling wine, which is just an excuse to get together, share food, laugh, talk, make fun of one another, and generally have a good time. Yet there are times when I must get out, when the four walls of this apartment are a prison to me. These are the times when I go for a drive for no good reason whatsoever. When I can no longer drive, even going across the street to the mall using my power wheelchair will get me out. Once out, I am alive again.

A good day almost always involves accomplishment of some sort, the completion of important tasks in my daily life, the doing of things needing done. My friends tease me about my lists, yet I keep none written. They are mostly in my head, the things I know that I need to get done, or need to have in hand. Years of parenthood, consulting and project management have taught me the power of knowing what needs to be done, and gives me the satisfaction of still being able to do it.

Add these things together; people, activity, getting out of myself and my prison of ALS, getting something done. These are the ingredients for a good day.

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