Tuesday, 9 September 2014

I Choose

It's a lazy kind of day today, the kind of day where sleeping in until well after noon seems like a good idea, the kind of day where pants feel optional as long as you are indoors, the kind of day where breakfast and lunch are the same meal, at the same time, with the same good stuff. It's the kind of lazy where you know there are things to be done; you just don't do them.

I look out at the window, seeing the snow delivered to us by this late summer cold front, a bit of weird weather that really isn't all that weird for Calgary, home of the winter Chinook wind that can lift our temperatures from sub-zero to summer-like in the depths of winter. This early brush with winter is disappearing quickly, but not fast enough for some of the branches and powerlines. The roads are bare and wet; through my window I can hear the squish and swish of tires on cars making their way to and fro.

It's quiet, calm and peaceful, but not completely silent. Messages on my phone come and go; calls come in. The freezer hums and burbles behind me as I sit at my table, making my own click and clack with the keyboard. I get the pleasure of this time, It is mine to enjoy, this peaceful solitude. Tonight I will go to Trivia, once again back on my regular path of Tuesday and Thursday nights out, friends visiting on so many other days and nights.

If I must have this disease, if I must live this enforced retirement, impoverished by the physical and financial costs of what it takes to keep me going, I will draw pleasure from it, where and when I find it. I could be unhappy this morning, looking at the cold, miserable weather, jealous of those who are reclining neath the sun in warmer climes. I could envy those who are in exotic, foreign destinations, drinking wine on a sidewalk in Europe or wandering through fantastic, ancient temples in Asia.

I choose not to be unhappy; envy is a bit harder to control. Certainly I am sad. The losses continue; ALS takes a bit more from me each day. My arms are getting continually weaker. My fingers hurt these days. Soon even the act of typing will become more than I can do. Yet here I am, with nothing else before me to change this.

If I cannot change what is happening, I must change how I respond to it. I will not curse at the snow, or bemoan the early arrival of winter. I will take joy in my time here, watching the snow collect and then fall from my tree, seeing the summer birds seek shelter neath the branches, listening to the world noises that sneak into my space. I choose to be happy.


  1. What are your options when you cannot use use your fingers for typing? That will be a sad day.

  2. voice machine Freida. Richard good for you choosing happiness. It makes no difference
    to the disease which you choose happiness or misery. You are my hero.

  3. Beautiful, Richard. Also, my daughter thinks pants are optional even when you're outdoors... xo