Jerri has always been wise beyond her years, however she now has some science behind he wisdom. She did a fourth year thesis on the perception of one's disabilities compared to the clinical findings. Coincidentally, this paper, which is being considered for publication, is coauthored by my own neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Fehlings.
This newfound knowledge of hers has not only been a sense of pride as her mother, but the credibility of her opinion on this topic has obviously heightened my interest.
I write about her influence on me to write this blog, because she was able to convince me I had something to offer. Something to offer. That my friends is music to the ears of anyone with chronic pain and illness. So much of our lives have been stripped back out of necessity, that one day you wake up and wonder where "you" went!
I loved my work in the social work field, it was where I felt most like myself, and many thought counselling was my gift. I just know I loved youth, and in cases where they felt alone and in need, I wanted to help.
I also loved my first career, that of a florist and flower shop manager. It was my creative outlet, and became a great sideline work while raising kids. When pain meant I couldn't work full time, the most wonderful opportunity came along. It was a job that didn't feel like a job. It was teaching parents and families strategies for parenting. I loved it. I got to spend five mornings a week with young parents, who like myself, were raising children to be the best they could be. It was a fantastic time in my life. That was until pain griped me into such a knot that I was asked by my doctor to give up working. After some convincing, I did. It was right to do so, because it was the only thing in the end I could manage. I would work for four hours, go home and lie down until I did it again the next day. It wasn't fair to my family. I was just hanging on by a thread. I always thought I would go back to it, it never happened.
Through the years I have done short-term jobs and worked casually at a local flower shop on occasion, but now even that is on hold now.
Getting back to the purpose of the blog, it turned out to be twofold. Jerri saw me in a different light. Now that she had studied people's attitudes toward pain and disability, she thought I had a lot to offer people from my experience. It didn't hurt that the doctors included in the study used me as an example of someone who makes the most of their disability and continues to live life in a modified way. One of my coping skills through the years has been to find a purpose. So the blog seemed to fit both.
So my friends, for the first time I am issuing homework. Find a purpose. It doesn't need to be a profound thing. I am talking about a purpose for here and now. I don't expect I will be this physically incapable forever, but for now, writing is what I can do, one of the only things. I will always write but I hope my life will be filled with canoeing, fishing, travel etc. in the future, but for now I have a purpose.
What I am asking of you is to find something for yourself now. It can be anything. Maybe an organizational project, one in which your physical limitations does not hinder you. It can be and I really encourage this, a creative project. Do you paint, play music, knit etc.? One of my readers has said she will start to sew. Creating something really does something for your soul, and you have a sense of completion, along with your creation of beauty. It can also be a goal, something as simple as taking the dog for two ten minute walks a day. There are many ways to find something that you can find purpose in, but the key is to make a commitment to it. It may be that there is someone who needs you right now. Be there for them, just one small thing every day. That is what this blog has done for me. It has forced me to write every single day, and I am proud that so far I have not missed a day.
If you are comfortable doing so please post in the comments section, what it is you will commit to. You can use your own name or somebody else's name, names are not important. I encourage others to continue to private message me or whatever is more comfortable for you.
Those of you who are reading and don't have pain, I challenge you to do the same. Find one small or large thing that is new and do it with purpose daily. Write it on our comments section and help inspire all of us. Don't be shy, if you have a physically capable body and your tasks are using it, tell us about it. We can cheer you on, even if we cannot participate. Not everyone can run a marathon, dance a ballet, or create a piece of art, but will all can admire those who do.
Let's get to it. Find something, anything, and make it a daily commitment, and let's see if we can create a surge of energy from it.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche