Thursday, 20 November 2014

Thankful Thursday - Build It Up And Tear It Down!

I guess I don't talk about it much, but to be honest I don't really think about it very often either..   
As many friends with chronic health or mobility issues can attest, there are certain seeminly obvious implications to being broken, however most of us would much prefer to focus on the daily task of getting from point A to point B, and revelling in the overall progress than dwelling on our limitations. 

I've always found that everything chugs along much more smoothly when you're not poking a stick at what ails you, and you just do what you can do, for as long as you can do it - rest when you need to - and essentially you get to carry on to do it again another day -- if you're lucky. 

In fact, until someone had come up to me a few weeks ago and asked me flat out if my cane was a sympathy prop, I hadn't really thought about it in quite a while.  

I'd been so sure that I'd misheard the statement, but it sounded the same the second time around too.  For some reason he thought then it would be amusing to ask if it was a weapon that I used to torture my husband, or "keep him in line."

Now, I'm not a prude by any means..  but my hubby is pretty freakin' amazing - truth be told - so I'm not sure why anybody would even joke about me unleashing a can of whoop-ass on him, particularly someone who barely knows him - but seriously -- how is this funny?  

On the first comment I was shocked, by the second there just were no words -- not polite ones anyhow.  The look on his face when I bent over and casually lifted up my pant leg to reveal my AFO leg brace that keeps my foot from flipping upside down at irregular intervals was priceless and though I could have thrown something witty out there I just shook my head and went about my day.  Clearly the issue wasn't mine. 

Just a few days ago I had occasion to make a quick pit stop,  I was speaking to a few acquaintances in passing, and as I walked away my brace made a familiar clicking sound because the small strip of padding designed to prevent such things had come loose.  Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, until you're out and about, and some wonderful person thinks that it's funny to utter "Clip clop, clip clop" rather loudly under their breath so that everyone within ear shot can hear them and maybe share a giggle. 

Then, someone else questioned my parking pass because I seemed to be "getting around alright,"  and I laughed to myself and turned to grab it from the car before he said "Aw nevermind!" and went on his way..   you just have to laugh at people sometimes.. 

I have to wonder if it would make any difference to know how I came to be the proud owner of these props?  Or just what a road we travelled on to get from there to here?  Just how many "props" I laid hands on before I got this pretty cool upgrade -- Probably not..  but it does speak to the small-minded and judgy bunch that we've become.  You didn't ask, but somehow you seem to know -- and that gives you some kind of right to spout off..   Even if you attempt to put a humourous spin on it -- it doesn't make you funny or your comments OK. 

I'd had a conversation this week with a colleague about medical issues in general, and I'd shared some highlights from along the road. Before we said goodnight he'd thanked me for sharing, he'd had no idea -- but why would he?  
This man is a respected colleague that I've been talking to on and off for a few years - it's not that it's a secret, but there's no scenario where I'd lead off with a list of shortcomings, or the resume of my medical speedbumps down the road travelled.  While I am who I am, in part,  because of the journey, the struggle does not define me -- it does arm me with a certain compassion and empathy going forward that I like to think gives me a a slightly different perspective on the world --but it is by no means my whole story. 

You know, we wonder why so many are struggling.  Anxiety and Depression -- are in the news almost daily -- Anti-bullying campaigns and horrific stories of violence and abuse fill our newsfeeds all too often. When something happens everybody has a theory and before you know it social media is in a rousing round of "Clue."  

I'm here to tell you folks - no matter how much you think you know about a person or their situation, you only really ever know the little bit you may have been privelaged to share in.  You may never know all of the details of the weight that any person might be carrying -- may have lived through , and there's no reason why you ought to.  I can guarantee you, that you don't know nearly as much you think you do! 

Instead of tearing each other down, we ought to be looking for ways to hold each other up, and be grateful for what we have; to see the vision in what a little more positive energy could create -- wouldn't THAT be a wonderful world?

And to that fellow that started the ball rolling this week.. 

You mock me, and yet I stand here feeling just a little bit sorry for you because you cannot see how truly blessed I really am just to be here! 


TJW 2014

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