Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lying Out In the Sun

Anyone who knows me knows what a sun worshiper I am and always have been. My best friend, also very fond of the sun, said he always laughs when he recounts the time I said, "I love my tannin'." Well that is true.

Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, it is very diffucult these days to get to the fifth floor sundeck of my condo building. There is an elevator, of course, but it only goes to the fourth floor. To access the sundeck you must take the stairs to the fifth floor. When I moved here three and a half years ago, I still had both of my natural legs, by the following summer I had lost my right leg. That loss made getting to the deck difficult but not impossible.

This is the first summer I do not have either one of my natural legs. Do you think I let that stop me? Of course not. I scoot up the stairs maneuvering my prosthetic legs as I "climb" each stair one at a time. After reaching the top, I hand walk my way to the waiting chaise lounge and hoist myself up on it using my arms.

With all the current hoopla about the damage the sun can cause, some people think I am crazy. Frankly I don't really care what they think. I enjoy the warm and I feel, healing rays of the sun. I also enjoy the breeze, the view and getting out of my condo after such a long and cold winter and spring.

I guess going through all that I do, to get to my sundeck and then to get back down may sound like it is more trouble than it is worth. Not to me.

Last fall I was contemplating going on my first cruise, I was riddled with concerns as to whether I could do it. I spoke to a dear friend in Seattle and voiced my uneasiness about the upcoming trip. She was, as always, reassuring and wise in her advice to me. She went on to say that many of the things we elect to do in our lives are difficult. Traveling by air, for example, is quite a hassle, even with all of your body parts and especially if you are missing a part or two (we laughed at the absurdity of the way she stated that). You must keep your eye on the objective, the cruise, and realize after all of the potential hassle of getting there has passed, you will be sailing the Caribbean for ten days. Was it worth the hassle? You had better believe it, it was one of the best vacations I have ever had.

Similarily the ten minute hassle to get to my sunroof is worth the hour or two I enjoy being in the sun, outside listening to music or an audio book on my ipod or talking on my cellphone to friends.

Although over time I expect things will get easier, hopefully I will somehow find a way to climb the one flight of stairs to the sundeck, until that happens however, I will do what I have to do to accomplish my goal regardless of the hassle that might be involved.

I remember these lessons with regard to other aspects of my life also, learning to stand, to walk, to drive and on it goes. I has been difficult to learn and relearn all of these areas of my life. What alternative do I have? Do I sit inside my condo, not walking, not driving, not lying out in the sun, a prisoner in my own home in a wheelchair? That is certainly not a prospect I relish.

So I will continue to do what I do because in spite of all the hassles the end result is worth it. I gotta go, I'm on the sundeck, time to scoot my way back down and with a smile on my tan face I am happy to be able to do it.

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