Friday, June 7, 2013

Life is Like a Rollercoaster

I am sitting on the sundeck writing this and surprisingly it is a little chilly, upper 60's and quite breezy, usually cool weather for Chicago this time of year.

A few positive things have transpired since I have last written. I have a new roommate, named Charles, and thus far I am cautiously optimistic about this being a successful venture and hope my cautious optimism meets with positive results.

As we know finding a suitable roommate has proven to be more than  just a simple objective. Along with finding a new roommate has come some much needed relief in the financial arena. Once again it has been through the generosity of friends that I have been able to barely keep my head above the monetary tidal wave, that at times, it seemed like a large wave always on the horizon, poised at any point to drown me in financial ruin.

It has been difficult for me through the last few months to stay as positive and focused as I might otherwise be because of the nightmare I endured with my last roommate. At the risk of repeating previous blog posts, the financial stress this leg loss has caused is an area of my life has, in a lot of ways, been the most difficult to overcome.

On a more positive note, I am still enjoying going to the RIC gym and I am beginning to establish friendships with fellow patrons, which brings me joy and happiness. One of the new volunteers at RIC, who assists the gym members, is a pretty young woman I will call Leslie. Leslie is a below knee unilateral amputee, she lost her left leg in a boating accident three years ago. She walks very proficiently on her prosthesis and has also qualified for the paralympics, I believe as a runner. She is one of many inspirational people at RIC.

As far as my own personal progress, with respect to walking, with both the "short legs" and the full length "C" legs, I seemed to have plateaued, at least to some degree. Perhaps I am reevaluating where I am, or where I want to be, but then again, maybe I am just being lazy. I am not sure.

My dear friend, Mark, asked me the other day how it was going, was I making progress on either the short legs or the full length legs? I told him not really, I am about the same, not better not worse. He asked me if I thought I would ever be able to walk on the long legs? For the first time, I told him probably not.

I think Mark was taken aback by my response; I went on to say that sometimes I question whether or not all that work is worth it? If I continue to work really hard, I may be able to walk on crutches into a restaurant or whatever, only to arrive exhausted and drenched in sweat. Why?

Is this the same person, who over a year ago in this very blog, attested to my own desire and drive to do just that, walk on the full length legs, given up?

I don't know. Sometimes I think the harsh slap of reality can leave a stinging impression that not only hurts but also can be disillusioning. Being a bilateral above knee amputee is a difficult life to live and not unlike life in general, has a tendency to be full of ups and downs. Maybe I am still feeling a little down, but this much I can tell you, despite what I have written thus far, I am definitely on the upswing.

As I may have told you, I am now on the condo board of my building. I am the treasurer. Not a treasurer in the traditional sense, in that I keep track of money, I am more like an an administrator. The person who oversees projects that need to be done in my building. This has not been a small task considering that since I took over as treasurer in January,  we have replaced the garage door opener, tuck pointed and waterproofed the entire 10 unit structure, moved the mailboxes, dealt with a bee infestation, had graffiti removed twice, reorganized the garage parking situation, and a host of other ongoing issues.

I must be doing a good job, the President of the board along with just about all of the other owners have complimented the job I am doing. Additionally I have received multiple emails of gratitude for carrying out to completion an array of various tasks in what has been described as a thankless job. I suppose some are surprised that a legless man such as myself would be capable of doing all that I have done.

I must admit that I had my own misgivings about my own ability to do this job, but I rose to the occasion as I have a tendency to do. Even though I complain about certain aspects of being treasurer, I guess it has helped me prove to myself and to others that I am capable of doing a lot. Guess what? I have a feeling that next year they are going to ask me to be president, and  as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.

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1 comment:

  1. I wouldn’t think of it as “giving up” (on using the long legs) as much as re-focusing or re-prioritizing. Once I went on a bike journey with a friend of mine. We had planned on covering about 100 miles a day. The first day went according to plan. The second day, we ran into several setbacks, but still made it to our goal destination. Much the same on the third day – ending the day in exhaustion. Ready to start day four, my friend said to me, “Why don’t we just stay here another day?”. It was a revelation – like a different way of viewing the world; I hadn’t even thought of that as an option. We spent the day lounging on a beach and enjoying a good dinner. It was really an epiphany moment – that I was the critic imposing my own stress and unhappiness. I’ve come to think of goals and expectations much like dancing; no one notices or cares nearly as much as we think – and that’s freeing.


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