Saturday, September 10, 2005

Disability and Managing Change

I may have mentioned it before, but in my "pre-disABILITY" days I loved change - NOT! I'll rephrase that; I loved change that I WAS ABLE TO CREATE; I did NOT love change "foisted" upon me by circumstances beyond my control. So, being the resilient person that I grew to be, I decided to figure out what about the change I created that I liked; what about the change "foisted" upon me I didn't like, and how I could turn as much as I could into the positive.

When I made my lists, I found out that I liked having "projects" to do, where I could schedule and budget my resources: time, energy, finances, etc. I guess that all of this can be considered control. What I didn't like was being unprepared; not having the resources I needed to get the "job" - whatever it was - done. (Note: have you noticed that one of the secrets of reseliency and Expert Patient and Chronic Disease Self-Management is a positive, can do attitude?)

So, fast forward to today, and my chronically progressive Multiple Sclerosis and moving! Here's what I have done to turn this change into something I can control.

  1. As I have stated before, I greatly decreased my belongings, realizing that I really could live a full and quality life without the myriad of "things" that before, I believed that I NEEDED. As a result, it was easer to straighten things up, and create order out of my space - my part of the house.
  2. I got into the habit of washing laundry late at nite, and drying it first thing in the morning - all when my energy peaks were high. I saved greater energy-demanding tasks for after meals, or after long periods of rest, and kept the time bouts shourt (5 or 10 minutes).
  3. I use candles, music, lighting, and other "staging" ideas to make my space as presentable as possible for viewers.
  4. I fought the inclination to volunteer to assist my kids in their part of the house. They can do their own resource budgeting.
  5. Finally, and equally as important, I work with friends, so that in times where I need to be out of the house, I spend the day, or the week-end, with friends. That way, I an enjoying myself, and I can feel free to rest, if I need to do so.

Bottomline, if you don't like your current situation, figure out what you can do to make it better, within the realistic conditions of your current situation. Empowering yourself is a fantastic tool!

I'll be back in two days, after the Public Open House!


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