Monday, April 20, 2009

Never Say Never

I'm starting to think that life mainly consists of learning to accept things we say will never happen to us. I'm sure you have your own examples - I have friends who swore they would always work, who now love being stay-at-home moms. I have friends who were sure they'd want to stay at home with their kids who would go crazy if they didn't have a job outside of the home to challenge them. A good friend of my family got married, and both he and his wife are successful doctors who never wanted kids. They are now captivated by their three beautiful boys. Life takes us by surprise, and we learn to embrace what is meant to be, rather than what we meant to create.

I had all sorts of plans. I was sure I would work as a writer, I would get married and have kids and I would love cheering them on through their lives. I would be busy and active - involved in my church and my community. I would have dinner parties and card clubs and fill up life.

The day I had to quit working I remember telling a friend that even harder than letting go of the dream was knowing I wouldn't be a productive member of society. I had to learn to let go of the picture of my life that was in my mind... the husband, the kids, the home with the parties. And I went from saying what I would do to declaring what I would never do.

I wouldn't stop pushing to do freelance work. I did.
I wouldn't let pain stop me from pushing through physical therapy. I did.
I wouldn't rely on a cane. I did.
I wouldn't go on disability. I did.
I wouldn't ... well, it doesn't matter all the examples I give because determination only takes a person as far as their body and situation will allow.

My latest thing to embrace... my most emphatic declaration for a few years now... I would NOT get a walker.

I did.
Of course, I had no intention of relying on the walker... I find I always have to come at things with baby steps. I was simply going to get something that had a platform of some sort so I could get my laptop from one room to another. Walking with crutches makes carrying anything obviously difficult. I was able, for a long time, to walk with one crutch and carry a drink or a plate from one room to another, but it was getting harder to keep my balance doing that... and with the sudden nerve pains it was easy to get unstable. So there I was with wireless internet, and no way to use it because I couldn't move the laptop to a comfortable chair.
And then I found the "rollator." Which, by the way, I really need to find another name for. Because while I like the fact that I don't have to call it a walker, I think rollator sounds like something that old Saturday Night Live character would call it. You know, the dude who changed everyone's names... like instead of calling me Sara he'd say, "The Sara-nator!" Quite frankly, I'd rather call it George.
But, as usual, I digress. :) I had gotten to the point where I realized I needed it for a carrying function, but I was still resistant. I even called my friend Susie to see if she would talk me out of it. She's usually all about saving money so I told her what I was thinking, assuming she'd think of another way to get a laptop from point A to point B without spending a dime on a contraption. I called the wrong girl. Apparently she was rooting for a walker for awhile, but was afraid to bring it up because she thought I'd get mad. Which is only funny because I don't remember the last time I got mad at her... but she was right, I really didn't want it.
But I bought it. And now I seriously don't know how I managed before I got it.
Oh sure, it helps me get my computer into different rooms [ahh... functioning laptop... how I miss thee] but I had no idea how much more secure I would be walking around my place. Being able to set things on the seat and always have two handles to stabalize me, being able to sit down regardless of where I'm at if the nerve pain hits or I get dizzy... it's literally taken away my fear of falling. And the handy feature of the basket underneath the seat is priceless. Of course, the first thing I thought to keep in the basket was my camera [it's now always at my fingertips], but mom's suggestion was to put my Lifeline button in the basket since I never think to wear it. Good to know both of our priorities are met. :)
When Avery was here, I had just gotten the rollator - I mean, George - the day before so I didn't get a chance to prep her for it. And it really does look like quite the contraption. We talked a lot about why I was walking with it and how helpful it would be. To be honest, I think I talked myself into it being ok as I was reassuring her about it. And when she left that night she said that it kind of scared her at first, but now she thinks it will be pretty handy, always being able to sit down when I need to and not worrying about falling. She decided it was a good thing.
And I have to admit [stop smirking, Susie... I know how you love being right] that I'm finding it pretty darn handy, too. George and I should get along just fine.


  1. im proud of you.

    i like george. he looks sturdy and reliable. and any "guy" who can get you to point A to point B is worth having around.


    and you ARE a productive member of society woman. you are knee deep in a massive community that you touch, inspire, encourage and motivate on a daily basis. that is more than a lot of people do who arent homebound.



    Recent blog post: break out the icy hot!

  2. Are you kidding? You have more impact on people than those who just go thru the motions of life. You may be home bound, but you touch more lives daily than most do in a lifetime. Even if it were only me...I have been blessed, challenged, encouraged, and humbled by you.

    I'm not crazy about rollator either. But what about "The Rollminator?" lol
    Blessings, SusanD

    Recent blog post: Project 365, Challenge 30 X 5 - 100

  3. Robin~ All Things Heart and HomeApril 20, 2009 at 6:48 AM

    I'm already pretty fond of George, can you imagine him pimped out with your fancy new Dell laptop!!!
    And please don't say you aren't a productive member of society, your world is much bigger than you home...I'm in your world and how many others? I love you~

    Recent blog post: Coffee Table Re-do!

  4. That about broke my heart to hear you say you were no longer a productive member of society! That couldn't be farther from the truth! So many people are so blessed to have you in their lives. I only dream of touching so many people in a day's time! Keep up the good work...and enjoy some stability with George as you walk about your place!

  5. lol, I think your observation is right on the mark--life rarely turns out like you think it will. And really, thank God for that!

    Personally, I minored in Women's Studies and was positive I needed to be a "career woman." No kids, or if I ever did marry and have kids, daycare would be for me. (It was the late 70s/early 80s. Need I say more? Think Sigourney Weaver in "Working Girl.")

    How'd it wind up? Met my husband as a sophomore in college. Married at 24. First child at 25. Five kids in all. Ended up giving up my career in editorial after 10 years to be a SAHM and never went back to work. Now have no desire to do editorial work, and probably no marketable job skills. I, who thought I had no patience for hands-on parenting, love being a mom and have found a well of patience and perseverance that I would never have guessed I had.

    You just never see it coming!

    Recent blog post: Drive-By Post

  6. You may not be doing what you intended, but I agree you are still contributing to society, through your wit and wisdom. You share your heart and make beautiful canvases.

    I'm glad George is helping you around the house. He sounds like a handy fellow!

    Recent blog post: Baby

  7. George Rocks!! I think "he's" awesome, to say the least! Plus, if helps make your life easier...then I'm all for it, sister!

    Oh, and my goodness...let me just say that you MOST definitely DO contribute to sooooo many different and amazing ways!! You're a magnificent friend, blogger/writer, canvas creator extraordinaire, etc. Those are just to name a few!!

    Anyways, have a fabulous day...I'd write more, but the kiddos are coming in for a day of learning!! Or so we hope!

    Recent blog post: United Tour!

  8. Isn't it so cool that God had someone on this earth invent "George" as a pick me up for you! Because He knew you'd be busy blessing others with your blog and awesome canvases and your life example and that you wouldn't need limited mobility getting in the way of that! :)

    Recent blog post: On Moving and Hormones ...

  9. I hope that you and George are very happy together : )

    And, I must add, that you are a more productive member of society than most people I know! You're reaching and touching tons of people, inspiring people, sharing your faith, creating your art, writing your stories .... you're using every bit of what you have for the greater glory. What can be more productive than that?!

  10. (just trying to figure out how to identify myself on my comments again, so I'm not "guest" as I was above)

  11. Good Morning Sara,

    What an interesting post. I can relate to you in that with Trey's neuromuscular disease I was so opposed to "things" coming into our life to remind me of his disability. Most of those "things" were further down the road and I of course, worried about them way too early. But I have come to realize that as the need arose, I may be a bit resistant, but eventually I can see the blessing that the needed item provides.

    George sounds like a great guy....better than some husbands if you don't mind me saying. He's dependable, stable, and always by your side. He can also give you space if needed and doesn't mind if you like to sit on his lap every once in awhile. He carries whatever you need him to, without complaining and will stand there and hold it as long as you like. He's a great listener. :) And even Riley seems to like him so that is a winner, winner chicken dinner if you ask me! Way to go George! Hold on to him, he sounds like a keeper! :)

    About you not being a productive member of society, take that back!!! :) The internet is such a wonderful thing (when used appropriately but don't get me started on my concerns of having a tween and the internet.....) and you reach far more than you realize. I am sure the blog is an outlet for you but it is also a comfort to others, me included. You touch people in the most profound ways and challenge us to be better ourselves. I love your stories and always look forward to a new post! I hope our comments brighten your day just like you do ours! I pray that you can see the blessings you pour out to others and that you receive twice as many in return.

    Have a great day today! Tell the "boys" (Riley and George) hello from Texas!


    Recent blog post: Ah... Excuse Me, This Plane Is Not Your House

  12. I'm guessing I understand the "productive" remark. Our midwestern values get in the way sometimes of feeling like you are productive if you are at home, whatever the reason. I have struggled with this as a SAHM feeling like I should somehow be doing "more."

    You and I both contribute, (I hope you really do know how much you have brought to my life, but if you are wondering I can explain!) but maybe we struggled at times with the image we once had of ourselves and how far we are from that image.

    My dad has a George too! He resisted too, at 79 he didn't want to be seen as incapable. But he has quickly figured out it makes him the go-to guy for its great storage capabilities! Plus, all of the grandkids think it is uber cool that he brings a chair with for them to sit on when they are tired ;) Really, I think George is swell.

    Recent blog post: Caught in-between.

  13. I'm loving George!

    I'm glad that you are secure and safe from falling, such a scary concept.

    Here's to hoping your new laptop gets mailed soon! :D

    Recent blog post: My blogging dilemma

  14. Sara, You are a daily inspiration to me. Yours is the first blog I read every day. I know that you inspire countless others that you don't even realize. And I thank God for that and for you. I had a George for a while when I broke my ankle, only his name was Hugo. I wasn't able to use crutches because of arthritis in my hands. Now my Hugo has gone to live with my dad and he is so grateful to have him. I only with I could convince my mom to try to get along with a Hugo. She has fallen too many times, but doesn't want to give in to that. I understand her reluctance and yours, and I'm so glad for you that you are happy with your George.

  15. I'm glad that you have found a bit of comfort in George.

    Recent blog post: Disclaimer: Family Photos

  16. Beautifully communicated. I love the line, "...and we learn to embrace what is meant to be, rather than what we meant to create." This spoke to me because when I got saved, I remember saying to the Lord." Everything I have created myself to be is ugly, take me and make me into who You created me to be."

    Recent blog post: Funny Faces

  17. Gitz, you have a talent for the writing. There are many things I didn't think I would do either, like take medications (mom was into the natural stuff), and here I am taking 12 pills a day.
    I'm glad you are able to go past your insecurities, and do what you have to do for you. It took alot of courage in my opinion to make that step and get the walker.
    Personally, I think you should jazz it up, LOL. Paint it or something :) Sorta like Pimp my Ride.
    Well girl, Im proud of you!

    Recent blog post: Hope

  18. I've recently been told I need to use a cane for my balance issues. Hmmm...never say never?


    Thanks for this...AGAIN!!

    It seems life is on a constant learning curve. Sometimes the curves are much sharper than I'm prepared to take. I'm so thankful God's doing the driving. I'd crash!

    Love you, Gitz!! ;)

    Recent blog post: The Dungeon of Bitterness

  19. I name everything too... and I like the name George. Very cozy and comforting and maybe a little bossy, like a grumpy Uncle with candy in his pockets. :)

    Recent blog post: It’s 90. In April.

  20. Can't beat a sturdy and reliable guy. And I finally have a male in my house that won't pee in the kitchen :)

    *the part about being a productive member of society was just part of the process of letting go of working... a job is just part of feeling like you contribute. Starting the blog helped with that greatly, and over time I got used to the idea that a job just wasn't how I was meant to contribute. That feeling was just part of the process, I think.

  21. The rollminator is even funnier than the rollator! :-P

    *the part about being a productive member of society was just part of the process of letting go of working... a job is just part of feeling like you contribute. Starting the blog helped with that greatly, and over time I got used to the idea that a job just wasn't how I was meant to contribute. That feeling was just part of the process, I think.

  22. George is a little pimped out since he came in red instead of black. :) I'm just glad Riley doesn't seem to mind him. :-P

    *the part about being a productive member of society was just part of the process of letting go of working... a job is just part of feeling like you contribute. Starting the blog helped with that greatly, and over time I got used to the idea that a job just wasn't how I was meant to contribute. That feeling was just part of the process, I think.

  23. I honestly barely remember typing that sentence, but everyone certainly didn't skim over it! :) I don't feel that as much as I used to, but I think it was just part of the process when life changed, you know?

  24. Exactly! What's that they always say about the best laid plans?


  25. He is much handier than I was prepared to admit at first, and once I got over the pride thing he became irreplaceable!

  26. "George rocks" cracked me up! Riley's going to get jealous of all this George talk pretty soon. :)

    *the part about being a productive member of society was just part of the process of letting go of working... a job is just part of feeling like you contribute. Starting the blog helped with that greatly, and over time I got used to the idea that a job just wasn't how I was meant to contribute. That feeling was just part of the process, I think.

  27. Seriously, whoever thought to put wheels on a walker deserves an award.

  28. :) I do that sometimes on other blogs where you have to put your name in... happens to the best of us!

    *the part about being a productive member of society was just part of the process of letting go of working... a job is just part of feeling like you contribute. Starting the blog helped with that greatly, and over time I got used to the idea that a job just wasn't how I was meant to contribute. That feeling was just part of the process, I think.

  29. I'm sure that's tough as a mom because you don't want limitations for him but, truly, I'm finding that giving in to the aids that make me seem more disabled actually gives me more freedom. Just one of those give and take things...

  30. Tell your dad I think he's cool. 8-)

    And yes, I think it's the midwestern work ethic that makes not working feel so strange...

  31. I'm hoping the laptop comes soon, too... I think it's now safe to say the salesman LIED about the quick turnaround to make a sale!!!

  32. I love the name Hugo... makes me think of Hurley on Lost [love that show!]. I hope your mom comes around, too, if not for her then for your piece of mind!

  33. George is probably the most stable guy I've ever committed to...

  34. What's the saying? Something like "We make plans and God has a good laugh." :-P

  35. I love it... I try to go for understated, as if I could make that contraption less noticeable, and you all think I should pimp it out! :) Maybe I'll decorate it at Christmas :)

  36. I think a cane could make you look sophisticated... like a professor who walks about campus with a cane and a pipe. Of course, I never really pulled off that look, but I tried!!! :*

  37. I'm so going to put some candy in the little basket now, to round out the visual :)

  38. I know just what you mean.� Sometimes when you're not "working" at an actual "job", it's hard to see how you're contributing to society.� It has taken me the better part of the 4 years I've been a stay-at-home mom to realize that my "job" is my kids .... I'm contributing to their growth and enrichment�(physical, educational, spiritual, mental)�... which, in turn, will hopefully contribute to society one day!� Let's just hope that their contribution is a positive one : )

  39. thank you for encouraging me to never say never. i think you are so right but i get this idea in my mind that i have plans and i know exactly what i know and do not know about my future. the things i think i want or do not want. i am so encouraged by this post, and also a little convicted- which doesn't necessarily feel good, but i know that it feels right. i will probably blog about this soon, and of course, give you credit for getting me thinking. :)

  40. I agree with previous comments about George being more steady, and reliable, then a lot of men. As all of my ex-girlfriends will attest to.

    It is good to read that Riley isn't jealous of George.

    Has Riley "marked" George as his part of his territory yet?

    Recent blog post: Escaping Poverty

  41. So glad you have "George" to rely on!

    Recent blog post: 100% Cottage Chic

  42. :) I know what you mean... I used to say "that's the plan" when talking about things with friends, but found every time I did, the plan changed! I'm getting much better at not making my own plans and just going with the flow.

  43. You know, he's been good so far, but every once in awhile I'll catch him sniffing the wheels... but he hasn't marked yet!

  44. I just came across your blog and had to leave a comment. I think George is a great name! I have a weird thing about naming inanimate objects...George is a go-to for a lot of things for me :)
    What you said about accepting things we said would never happen is really key...I've learned to never say never. Seems like each time I say, "oh, that'll never happen." or "I'll never do that"...I do!

    Recent blog post: A decade ago…

  45. I know exactly what you mean... it's like tempting fate or something! :) Thanks for commenting... glad you found us here!

  46. I love George. And I never cease to be amazed by the depth of insight that you have gained through suffering and difficulty. You are a daily inspiration.

    Recent blog post: Sunday Setlist - March 29th, 2009

  47. george makes a darn good date. i'm glad you have him.

    Recent blog post: i’ll never be good enough