Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I feel overwhelmed sometimes, especially with paperwork. It gets so easy for me to sit in front of my computer, as the day flies by. I have been writing a lot, and investigating opportunities to make some change for the grocery store. I am trying not to spend money; I want to at least bring my accounts to a place where I can at least make the monthly minimums, and not have to avoid answering the phone. Forget about any discretionary money -- I may never have that. A year ago, I had goals and plans for making my life -- what's left of it -- better. Now I just have to get through the day, and amuse myself enough to avoid getting caught up in negative or self-defeating thoughts.

I'm grateful when someone can make a phone call for me, or even come over for a half-hour to help me rearrange something or bring something I asked them to pick up for me. I make no demands, I don't expect them to stay. This apartment isn't guest-friendly anymore. My weekly visits with my volunteer, Judy, are often my only time out. Last weekend we sat in a park, watched the birds, enjoyed just looking at the greenery, and I listened to two conversations she struck up with two interesting neighborhood characters. I forgot how nice it is to stop and just sit. When I was able, I would go to the beach, even in the off-season, and just sit. Now we were in a little park, but it was still the same kind of experience.

I wish I had taken more time to do this in the years leading up to ALS. Instead, I kept running, and doing anything to avoid just the stillness and quiet. I hated being alone, or at least I thought so. I am learning now, when I am seldom alone, that I valued my privacy and solitude. It's a case of being careful what you wish for. Whoever coined the phrase about stopping to smell the flowers was right. Healthy or sick, disabled or not, everybody needs to stop what he's doing, and take time to be still.

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