Planning Ahead

My Blindness and Visual Services (BVS) counselor stopped by this week. He had papers for me to sign. I was hoping he was going to be able to tell me about my new iPad or my mobility specialist but no such luck. The papers he had just had me acknowledge the toys I had already received. I guess that is OK because now the vendors can be paid and the stuff is really mine. “Mine, mine, all mine!” (Daffy Duck, 19??) [Sue, it was 1957.  If you are going to Quote Daffy, you gotta get it right! The correct quote is “It’s mine, you understand? Mine! All mine! Get back in there! Down, down, down! Go, go, go! Mine, mine, mine! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!”]

I asked my counselor about problems he has encountered. What difficulties has he seen people with visual impairment have?  He talked about two things, one of them being coping and planning ahead.

People with special needs don’t always have the luxury of doing things on the spur of the moment. I can’t just get in the car and drive to Wendy’s for lunch if there is nothing in the house. A student cannot just switch classes because he decides he doesn’t care for that professor. Not when he cannot get new, accessible materials for six weeks, he doesn’t.

Some of the freedom and spontaneity in life definitely suffer when you develop an impairment.

So how do we go about planning ahead?

Sparkpeople.com suggests we consider our ultimate goal. If the goal is a bigger one, we might want to devise some smaller intermediate goals.

For example, this summer I want to work doing evaluations at an office 45 minutes away. I cannot tell them to just schedule clients for me. I have to plan how to get there. I also have to make sure I have accessible materials. These are subgoals.

We talked about plans B,C, etc. before. Anticipating roadblocks is important. I can potentially work at this other office two or three days a week this summer. A road block would be, well, my husband! I suspect he will not want to take me 45 miles, come home to do things for his mother and then come back up for me. That would be 180 miles a day times how many days I am working there. Plan B would be to stay over at a Motel 6 nearby. That would cut the travel in half or maybe even a third.

The spark people.com article veers off after those points. It goes much more into long-term life goals. Important but not necessarily applicable to planning your trips out so you can have milk and bread all week.

Looking at other articles on the web I discovered most of them talk about creativity and  – gasp! – organization.

Make a list. Plan a route. Combine trips when you can. Keep extras on hand.

Eureka! I just had a brain sprinkle…think blizzard. This is not going to help you in sunny climes, but you northerners, what would you do if the storm were coming and you had to get ready the most efficient way possible? Think snowed in for three or four or five days. What would you need and how would you go about getting it? That might just be the kind of plan ahead my counselor was talking about.

Next: DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION

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