Reflections on 2017

Tomorrow is the first of December. Another year is winding down. Lin asked if I wanted to write a bit about 2017. What did the year bring for me? What did it mean?  What has happened in my journey?

Excellent questions. I am sitting here waiting for my ride – do I ever do anything but wait for a ride?- and trying to formulate some profound answers for them.

First of all, while I do a lot more waiting for rides than I ever cared to do, I do do other things. Normal things like work, shop, exercise and travel. I  just do some of those things differently and, in some cases, with a little more difficulty.

If 2016 was the year of change and challenge and adaptation, 2017 has become the year of The New Normal.

I have a routine. My routine is not much different from my pre-sight-loss routine. Initially the planning requirements were overwhelming. (When things break down, the planning can be overwhelming! ) However, most times now things just flow. I know where I need/want to be at a given time and I have good, reliable people who will get me there. Week after week we get the job done together.

I continue to be dependent upon my totally awesome community. I am blessed to be surrounded by kind and caring people who make the effort to look out for me. What I have lost in independence I have gained in relationships and connections. People whom I never would have sought out as friends have become such simply because they happened to be going my way (Bing Crosby, 1944). These people are some of my most faithful drivers.

Although I often feel I am receiving much more than I deserve and more than I could ever repay, I believe my impairment has put me in a better position to help others. I am not only talking the talk now, I am walking the walk. Being visually impaired has given me street cred. Suddenly I am seen as knowing what I am talking about!  I have been able to pay forward some of the help that I have received. Helping others is a heady feelings.

What about my fervor for a cure? It is still there. I have every intention of getting into a stem cell study. Call me tomorrow and I will be there. That said, I am not living and breathing the quest for a treatment or cure every minute of every day. My desire to see well again has developed a more quiet urgency. I am learning patience. Things will come and they will come in their own, good time. My impatience is not going to make them come any faster.

My job now is to live as good a life as I can with what I have and, yes, as hokey as it may sound, be a good example of living with an impairment.

So, that is what 2017 has meant to me. That is also my wish for you for 2018.

  • I wish you all of the dullness and lack of adventure a smooth-running routine can provide.
  • I wish you helpful and caring people and I wish you the strength to get out there and show people how it is done, vision loss or no. You can do it and you can make a difference.

Peace. Love. Charity. Hope.

November 30th, 2017

Next: I Tried My Best

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