Hey, how are ya?
Each day brings a new adventure. When I wake up, I try to start my day with a positive mindset. But hey, I’m human. Many days I wake up just not feelin’ it. Sometimes there is a reason, such as being exhausted after a busy Thanksgiving weekend; seeing an old friend and feeling nostalgic; having second or third or the hundredth thought that maybe I have lost my mind and made incorrect choices after college graduation.
Other times, I wake up and feel the physiological effects of Friedreich’s ataxia (“FA”) taking its course. FA is a genetic disease that causes a reduced expression of a mitochondrial protein called Frataxin. Simply put, this protein deficiency causes severe fatigue, one of the worst symptoms of FA. (Science is wild.)
When I get tired, it becomes difficult to focus on even the most basic tasks. The worst is when I haven’t been productive for a few days because I’m mentally and physically worn down. It can be frustrating because it seems like everyone is out there making magic happen, while I’m just sitting around. When I have good energy, my motor is firing, and I have lots of drive. But the idea of sitting around due to fatigue, unable to finishing something, bums me out. High Energy > Productive > Fatigue > Unproductive > Bummed Out. It’s a vicious cycle most people can relate to.
Take last Monday morning for example. I woke up exhausted from Thanksgiving and my weekend activities. I spent the first thirty minutes of my day procrastinating. Laying horizontal in my bed, I looked through multiple social media sites before deciding to get out of bed. For me, though, getting out of bed does not look like a Kellogg’s breakfast commercial–feet on the floor, a nice wide stretch, and a pull of the shade. My day starts a little differently. I begin my difficult journey of transferring – the move from my bed to my scooter.
The distance from my bed to my scooter is about two feet. As I used one hand to grab the handlebar of my scooter to slide myself on, I lost my grip, slipped, and fell. I missed my scooter and hit the floor. It felt like that Life Alert television commercial where the lady looks at the camera and says, “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up.” Side note: that commercial is B.S. because that lady fell way too easily.
When I fall, I fall hard. One of my favorite stand-up comedians, Ralphie May, once said, “If you’re going to dance with the devil, you might as well lead.” Therefore, if I’m going to fall, I’m falling 100% full speed. To give you a better picture, I am 6’1’’ and 155 pounds. I do not fall gracefully.
It was 9:24 a.m., I imagine my parents were going for their second cup of coffee when they heard a loud thump from upstairs. I’m in my underwear on the floor. My dogs are staring at me (not rescue types, obviously), and my aching face, which hit first, is eating some floor. Mondays suck enough, but this is not the way to start even the shittiest day of the week. My parents, who are rock stars, ran up to my room and helped me up. It’s like a military drill at this point. We’ve been through this so many times, my parents just snap into action. They lifted me up, made sure I was okay, and then we all started our days like nothing happened.
Let’s take a step back. I also transfer throughout the day into my car (yes, I drive, but not well), to and from chairs and couches, to a bar stool, back into bed, and so on. For example, I have fallen in the shower, getting into bed, and transferring to the bathroom. Boo hoo for me. Just kidding. I and many others don’t always have great days so I try to never feel bad for myself. This whole blog is a representation of my mindset about time and making it count. I cannot afford to stay down.
This is where you and I have lots in common because I am SURE there are people out there who know what it feels like to get knocked down. Some kids are terrified of the bully at school. Some Mothers are going crazy with a million things to do while their kids are running in five different directions. I am also sure that there are mornings when you are afraid to face the day – maybe a boss is on your ass, or you’re unprepared for an important exam, or there’s a rumor flying around about you, or a girl/guy rejected you. Those are your falls.
Everybody has a different version of falling. The common denominator is that falling hurts and makes you feel like you are face down on the ground eating some floor. But what are you going to do? Waste precious time giving a crap? It isn’t easy, and I don’t always handle my falls well. Yet, I try to make the conscious decision to let it go and move forward. I also try to remind myself that another fall is inevitable. Then, I try to find a better way to “transfer” myself the next time. Life will throw obstacles at you, but you won’t grow until you learn how to face the challenges.
Everyone goes through adversity in life, but what matters is what you learn from it