I’ve had to handle a lot of changes over the years. I’ve resigned myself to staying home nearly all the time. I’ve adapted to spending years without a vacation, even though I used to live for road trips. I changed majors in college and have made 2 major career changes due to progressions in my disability.
Over the years I was forced to give up on baseball, then basketball, then bike riding, then wheelchair basketball, and I’ve all but given up on adapted kayaking as the nerve damage has slowly taken more away from me. So far I can still swim if I have the right equipment, and I pretend I’m getting exercise when I ride my lawn mower.
My house is a mess. I gave up long ago on trying to keep it straight, because I just don’t have the energy. Recently I’ve had to adapt to living in a space that isn’t just cluttered and dusty, but is also dirtier than I’d like… I can barely handle sweeping the floor or cleaning the bathrooms anymore, so it just doesn’t get done very often.
I seem to be okay with the big changes. It’s not easy, and sometimes it takes a while to overcome the upset, but with God’s grace I eventually manage, I find a way to get by. I find something else I can still do, or I find a work-around, or I find a way to live without whatever it is. I’m not sure my solutions are always healthy, and often it takes a lot of counseling from a good friend and a lot of prayer to come out the other side, but I’ve managed so far.
What really gets to me are the little things.
My keyboard isn’t working right? My world will not be right until I can fix or replace it. The internet goes down? It doesn’t matter that I was planning to be away from the computer all day, my day is shot. I got up planning to wear a certain outfit only to find it’s in the laundry? It may take me an hour to find something else I’m okay with.
The little things are crippling.
If there are dishes overflowing my kitchen sink I cannot start any other work until they’re done — and if I don’t have the energy to do those dishes? I won’t get anything done that day at all.
If I’ve lost something, I cannot move on with my life until I find it. I’ve had a certain drill bit missing for weeks now and I cannot seem to make myself do any of my toy work, despite the fact that the work I most need to do does not require that bit. I need to find it. It’s driving me mad.
The problem is that life is full of little problems and upsets. I drop half of the things I touch, but one little mess can throw me off for the rest of the day. I lose things all.the.time! Things come up at the last minute, I get sick, it rains on the day I wanted to mow, a customer emails and I don’t know how to answer their question, paperwork needs sent somewhere, a friend has to cancel something… all little things that can throw me for a complete loop.
Perhaps this is normal, but other people seem to be able to ‘not sweat the small stuff’… perhaps I just expend so much of my mental energy adapting to major issues, that every small thing is a proverbial straw… but it sure would be nice if little things didn’t get to me so much.