Wednesday, September 3


I am often told I have a good attitude for someone with a disability.

I know people mean well, but it's a little insulting when someone assumes the physical difference that I was born with must be the greatest tragedy of my life. 

Unhappiness is not rationed to a select few. It's readily available to all. You only have to pick your reason. Heck, you don't even need a reason.

I could get down about my disability, but why be so narrow-minded? There are so many other things to choose from: breakups, rudeness, and famine, to name a few.

Lately my attitude has been less than optimistic. It hasn't been exactly bad, just sort of stuck in the doldrums. I've stopped expecting good things, which is almost worse than being angry or upset, signs of passionate feeling. This dispassion is hard to kick.

I don't feel like I have a legitimate reason for my disappointment. Sure, there are a handful of things that haven't gone the way I would have liked.

This week I was excited to find a horse that would be perfect for our therapeutic riding program, only to learn it had been sold the day I made an inquiry.

I'm responsible for some of my blues. I've hurt people I care about because of my own selfish needs. And the worst part is I'm mostly upset because of how it makes me feel.

I took a picnic lunch to share with my cousin yesterday. He wasn't home, but his tenant Ramon was. I sat with Ramon under the shade of a cottonwood tree as he told me about his life journey from Cuba where he was nearly aborted before he was born, to working for Sears as a delivery driver. It certainly had not been easy, but happiness and contentment seeped out of him. Sitting next to him, I felt like the most negative person on the planet.

The only cure I've found for a poor outlook is looking more closely--examining the small, simple pleasures in my life. I will never forget how when I was struggling with physical illness and feeling strapped on every side, the one thing that I looked forward to each day was a bowl of yoghurt with raspberries and honey. To this day, I have never tasted yoghurt so good.

On Monday, Father Daniel called to invite me to a baseball game.

"We are taking the bikes," he said. It was all I needed to hear.

On the back of a motorcycle driven by a Franciscan priest, the sun and wind blessing my cheeks, I wondered how I got so lucky.