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Writer's Block: Time may change me ...

People often focus on the things they'd love to change about their lives. What parts of your life would you choose to keep exactly the same?

From a theoretical standpoint, this question is pretty difficult. I mean, life is always changing so I don't know that I'd want anything to not change. It sounds good on the surface, keeping something I like from changing, but if other things change, that piece of my life would feel extremely stagnant. So to me, the question is more about what things would I want to keep in my life, knowing that they might need to grow with me? What am I satisfied with right now?

First, I'd keep Julio. My bond with Julio is so intense, I never want him to retire. I would want to keep the strength of our bond and our relationship and his skills. That love is like no other and the thought of the relationship becoming one between me and a retired Julio, or not having Julio around at all literally makes my heart ache and a lump rise up in my throat.

Another thing I wouldn't change is my faith. Obviously, faith is a journey, but I've been through the whole being mad at God and not admitting it thing because of my pain and it didn't work. To me, faith is a relationship, in some ways I find that following a Guide Dog is a symbolic representation of the type of relationship I strive for with God. Obviously, there are huge huge differences, and I hope that no one thinks I'm being crass or saying a Guide Dog is God or vice versa, but the following, trust, communication and love are very similar. Also, sometimes I don't understand what Julio's doing and I don't always understand what God's doing either. Guide Dogs aren't perfect like God is, so this analogy only goes so far. But still, if I trust Julio when he avoids a moving car, I am saved. If I trust and follow God, who knows what obstacles I might avoid. So while I want that relationship to keep growing, I wouldn't want to change it.

I also wouldn't want to change my love of creativite expression. My beading and my writing have brought me so much joy, created connections and promoted healing in many areas of my life. They add so much beauty and hope, it's hard to imagine what I'd do without them.

I also wouldn't change the support I receive from friends every day. I have been so blessed to know some amazing people, many of whom will read this. Thank you! You are wonderful. I know my friends care deeply about me and I care deeply about them. As I continue to develop my skills in accepting support, I wouldn't change that area. I don't ever want to go back to the way things were when I thought I had to handle life alone.

Finally, and probably most surprising to some, I wouldn't change my blindness. There are times I get frustrated when something is harder because I can't see, but the real issue there is more that our society has so many barriers which could be changed and removed so blindness wouldn't be challenging. Believe it or not, most of the time, I love being who I am as a woman who's blind. I've met amazing people, learned amazing things, had amazing opportunities. Maybe I still would have had a good life as a sighted person, but since I was born this way and like it, I see no reason to change it.

As I think about this question more, I think maybe the reality for me is that there are things in my life which will change, which I'll keep developing, but I wouldn't actively change them, trade them or get rid of them.


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Jan. 15th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
Awesome entry! I don't think I would change being blind, either. I sometimes think I might be a different person/have a different world view if I were sighted. I'm fine how I am, (for the most part). Sure, there are annoyances and inconveniences, but doesn't everybody deal with those? How is that different from anyone else? Things to ponder...
Jan. 15th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
I think it's interesting that people usually assume I'd prefer to get rid of the blindness and keep the chronic pain. It shows how much people still fear blindness if they'd rather live in pain for the rest of their lives than just not be able to see. I think we each have our unique challenges and being blind is no different.
Jan. 15th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
Is there a mandatory age for a guide dog to retire from service? I'm just wondering if it is a forced issue.
Jan. 15th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Julio?
No, there's not really an age when all Guide Dogs have to retire, but once they turn 8 years old, the Guide Dog school watches the team a bit more closely and also tries to anticipate what the handler needs for their successor dog. Some dogs retire after two months because of health or behavior problems, others work until they're at least ten or eleven years old. It really depends on the dog and the handler and how things are going.
Jan. 17th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Julio?
That's great to know that dear Julio won't be "put out to pasture" while he's still got spunk left in his step! It seems like the 2 of you enjoy each other and have a bond that is very special beyond his "day" job.
Jan. 18th, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Julio?
Yeah, we do have an incredible bond. I've been separated from him, which is a long story, and it wasn't pretty. The emotional fallout was pretty intense! I'm glad that my Guide Dog school views each team individually and doesn't do things in a one-size-fits-all approach.
Jan. 16th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
I really like your answer. I'd been trying to think of how I'd answer this question as well.
Jan. 17th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback! It's definitely an interesting question to try to answer!
Jan. 18th, 2010 06:07 am (UTC)
About the only things I would change would be the issues that have related to pain, too. I don't regret much that I've done, and honestly, even finding I have macular degeneration now isn't a big issue. I can deal with that. I work on it daily.

The pain related to long-ago back injuries and surgery, and the problems related to Crohn's Disease are a lot harder to handle. They have impacted the quality of my life substantially. I have to choose between dulling the pain, and not dulling my mind. Most of the time, I prefer to have a clear head.

Great post, and hope your beading is coming along well. I'm working on a beaded fringe on an art quilt right now. Hope to finish it tonight or tomorrow.
Jan. 18th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
You just articulated my reality beautifully, even though it's your reality you were describing. I've had doctors who think I'd change my blindness and keep my pain, they obviously haven't experienced the pain. For what it's worth, in the little time I've known you, I've decided that you've handled what life throws at you amazingly well!

As for the beading, I got a bunch more beads, so I think some beading is in order soon.
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