Nancy Jamerson Weiland
As I have faced mobility issues, I have developed a can do/can't do list and adapted new ways to accomplish my routines. I saw an Instagram post of my daughter's picture of her clothes on the line and realized just how much I miss some simple things. I miss hanging my clothes on the line in the fresh air, I miss kneeling on the ground and digging in the dirt and smelling that fresh earth as I plant, I miss long walks in the woods enjoying nature as God created for us, I miss lying on my back in the grass and looking up at the sky...but I have those memories and now I'm creating new ones as I peacefully sit on my porch and enjoy nature; I can still look up to the sky; I can take car rides in the country and up in the mountains. My can do list is still longer than my can't do list and for that, I thank God's blessings.
The message: We need to be grateful and thankful for all of our days and never lose our passions and never stop looking forward to what's ahead.
I have always told people; I’m not handicapped, I’m inconvenienced. I pretty much do what I have always done, just slower and with adaptations. It makes me feel good to do things I’ve always done. If I keep doing normal things I still feel like my old self.
It doesn’t matter that I have to adapt and find a new way, it just matters that I find the way and keep going. I’m learning to listen to my body as to when and how I can do my chores. I make the bed every day and I can still change the sheets. I just put on the bottom sheet, stop and sit down, then put on the top sheet, stop and sit down, and so on until the chore is done. But it does get done.
Cooking is one of my passions and I rearranged my kitchen so everything is easy to reach. Actually, I should have done it years ago anyway. Remember those stools from the 1950s with a back and two little steps that pulled out? I have one in my kitchen, so I stand as always until I feel the need to sit, but that stool is right there.
I did find making biscuits sitting down does not work well. I can’t knead the dough properly, so that must be done standing and that I can do! I like to give myself thumbs up when I get something done. I think it’s important to encourage myself as well as have encouragement from others.
I also try to keep my humor, laughter is a great medicine. So when I attempt something and fumble it, I try to laugh at it and give it another try. Not to say there haven't been times that frustration builds because I can’t do what I thought I could. When it does I have a good cry, and then I remind myself to put on my big girl pants and move on. Those times remind me of my Aunt Lacie, at the age of 90, she broke her knee cap. Her bedroom was upstairs and she would butt-bump up and down the stairs. Her sister, my Aunt Grace, lived in assisted living and had the hallway measured so she would know how many trips she had to make to be a mile and she walked her mile every day. Those are my genes!!! I can do this!!!
When a cane became a daily part of my life, I thought…I can make this fun! So I have gathered a collection of canes to coordinate with my wardrobe and each has as name. I have one with cats on it, that’s Miss Kitty and the black and white one is Pepe (as in LePew) and so on. My walker is Wilma , like in the Flintstones. I need to wear orthopedic shoes and refuse the clunking oxford style and instead it has become an adventure to shoe shop for cute and sassy shoes that match my outfits.
God has given me a fantastic life and I want to use my time and talents to the best of my ability. Yes, I’ve lost a lot of mobility, but look at what came before. I danced a great dance for a long time, so now when the music plays my toes are tapping and I dance in my heart. I walked tails in God’s nature he created for us, now none of that is lost because his world is still there for me to embrace be it walking trails or sitting on my porch. I’m still a mother, grandmother and wife. My “new normal” is what it is and my passion for God and life is very much intact.
Thank you to our guest blogger, Nancy Jamerson Weiland. Nancy has been facing some mobility challenges and agreed to share with us her own feelings and experiences as she is navigating the new "normal" of life. There are many challenges in life, but I love Nancy's "can do" attitude and choice make adjustments and keep going rather than sitting down and giving up! What a great example!
Nancy Jamerson Weiland lives in Lynchburg Va and is a local historian, genealogist, research librarian, and author. She leads a fascinating and active (though modified) life "padding her obituary" as she puts it.
Are you facing mobility challenges? Share in the comments the ways you have found to work around and work with those challenges. You can also share on Instagram or Facebook and be sure to tag us!