A number of decades ago I told my grandma about having written a report about Helen Keller‘s life, and she told me she’d gotten to attend a special church symposium at which Ms. Keller had been the guest of honor. My grandma had been particularly impressed that she’d only had to hand spell the first two letters of her name (G, L) before Ms. Keller had correctly guessed her whole name. I was impressed my grandma had met such a famous, impressive person, and spoken to her, however briefly.
Today, I’m impressed by different things: That Keller helped found the ACLU, that her example was enough to push governments to open schools to educate the deaf and blind, that she was relentless in her drive. And she was an optimist, as highlighted by this week’s quote. It’s a useful reminder to me these days. I went back to the dentist this week for the final version of the crown first placed over a month ago as a temporary, and discovered my dentist wants me back to put in two fillings and another crown, on top of the two implants that loom in my near future. And I had one of those conversations that hammered home the finality of being childless.
Both of those things have dented my own relentlessness and optimism.
But if Helen Keller could overcome deafblindness at a time when such disabilities were seen as being unfit for public consumption, maybe there’s purpose and meaning for me, too. There’s certainly purpose and meaning for other writers with other kinds of disabilities. One of my fellow KKP authors, Joyce Chng, posted in support of the Kickstarter for Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction / Uncanny Magazine. I suppose, technically, I’ve been disabled by asthma since my first hospitalization for it in 1992. In fact, my current dentist was the one who helpfully pointed out the bone loss he can see in both my jaws–more than likely from having been on a steroid inhaler for at least 15 years.
I suppose, according to reporting at Motherboard, I could even consider my gender a disability, at least according to one of the senior engineers at Google. Or according to clothing designers who seem to delight in creating fashions that are impractical at best and stifling at worst. One of the highlights of my week was a tweetstorm by a dude pointing out to some guy dismissing a woman’s joy at finding clothes with pockets just how sexist fashion is. (Also, I’ll be shopping at Poche Posh and Betabrand as soon as I can afford to buy anything other than dental services.)
For our date night, hubs and I got to hang out with dear friends and attend the Roger Waters concert. It is amazing that lyrics written for Pink Floyd in the mid-70s are as relevant today as then, and it’s sad we seem to have even more “Pigs” now than ever.
As for my walking goals, my phone says I averaged 7,081 steps per day this week. That’s my best average so far this year. At least I’m making progress in some small way. I haven’t even looked at my MS in over a week, and I’m wondering when I’ll even have the time, given that we won two more contracts this week that will join my portfolio at my day job. I’m starting to write position descriptions now because these wins mean my employer is growing. It’s an exciting problem to have, but means one of my new goals will have to be sorting out work-life balance issues sooner than later. Luckily, Sun Basket continues to nourish us well, so at least we’re eating at home regularly, enjoying time with our Huskies in the process.
I’ll be back again next week reporting on my progress, or lack thereof, but in the meantime, check out the other ROW80ers.