Friday, April 6, 2012

A Second Older

    I was thinking earlier today about how every second we live we're a second older than the last second (if that makes any sense whatsoever). It is sort of a funny thought, and a couple of my friends looked very uncomfortable when I told them this. Maybe it's a negative thing. But, as I have stated previously, negative things often lead to positive things. This thought made me think more about how I spend my time and whether I am generally productive or unproductive.
    This got me thinking about the fine line between doing something productive and doing something unproductive. Take playing piano for example. I do this wayyyyy more than I should (at least according to my occupational therapist), and most people would consider playing piano a productive thing. But then again, it's not like I perform or compete or anything. I play for myself; to express myself. I would consider it productive, but some people would consider it unproductive. I can't think of a good way to really draw a clear line. I think I'll leave this one open.
    My fingers hurt so badly right now. I'm glad to be able to type this, considering how stiff my PIP joints are. This may have to be a shorter post because of it.
    Let's get something straight with my arthritis: I don't need anyone telling me what I can and can't do. This goes way back to me being the overly-stubborn person that I am. I have already decided that I am going to do some things in the next couple months that are going to hurt. It might be a little difficult to persuade people to let me do these things. I would prefer not to elaborate on this until later on, because I'm pretty sure some of the people I need to persuade read my blog.
    A lot of people think I'm stupid for allowing myself to do things that hurt and going against the general idea of what is safe for me. I'm not saying I'm about to climb Everest. It's all made up of small steps.
    One of my closest friends who knows I have arthritis sits next to me in social studies. As I was managing to write my notes in class the other day opposed to typing them on my laptop, he asked me, "Is it more important for you to look normal or to not be in pain?" I found this to be an intriguing question, but I was sure of my answer and did not find it to be particularly challenging. What I find intriguing is all the different perspectives people have on it.
    "Look normal," I responded quickly, not looking up from my trembling pencil.
    "Seriously?" he asked, surprised. At once, I knew he fell into the other category. I nodded in response to his attempt at clarification. "But if it's going to hurt, then..."
    "If I cope too much in hopes of stopping the pain, I'm not doing anything. I'm adapting. I'm letting the pain win. After a certain point, I set my priorities. Not that I haven't made some changes." I could tell he was stunned at this answer. I don't know if I'm right or not. I don't know if it's better to find ways to brush off the major pain or to live through it and look "normal". For now, I choose to look normal, not because I want to hide my arthritis from others but because a part of me wants to hide it from myself.
    On a much lighter note, a guy who knows British Sign Language came and talked to our school. The point wasn't that he knows the language (he was actually a poet), but he did mention that. How awesome would it be if I knew BSL and ASL??? I am very, very excited about this. At the same time, I have a feeling that I would get quite a few things confused.
    I love to write. Isn't it wonderful that by stringing previously known words together in unique and intuitive ways we can change minds, inspire people, and provoke emotions? I find this thing - this writing thing - to be a gorgeous art.

Love,
Rachel 

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Feel free to comment or shoot me an email - thekidwitharthritis@gmail.com I'll try to get back to you either way!