48. This World Is A Magical Place

 

This world truly is a magical place to live.   We usually have trouble remembering that.  Life gets in the way of noticing the magic all around you.   I am reminded every day in the summer time.  I hear so many beautiful sounds pouring out of trees that surround my home.  Flowers are blooming everywhere,  berries popping out of the bushes,  and animals wander around my yard.  Summertime is a time of year when it’s just a little bit easier to see the magic of the world.

Look for the magic everyday.  Ask The Universe / God for a surprise in the morning before you get up,  and then just pay attention,  and see what shows up.  I did that this morning,  and less than one hour later,  my mom brought me a container filled with freshly picked black raspberries.  I love black raspberries.   I always receive something when I ask.  Even when I don’t ask,  many times I am surprised with something I like that just shows up out of the blue.

Some people seem to constantly worry that things will go wrong.  It’s easy to get sucked into worrying, with all the news stories about everything bad that has happened that day,  all over the world.  All the commercials about medicines for this and that,  and how many people are suffering from one disease or another.  Then,  the list of horrible side effects of each and every medication that is advertised.  If you’re not feeling good and need to take medicine,  you can expect to feel even worse with one or more side effects.  Bad luck would appear to be around each and every corner!  Instead of believing something bad will happen, expect good things to happen to you.  Expect things to go well in your life,  and more often than not,  they will.

Being in a wheelchair full-time requires lots of planning for every trip,  everywhere you go.  Not just the usual planning,  but extra planning because no matter how people try,  life is not wheelchair accessible!  It really isn’t.  Everywhere I go,  I have to research how accessible it will be, and plan where to park,  make sure there is a ramp to get in, if there will there be a family bathroom,  ect…  But,  when planning isn’t an option,  I find that if I expect things to go well,  they usually do.  Like when we took our trip to Ireland, I was told it may not be very accessible.  I rented an accessible home,  booked accessible hotel rooms (which means different things to different people,  that’s a whole other blog post) and a van big enough for my wheelchair,  but otherwise I couldn’t really plan on too much.  I didn’t know what restaurants would be accessible.  I just expected we would find something.  And,  we did.  My husband would often get out ahead of me to go in and see how hard it would be to get a wheelchair in,  and many times the owner would pull out a board or something we could use to make a ramp for my chair,  or show us a different entrance.  It always worked out.  When we went through a tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory,  the tour guide went out of her way to help,  she made sure people moved out of my way so I could see everything on the tour.  People held doors for us.  Everywhere we went,  things just worked out.  That’s not to say we had a perfect trip.  A vacation without a little drama might be viewed as boring,  and God knows I don’t want to be bored.  So, we arrived in Ireland, long before the car rental place had opened.  So,  we waited and waited.  Then,  we found out that their airport office was not even open,  so we took the shuttle to their office nearby.  Also,  we arrived at the airport,  but half of our luggage did not.  So, we spent our second day there waiting for a call to say that our luggage had been found, and driving back to the airport to pick up our luggage.  But, all in all, Ireland turned out to be one of our best vacations, and one of the most accessible places I’ve ever been.

Magic is all around you,  just pay attention.  Slow down long enough to notice it.  If you are having trouble seeing the magic in your life,  maybe you could start by listening to the song I shared at the beginning of this blog post.  Once it gets stuck in your head,  and it will,  and you find yourself thinking about magic,  you’ll start to notice the magical world you live in!

 

 

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47. Do Something

Do something. Do something to help others. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, or time. But, do something. I think school children should learn to do for others, the same as they learn math, science and English. I think taxpayers would be more likely to do volunteer work, if they received a tax credit for their work. Or, maybe every adult citizen should be required to something for others. People seem to be in favor of making laws to help prevent people from doing the wrong things. How about a law to help them do good things?

I try to do what I can, whenever I can. I can’t physically do anything, so I donate each month to a couple of wonderful charities, World Food Program USA and BRAC. I also donate clothing to a local church, who makes it available to anyone who needs it. I once organized a day at the races for a very young PALS (person with ALS) , whom I met on Facebook. I mentioned this, not to toot my own horn, so to speak, because I had a huge amount of help in making it happen. I mentioned it because it just shows that you can do all kinds of things to help someone, or just brighten their day, if you try. I was just as excited to send my friend, Dominic, to the race, as he was to go! Helping someone else can help you just as much as it helps them.

You can donate money or your time. If you love animals, maybe you could foster dogs or cats. There are probably a million ways you could help someone else. When you are trying to find a way to help others, try and think outside the box. I started this blog because I thought it might be fun, and I hoped people might enjoy it. People have told me they like it, so I try to keep it going. I hope it helps someone in some small way.

If everyone did one small thing to help someone else just once a week, or even every other week, it would make a huge difference in the world. You will never know how much of an impact your life can have on another person. I lost a friend this week who’s thirty year journey with ALS has made a big difference in the lives of many, many people, much more than he ever realized.

Once you start helping other people, you may find yourself wanting to do more and more. You might like the great way you feel after you’ve done something nice for someone else. So, if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go. Do something for someone else today!

46. Do Nothing

At some point you have probably said,  or thought,  that you wished you had a day to just sit and do nothing.  What you really mean,  is to be able to do whatever you want,  not actually nothing.  Doing nothing is a lot harder than you would think.  I do a lot of nothing.  ALS and nothing go hand in hand.

I am currently on vacation, traveling out West in our motor home. Riding in the motor home or a car for me, means a lot of sitting,  not moving at all, and basically doing nothing.  I can’t scroll through Facebook,  no eating or drinking.  No reading a book.  Nothing. Well, with a lot of planning and time spent to set things up, I could probably use my phone, or read, but it hasn’t happened yet. Things are especially arduous when riding in the motor home, because the driver and passenger seats are so far apart.  There is no way my husband can reach me to help with anything when he is driving. If hair blows into my face,  it stays there.  If I get thirsty, I have to wait until we stop. If a bug lands on me, it stays there until it decides to move. There also isn’t much talking going on. Between the noise of the road, my quiet voice and my husbands hearing loss, there’s no chance of a conversation. That being said, I generally do like our motor home. I have found that if I have some music (that I like)  to listen to, I can sit just doing nothing besides listening to the music, for hours on end. Music helps the hours spent doing nothing while my husband is driving, fly by.

I did a lot of nothing when I was young, walking through the woods and fields around my house. I could wander around for hours with my dog doing nothing.

Many people meditate to take a break and do nothing. My dog seems to be quite good at doing nothing. He’s happy to do very little too. It seems much easier for animals to do nothing than for people. I remember when I was a teenager, trying to lay out in the sun to get a tan. There wasn’t much chance of that happening. After about ten minutes, I had to get up and do something, I was bored.

Quieting your mind and doing nothing is good for you in many different ways. It helps your body and mind, as well as your soul. So, do what you can to practice doing nothing as often as you can. You don’t have to buy a motorhome and go on vacation, to do nothing, but I would definitely recommend it!