It's amazing how attached you get to something without even knowing it, until suddenly it has been taken away! I never realized just how much I rely on my laptop (and the Internet) on a daily basis...which is funny, because I don't consider myself to be very knowledgeable when it comes to computers. No, really! To me the Internet is a monstrous world that scares me a little, and amazes me all at the same time. I can order something, look at cat pictures, check in with friends and do my banking all within the span of a few minutes...and I never have to leave the house. And yet, if you asked me how it all works I wouldn't have the faintest idea. So of course, like anyone else who greatly lacks in computer skills, I became an online blogger. Makes total sense, right?
What is really scary (even more so than the giant Internet,) is how easy it is to put off other activities so that I can do something like check my mail just ONE MORE TIME...before I realized it, I became hooked. And that is not a good thing. Having a disability has already put obstacles in my way when it comes to living my life...a whole host of reasons that put kinks in the armor, and cause me to say "No" when faced with opportunities. Some of these reasons are perfectly valid, like pain and tiredness...and then there's fear. Often I let the fear take over; fear of the unknown, and fear of what may be difficult. It's easy to do--especially when things have happened to me in the past such as being knocked down in a place that is too crowded, or having nowhere to sit and throwing my back out from standing too long. It may seem silly, but I actually try to AVOID pain whenever I can. Call me crazy!
Though I began to realize (even before my computer caught a virus,) that I was also avoiding life. I was happy here in my little home with the cats and my computer, inside my little fur-filled bubble. And then the boredom started to creep in...a little at a time, until I realized my bubble had gotten very small. Oh, I had my social moments...I still had work three days a week where at least I got to see other people. And there was my pool therapy, which got me out the door a couple more times. You may realize that both of these activities may be more work than fun, however, and you'd be right...and as soon as I returned home from one of them, the boredom bubble would greet me with the question "Where have you BEEN?" Of course, I had my CMT support group meetings...and I still thank God that my friend M started that group! It is a very bright spot in my life. And I started this blog which allowed me to reach out to others, laugh and vent, and explore my creativity while raising awareness for CMT. But despite those things, I found myself craving more. And then my main outlet to the outside world (and to my blog) was so rudely taken AWAY. Not only was I stuck in this bubble, but now the oxygen was slowly leaking out!
I realized I needed to make some changes, and at least find some activities I could do at home for myself. Something beyond the computer, so that the Internet...and even my writing, did not become the only thing I had to increase the size of my world. Luckily an opportunity found its way into my path, and for once I did not say "NO!" A few months ago, M contacted an organization called Art de Cure, that does something very innovative...they place galleries within medical offices so that patients and other visitors have something besides magazines to enjoy. Certainly sounds better than the outdated copies of PEOPLE you usually find at your doctor's offices, right? And it gets better...not only can you walk around and view the art and work of many different regional artists, you can purchase the work, and 40% of the proceeds goes toward a charity. Art de Cure's first gallery was housed in a medical office called The Endocrine Group, which specializes in the care of people with diabetes. Last year, because of the sales of artwork sold at that gallery, over $12,000 was raised for the American Diabetes Association. This year, a new Art de Cure gallery will be opening in the CPO (Clinical Prosthetics & Orthotics) building at 149 South Lake Avenue in Albany, NY, and proceeds will go to the Charcot Marie Tooth Association for research toward finding a cure for CMT. Who knows what we can accomplish, and what goals we can reach? And best of all, I found my opportunity to shut down the computer once in a while and focus my attention on something new...for I am one of the artists who will be showcasing her work in the CPO's gallery! So on 12/2/2011 from 5-9pm, come join us for our 'Starry Night' evening (named for the CMTA's STAR research program and the famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh,) to view some great artwork, listen to music, and have some fun! We will be having a silent art auction as well, including quilts, jewelry and more. Hope you can join us!
If you would like more information about Art de Cure, visit their website at: http://artdecure.org/ and learn more about their wonderful organization! And save the date for the next Art de Cure opening on December 2nd...I know I will. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to shut this computer down and start my next painting!