Sunday, November 27, 2011

Do wee really See what is Going on Around Us

The theme of our church service this morning was seeing hope around us. Which was very appropriate with my wife's trip to Nicaragua this week. She is on an eye care mission with TWECS (Third World Eye Care Society) providing free eye care to individuals who cannot afford it in the poorest areas of the world.

This 8-year old little boy has been legally blind since birth. His world view ended about 12 inches from his face. What he actually needed was glasses. This is a picture of him shortly after receiving his first ever pair of glasses. Imagine growing up not knowing that everything should not be fuzzy. Can you imagine how this child's world has changed simply be now being able to see?

I can think of no better example of seeing hope in the world around us than the look on this child's face. Rather than despairing, think of the possibilities and think about providing hope to those around us.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rick Hansen Commemorative Relay

I had a very interesting experience recently volunteering with this relay. The concept of the relay is to focus on accessibility and inclusiveness in communities. The other focus is to look for difference makers in the community. I was involved in the testy event day that simulated day 271 (?) through White Rock Ladner & Richmond. I was what they are considering an endurance member that will be responsible for transporting the medal for longer distances through the less populated areas where there will be no regular medal bearers.

I was able to ride 30 - 40 kilometres altogether. I hope to join the relay for a couple of weeks when it reaches BC in March of 2012. They are starting ion New Foundland on August 24th and starting across Canada. It is a great opportunity for communities to come together to support community inclusion and to recognize various difference makers. It was a great experience and coming to a community near you soon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Suin Run Success

My goal for the year was to run the Sun Run. I chose not to join a clinic this year primarily because I couldn't maintain a regular enough pace to stay with a group. I had big plans to do it on my own which, as most people discover, is almost impossible to do well by yourself. My training had been going well until life got in the way. The good news is I am working full time - bad news for training. Despite the disruptions in my training, I was able to run about 1/3 of the race and happily took 17 minutes off last year's time finishing in 1:48. A new post stroke PB. Maybe next year I can run the whole race.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Third time lucky

Seeking employment has been an interesting challenge as a stroke survivor. It has given me an interesting glimpse into the world that many disabled people face on a daily basis. As much as we profess to be an accepting society that does not discriminate, the amount that this affects people's perceptions is clearly evident when it comes to something such as competition for a job. It may not even be a conscious act, however, selecting a candidate is all about picking the best person for the job which can be inherently discriminatory. Add to that the loss of self-confidence from a stroke and the mixture is a potent one for many people who are attempting to create normalcy in their lives after a significant injury or loss.

I am very fortunate to have been surrounded by very positive people. That has clearly been a great influence on the approach to my rehabilitation and to my life journey. I thank my parents for instilling in me a positive approach that focuses on effort rather than achievement.

My job search has brought me to be one of two finalists on three occasions and it appears that this time I have won out. I don't have a formal offer letter in hand yet but that is on its way. So I will shortly be returning to full time work which is kind of the final piece in putting my life back together. It is just over 4 years since my stroke and I have experienced many things that others will not get the opportunity to face. I have grieved a lot and yet I've also celebrated a lot.

This journey has not been of my choosing but what I get out of it is up to me. Nobody gets to choose all the things that happen in their lives, however, they do get to decide how they feel about those events and what they are going to do about them. Keep smiling. Life is ahead of you not behind you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Almost But Not Quite

Well last Friday I got the news...I was the bridesmaid again. I got to the third interview with a company that had a great work environment and very friendly staff and was down to two candidates but unfortunately they selected the other one. It's interesting because the whole environment felt right - in fact I was sure I was going to be selected so it certainly was a disappointment to say the least. However, on the bright side, it is good for the psyche to realize that I am in the market despite being a stroke survivor. Since this is the second time I have been one of the final two, hopefully it will be third time lucky. Keep your chin up.