As an academic and a type A personality, correct terminology matter to me greatly. I have trouble not correcting people when they use the wrong term to refer to something. I am also my mama’s daughter and words and terminology matter to her as well. In fact, she still corrects me when I pronounce a word incorrectly. I get it honest. I preface this post the way I have; because words impact my mindset when thriving to thrive with CP.
I have to be honest: I LOATHE the terms disability and handicapped. I will limit my use of all caps, on this blog, to instances when I want to convey extreme emotion. This is my practice in my life away from blogging as well. Why do I feel so strongly about those two words? Those two words, in my mind, imply others like: broken, unable, wrong, and less than. I live in my head frequently. I over think a lot already. I don’t need help being hard on myself.
What do I prefer instead you may ask? Physically challenged. Why? Challenges can be overcome. They can be dealt with. Am I ever going to be able-bodied? Short answer: No. The longer answer I’ll address in a later post. Challenges are a part of life for everyone. It’s the approach to dealing with them that matters. My attitude comes from my parents who never believed, and still don’t, that my CP has anything to do with my ability to be a productive member of society. That also comes from my angels: my maternal grandmother (granny or gran) and my paternal grandfather (granddaddy/Kirk/ buddy). I’ll talk about these two a lot. I love them so much and they are a giant part of my life.
My positive mindset also comes from my Gran Aunt Judy (mom’s oldest sister who became my surrogate granny after mine went to heaven when I was 16. She’s like granny in many ways. I love her dearly. My favorite teacher ever has a lot to do with my positive attitude as well. I love & miss you so very much. (She follows this blog). She’s the happiest person I’ve ever met & it’s contagious to everybody around her. She & her family became part of our family.
My best friends, who have become my chosen family, are a huge impact on my attitude/ mindset as well. Contrary to the belief of some, I do have bad days. Sometimes, I have bad weeks. My siblings love me through the bad days/weeks and make me laugh. They encourage me to not take the aspects of my CP I don’t like so seriously. All I have to do is grab my cell and reach out to any one or all of my siblings when I am having a rough day. I’m well aware that not everyone has such incredible support and how blessed I am. Lastly, my faith is the biggest influence on my mindset and the way I treat and engage with my fellow humans. I’ll talk about my faith transformation journey in future posts, but it cannot not be mentioned now.
I have a choice when I greet each new day, we all do, to be positive or not. I make a conscious choice to be as positive as I can. Some days, I have to make that choice again and again. It took me a long time to realize making the choice again is okay and important. Being honest about it, with myself, and all who read this blog is what’s really matters.