>101 in 1001


I’ve decided to do the 101 in 1001 challenge. If you look on my sidebar there is a permanent link to a page I set up explaining the challenge and listing my 101 things I am going to accomplish in those 1001 days. Some are habit forming (or breaking) some are fun, some are scary and some are life changing, some are off the wall and some are shamelessly stolen from other people’s lists.
It’s taken me a good few hours to come up with the list but it’s been fun to do. And hopefully they will be fun to carry out too. I feel like today was a productive day.

>”I don’t need no good advice, no well intentioned sacrifice”

>It’s been a lazy, lazy day today… it’s been nice. Gave me a chance to recharge my batteries and also to think somethings over and get them sorted out in my head. And my lovely friend Ted who is one of my swimming volunteers and also treasurer for the access group came round and adjusted my brakes for me so they actually work now. He really is a lovely man and I am grateful to have such a caring and helpful person in my life.
It’s bitterly cold but dry out and so I took the chance to get outside and get some fresh air – I took my manual chair and so I got some exercise too. I think it helped my thinking a lot to get out of the house and away from the situation if you know what I mean.
I got a lot of conflicting advice from different people about my meeting with my social worker and how it made me feel – I think I’ve now figured out which path is the right one to take on this matter but the chances are I’ll change my mind again between now and when I get the chance to actually act on it.

It’s almost reached the point with my “key advisers” where I know pretty much what their take on each matter will be. Which is good. It does save me some time!

But it’s also bad when one of them always takes the path of least resistance, least effort and in the process usually manages to give the impression that she has heard what I’ve said but not listened to it. Thinking it over today however I’ve come to realise that it’s not so much that she doesn’t listen to what I say but that she lacks the experiences I’ve had and the perspective which would allow her to see things the way I do. She sees doing something about this as making a big deal of it perhaps “rocking the boat” whereas I see doing something about it as a positive thing – preventative action which should stop myself (and potentially others) from ending up in the same situation in the future.

One of the most important lessons I learned during my training for CAB is that it doesn’t matter whether you agree with what your client feels. It’s what they feel and so it’s valid and you have to accept that. Agreement doesn’t matter, acceptance does.

I’ve been dealing with quite a few people in my life outside of CAB lately who need to learn that lesson – the world would be a better place if we worried less about agreeing with people and starting accepting our differences and being proud of them instead.

But then I guess that’s just wishful thinking and a dream that is highly unlikely to ever come true.

>St Patricks Day!

>Here’s to you and yours, and to mine and ours.
And if mine and ours ever come across to you and yours,
I hope you and yours will do as much for mine and ours,
As mine and ours have done for you and yours!
~Irish Toast

St Patricks’ Day isn’t something that is too much of a big deal to me – it’s just another day.

But I’ve been thinking today about one of the St Patrick Day’s when I was at uni, Michelle and I went and sat outside the LRV and had a drink on St Patricks Day. (so this would have been two or three years ago). It was warm. it was nice and it was fun.

I used to love sitting in a huge crowd of people on the tarmac outside the union watching everyone walk between lectures and around to the halls and just seeing the world go by! I really think it was the little things like that which added up to the huge whole that made my university experiences so great rather than the big experiences – although they rocked too.
A big difference from today when it’s bitterly cold and I just wanted to stay in the house! For some reason I’m finding the difference/contrast quite astounding today although I probably shouldn’t be.
I loved my time in Stoke at uni and I miss it. I’ve been missing it more and more the last few days but I wouldn’t want to go back.

I am however very grateful for the good times I had their and the happy memories I have of my time there!

>Another One Bites The Dust

>(cross posted to http://www.pounds2go.net )

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I’m gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust

My scales show I’m down another pound this morning which I am more than happy to take! I’ve been in a pit of depression all week so I wasn’t expecting to lose anything. It was a nice surprise to see that this morning.
I’m just trying to believe that its actual real weight loss and not because I had my hair cut from shoulder length to chin length yesterday morning!

Emma ~ 15 lb lost, 35 pounds2go!

>Thursday Thirteen


Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Emma

1…. I am a volunteer adviser for citizen’s advice bureau
2…I am intending to get all my hair cut off today
3…I have lost one stone since 23/01/06
4… I like random silly music… I’m listening to the sesame street theme as I write this
5… I am the worlds biggest procrastinator
6… I am easily annoyed
7… I have been very depressed all this week
8… I need to be on a train in 40 minutes so I shouldn’t be on this computer!
9… I worry about my family a lot.
10… I had a dream on Tuesday about a friend of mine who died three years ago. I liked seeing her in my dream but wished it was real.
11… I don’t think I’ve taken my antidepressant since Sunday (hmm see the link with number 7??)
12… I like to shatter assumptions
13… I am addicted to chocolate chip cake bars (diet, what diet?)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Mama B

2. Shelli

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

>One Voice

>“One voice can be stronger than a thousand voices.”Captain Kathryn Janeway to Seven of Nine. (from the Star Trek: Voyager episode The Gift)

One voice can be stronger than a thousand voices and that can be a very wonderful thing. People with strong voices have changed the world and shaped our history. And others with voices equally as strong have changed it in small ways too, influenced one person in a small way and shaped their life, made a difference to them.

One voice can also be damaging. It’s something I’ve come to learn through my time as a CAB adviser. People, all people not just people in the public eye, need to be aware of what they are saying. More than that however, they need to be aware of how they are saying it. That’s something which has been brought to my attention time and again over the last week or so.

People have made comments to me or asked questions which could be interpreted as hurtful or in some cases were not deliberately meant to be hurtful but have the potential to cause harm. I am able to realise the truth and the real situation in most of these cases and so I am not affected. But then I am because I know of many people through my various different achievements and experiences who wouldn’t see those words for what they were and would be harmed by it.

This happened on Friday, twice on Saturday and also yesterday. Perhaps I am reading too much into some of these situations, I don’t have the distance from them to be able to judge.

I’ll leave what happened on Friday because it’s not really relevant to this entry. On Saturday I went to the hygenist. [background: I am seen by the hygenist in a different consulting room to her usual one due to access issues, the receptionist vaguely knows my parents] The receptionist was getting the room sorted out and moving my wheelchair away from the dentists chair after I transferred. She was chattering to me when all of a sudden she comes out with

“So will you ever get better Emma?”

I explained what CP is and that it’s a from birth to death type thing.***

She went “Awwwww”

I said it’s fine and how can I miss something I’ve never had? Which for the most part is true.

I have no problem with discussing my disability, I believe it’s a really positive thing to do. And as my Dad commented it’s a fair thing to wonder. But it would have been a nicer question if it had been phrased as “so what’s your disability?” or if she knew I had CP “What does CP mean for you?”

Being asked if I would get better annoyed me because I found it rude… but I know people who it would have really upset or devastated – to her it was an innoculous question but to others it could have been a real issue.

My social worker yesterday made a few “suggestions” as to my care and the way I use my direct payment to organise it. One of which was that I should stop using my agency as it’s almost a waste of money. I can (she says) get my sister to do my care (or at least the part that is about to be set up as new). I explained that my 17 year old sister who is in sixth form, learning to drive, working part time and going to university in September doesn’t have time to do it. She then asked whether Sophie ever comes to see me and said “well when she comes she can do your care rather than whatever it is you usually do.” and also made the comment that if I am worried about the tax/employers responsibilities that come with using DP to fund a private carer I can just not pay my sister.

Yes once again she proved that she doesn’t live in the real world. So I just got really annoyed but kept it to myself, thought she was a silly woman and then vented in this journal when she left .

It’s like Soph said when she heard that though – to some people what a social worker says is gospel and there is no way that idea would work in practice. Again, I know people who don’t know their rights like I do and would just go along with the suggestion regardless of it’s practicality. So she should listen to what is said because it could end up with this huge situation which blows up in her face.

The power of one voice alone is a wonderful thing… but it’s a power we need to be careful with. One voice can do great stuff, but it can also do terrible stuff. No matter who we are.

***Bonus points go to my carer who when I told her about that conversation went “Well, I’m just waiting for my leg transplant… i’ve been waiting for quite a while so it should happen soon and then I’ll be _all_ better” in the most wonderfully sarcastic way and made me laugh so hard


>So my sister did my hair for me this afternoon and then took a pic for me so I could post it here. She commented that it made me look as though my hair was a load of rat tails.

Blue Braids!

Is she right? (click to view larger)

>Defensive or Depressed?

>I am in a really defensive mood this morning and not a particularly happy one at that.  Once again I am feeling as though no one really understands what it is I go through and what I can cope with (and what I can’t).  It’s not a particularly nice feeling.

Then I think I’m not really being defensive, it’s my depression thats making me think/feel/act like this.

But then a part of me recognises that I did bring a lot of this onto myself however inadvertantly.

And then another part of me considers that maybe all of this is just an excuse and it’s not related to my depression at all but just to who I am.

Finally the final part of me thinks “fuck this” and I’m off to eat some lunch.  I’m going to listen to that part of me.

>Sorted out at last


So yesterday I came up with the bright idea of playing around with the layout on here.

Two problems with that:

  1. It’s done in CSS. What appears to be very complicated CSS.
  2. I know no CSS whatsoever.

So yeah it can safely be said that was not one of my best ideas ever. And I managed to mess things up so badly that the only way I could fix it was to uninstall wordpress and reinstall it.

Thankfully, powweb.com, my webhost had backed up my data up until yesterday morning and so I downloaded that before I wiped the database and I have all of my content other than yesterdays picture entry up again Albeit in a very managled horribly unformatted way. And in the process I managed to sort my layout out so it was how I wanted. So that’s a bonus too!
Sometimes I wish life’s messes were as easily sorted with undo and redo buttons as this was! Although it didn’t feel particularly easily sorted at the time…