The last few weeks have been difficult. The prospect of ACC mediation on Tuesday (21st) had us going off on all sorts of tangents. Then last Thursday (16th), ACC made a decision which meant that the mediation was no longer needed, although they have yet to look at our corrections which will odds are require another round of negotiation. Despite this apparent cancellation of the meeting, the potential sat within the system. Some of us considered it to be like the tricks played on us when younger. At any moment we were going to get a phone call on Tuesday telling us to get to the meeting. Thankfully that phone call never happened, instead we got to spend the two days we had arranged to have off to recover from the meeting as time to breathe.
On Monday night we chatted with a friend who’d been on holiday for what seemed like a very long time. He helped us smile, laugh and shed a tear. Through a photo slide show he took us on a tour of where he lived – it was fascinating. I’m always awed by the historic nature of where most of the people I talk to live. To put this into context, New Zealand has had only been a British colony since 1840. We don’t have the old buildings that are present elsewhere around the world. To show him a little of where we live, we went out taking photos (at midnight)…
This was the only photo that turned out viewable – we have an essential tremor which doesn’t mix well with night photography and the long exposure times needed. We might have another go at doing a tour of where we live on a fine day.
On Tuesday we needed to get out of the house – possibly the fear that they’d call and we’d have to go to the meeting. So we went around the gardens and took more photos. Photography is fast becoming our main means of distracting, focusing and self-soothing. Part of the soothing, is to take photos of plants. I know that many people consider this type of photography boring, but for us it’s about finding peace for a short time. It’s something that each one of us can enjoy on some level – I’ll get a message to take a photo of the purple flowers…
Sometimes, the camera feels very cumbersome in my hands and I’ve taken to wrapping the strap around my right hand several times, I’m not sure if this is a switching issue, or me being a klutz. I also know that not all of us are happy with this new interest – I’ve been told that the camera is going to be thrown into the lake or smashed into the pavement. I know that these threats are about us not being entitled to any form of enjoyment. It’s awful to hear, let alone realise that part of this brain is wired to ensuring that we don’t enjoy life.
On Tuesday night we ended up talking to another friend. I mention this because it was the first time in over a week where S didn’t come forward to self-injure, which had become more severe as the week went on. Again, there was laughter and a sharing of knowledge. It always amazes me that those who are going through difficult times can put that aside to help someone else. To those friends, I say thank you. I hope we can reciprocate what you both did for us one day.
This reminds me of Faith Allen’s entry over at Blooming Lotus about how we can Make a difference. You don’t have to be rich, pretty or popular to make a difference, it’s all about being willing to learn and share that knowledge for the social good. I stumble badly with this sometimes, the fear and anxieties put up barriers to my learning. But I can’t use this as an excuse to give up. When teaching information literacy to cynical and usually technophobic students, I tell them it takes practice. Information literacy is all about lifelong learning – being curious about new things. It would be hypocritical of me not to gently work on those barriers in the same way that I get my students to question every scrap of information they find.