Cats – The Musical… Without Music

Here is an example of my husbands relation to our cats (who still like him for some reason):
Example One: cutesie voice “Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty. Come here sweet kitty. Here Kitty, Kitty.” Super Loud Deaf Man Voice: “WELL IF YOU AREN’T GOING TO COME HERE STAY OUT FROM UNDER MY FEET!”





Example Two:

Him “Fiddy (the Kitty) was nice to me, so I fed him this morning.”

Me “I fed him this morning already.”

Him “No wonder he was nice to me.”


When Life Hands You Lemons and You’re Bloody Tired of Lemonade

You know the saying “when life hands you lemons?” It’s one of those positive thinking quotes we use to remind us that out of bad events we can make something good/positive–Lemonade. But what happens when you are sick of lemonade?

I understand when people have problems that they can’t fix, like being deaf or blind, that there is frustration. Problems like these offer no real ‘solutions.’ This is when your only choices are to get angry or smile like you mean it. Getting angry doesn’t help the situation, complaining often makes it seem worse than it actually is and trying to Pollyanna through it is very difficult.

I’m do not have the same caliber of Pollyanna I used to when I was younger. Experience has made me much more practical and much more able to work on fixing problems instead of just smiling and positive thinking my way through them precisely because I understand some problems can’t be fixed and sometimes smiling isn’t enough. But sometimes smiling through it and looking at the ‘bright’ side of things is all you can do.

There are very good reasons to try to be a Pollyanna and most of them are not for your own sake. Dennis Prager, author of Happiness, A Serious Problem, considers it a moral obligation:

Transcript (for my deaf friends) click here.

There are some things I do when I am down to try and lift myself up and I’ll list them here:

1. Smile and say thank you for each tiny act of kindness

2. Listen to uplifting music (MoTab or Lord of the Rings Soundtrack, etc)

3. Read something uplifting–I usually start with Tolkiens Ordinary Virtues (this is available on audio and is great to listen to at work or in the car) and then work myself through some of CS Lewis’ essays.

4. Hug my husband

5. Try not to complain
The last is the hardest, I admit, which is why I usually go through this list in that order. It is easier not to complain when you are focusing on making someone else happy. Like Jimmy Durante sang:

It’s so important to make someone happy,
Make just one someone happy.
Make just one heart the heart you sing to.
One smile that cheers you,
One face that lights when it nears you.
One gal you’re everything to.

My husband has a ‘list’ too and maybe writing down the things to do that make you happy is the most important step in trying to establish a routine when you are unhappy.

What’s on your list?

Random Acts of Kindness

Two weeks ago I broke my toe. I have been on crutches since. There are things that still have to be done, of course, but getting around on crutches when you aren’t used to them is tiring and difficult. There are things you do everyday that become complicated when your arms and hands are full. You are no longer able to get yourself a cup of water. Opening doors is a nightmare. And we won’t even discuss trips to the bathroom.

It is precisely these moments when small acts of kindness are most noticeable and many of them were done unto me these last two weeks. Co workers got me water, the security guard always got the door for me, and complete strangers went out of their way for me.

The crux of these random acts for me was yesterday when I had gone with my husband to the eye surgeon to assess if his cataracts were responsible for his rapidly failing eyesight. Even though he has Ushers Syndrome, the recent deterioration of his eyesight was concerning. When we arrived, I was in a wheelchair given to us by the doorman while we were in the clinic, with my crutches across my lap. I spoke to the lady at the desk. We were late, I said but only by 20 minutes. I gave her my husbands name and she told me they did not have him down and the doctor he was supposed to see wasn’t even there that day. He was on vacation. After a lot of frantic signing back and forth between my husband and I and translations of the front desk information, we were afraid we would have to reschedule and I really didn’t have any sick days left.

The nice lady at the front desk of Methodist Hospitals Eye Center got us in to see another doctor. Everyone from that point took extra time with us that they would have had off.

In the end of the appointment they informed us that there was nothing they could do to help my husbands failing vision. Cataracts weren’t the problem. Though the results of the exam were disappointing, one thing was uplifting, the small acts of kindness from the front desk who did all they could to work us in immediately, the technicians who gave up time to do tests on a cranky deaf blind man, the doctors associates who tried to get all the information they could to give to the doctor–working around an interpreter with a broken toe–to the doctor who accepted a client they hadn’t any prior information on, they all made a difficult situation much better.

Thank you.