Ah, victory; that wonderful feeling of winning a race, getting a promotion, or finding the man (or woman) of your dreams. There’s nothing quite like the sense of accomplishment that comes from succeeding at big things. That sense of accomplishments can come from small things too, especially for me. Living with Cerebral Palsy has caused me to think of a lot of everyday things as victories and I wanted to take the time to share some of them with you. Here are my top ten “small victories”.
10. Getting my feet under the blankets on the first try
The way my body moves makes getting settled in bed at night more difficult than it should be, especially when it comes to blankets. My arms have a natural reflex to pull the blanket up instead of over my body. Usually this results in the blanket covering everything but my feet and a struggle to get it back where it should be. I love the nights where I manage to get the blanket set up just right and it slides over my feet with ease.
9. Plugging in my chair in the dark
I use an electric wheelchair. Since I drive it around all day I have to charge it in my bedroom at night. My light switch is across the room from my bed which means I have to turn off the light off, transfer to the edge of my bed, and then plug in my chair. Finding the charging hole on the joystick is easy; putting the cord in the right way is not. It’s a lot like trying to plug your phone in when it’s dark, but worse. I often end up resorting to “let’s just put the end of the cord into the charging hole and twist the cord around until it slides in.” This can sometimes take a while so I’m very grateful when it happens quickly.
8. Turning 20 min. bathroom breaks into 10 min. bathroom breaks
I don’t need to do this often. It happens most when I need to meet friends, or squeeze in a bathroom break before an assembly or choir performance. It always feels good to know that I can run to the bathroom and make it back before anything important happens
7. Having a substitute aide I liked
I’ve graduated now, but this was a huge thing when I was in school. I was never happy to hear that the aide that worked with me every day had to call in sick. I’d developed a nice routine with her and the routine was never quite the same with a sub. I also found it awkward “training” them, explaining what I did and did not need them to do. It was significantly less awkward when there was a substitute that kind of had the same personality and interests as me. Conversations flowed much easier when we actually had something to talk about
6. Reading out loud and sounding good
While I don’t have a speech impediment, talking out loud for long periods of time is hard for me. My tone kicks in and I often end up talking too fast or running out of air. For this reason I feel a real sense of pride when I read a presentation or passage from a book out loud more or less flawlessly.
5. Landing a transfer when I realize too late that I’ve positioned for it wrong
I do this more often than I’d like to admit. I’ll be transferring from my chair to another surface and think I’ve positioned my chair close enough to said surface, then realize during the transfer that I didn’t. I transfer like a paraplegic. It’s a lot of sliding from one surface to another. If I make the mistake of positioning my chair too far away I don’t always land on whatever I’m trying to transfer to. When I do manage to land it I consider myself very lucky
4. Finding clothes that are both cute and comfy
I’m very much a girly-girl. I love being cute and stylish. Comfort is also a huge priority since I’m sitting a majority of the time. Shopping, especially for pants, was a nightmare while skinny jeans were in style. Skinny jeans just don’t work for me. Not only do they usually dig into my stomach, but the bottoms don’t fit over my leg braces. It wasn’t my favorite style trend. You can imagine my happiness when comfy, stretchy, funky-patterned leggings came into style. I live in them now.
3. Going out and not having a single accessibility snag
Going out, especially when it’s somewhere I’ve never been before can be stressful. My brain plans for every single problem; stairs, inaccessible bathrooms, staff that aren’t comfortable with disabilities. I have a backup plan for everything, but I absolutely love it when I don’t have to use them.
2. Making food and not dropping it in the process
This applies to anything from cereal to sandwiches. If I manage to make food for myself and don’t drop it, it’s a good day
1. Recognising little victories
The fact that I can even make this list is a little victory in itself. I love that even on bad days I’m able to feel good about one of these things.
Leave a comment down below telling me about your own little victories. And if you enjoyed this please consider sharing it around on your favorite platform!