Drive, hotel, drive, hotel, drive, hotel ... this week has been a preview of what we are facing for the next four weeks in the United Kingdom. It may seem exhausting but I am looking forward to making the trip, giving the lectures and meeting the attendees. After a week where lack of mobility lead to a lack of participation, life feels fun and exciting again.
I noticed that my week in England begins on Tuesday with a session on abuse prevention for people with disabilities. A whole day of teaching people about boundaries, the power of 'no' and the surety of self. It's the perfect way to begin. A reminder of the purpose I have set for myself. Many of the self advocates who will attend will be known to me, I always look forward to seeing them, catching up with their lives.
You know when I began in service people with disabilities had lives, unchanging. They waited. In wards. In attics. In basements. They waited. To eat. To sleep. To die. There was never any news. Reports from year to year changed age, medication lists, health reports - but reflected lives without growth.
Now, as a testiment to the success of the thing called 'community living', people live lives that vary from day to day. From month the month. From year to year. They have jobs. Relationships. Children. Purpose. 'Hey Dave, guess what happened to me ...' begins a conversation with a thousand possible endings.
I intend on drinking up the air of excitment that comes with self advocate workshops and hope that it propels me, in mind and spirit, into productive training, prevocative conversations and powerful revelations. Here's to highways and hallways ... we pack tonight and fly tomorrow.
Let me remind you that some places that I stay in the UK do not have internet services so please expect some spotty posting over the next four weeks. I'll do what I can, when I can ... but the flesh may be willing but the wireless weak.