I had a cup of tea this morning.
I don't typically have tea when I get up in the morning. In fact I don't drink anything at all until I'm at work. As I take the bus to work, and as I never know how long I'll be on the bus, and as I'm a man in my 60's ... I go dry to stay dry. But this morning I'm having tea because, though I booked a ride on WheelTrans in plenty of time, I never got off the wait list.
Typically WheelTrans manages to get me a ride so I fully expected that by this morning a ride would have been scheduled. It wasn't. This means that Joe will have to drive me in to work, which means I have a good idea of how long the ride will be, which means I can have a cup of tea.
We've gotten pretty good at scheduling things around the disability factor and it's only at moments like this, bumps in the road, that I even think much about all the organization that took place in order to reach the 'habit' of disability. Having my tea this morning, I pondered about the chaos that occurred when I sat down in a wheelchair. We thought, then, that our lives would never, ever, again have a sense of normalcy, that we'd always be falling all over ourselves in just getting things that need to be done, done.
But now ... I don't have tea in the morning.
There are other adaptions too. Adaptions for travel - we know how to work an airport. Adaptions for ... everything really. We know how the world works, we know how the subway runs, we know when the elevators are most busy, we know when to shop, we know how to buy tickets to the theatre. There was no instruction book that came along with my disability. We learned by doing.
That was the biggest part of developing a way to be in the world - just doing. I think, now as I sip my tea, about the moments of darkness that I had when it all seemed too much, when I felt like giving in and giving up, when staying in and dropping out seemed an attractive option. I'm glad now that I came to understand that doing damns the darkness - and that doing brought chaos into order.
I've spoken to others whose lives were disrupted by disability, who also thought that there would never be a sense of order again ... and it's pretty much the same story. I know it's odd for a wheelchair user to quote a running shoe slogan but we all had to 'just do it.'
Just do disability.
Just do life.
Just do responsibilities.
Just do it.
And, so, I don't drink tea in the mornings. While that may seem a denial, you know what I know; sitting down at my desk at work, the ride behind me, opening my thermos, pouring hot water into my cup, waiting for the tea to steep, and taking that first sip - is awesome. It's the best way to start the work day that I can possibly imagine.
Delayed gratification is gratification intensified.
Joe just got up and we need to set about getting me to work. Even when WheelTrans can't give me a ride, we know that we've got to just do what needs to be done. It's annoying, bothersome even ... but what the hell, I get to have a cup of tea first thing in the morning - and because that's a rare thing, it's awesome.