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Archive for the ‘traveling with disabilities’ Category

Cause if it didn’t happen during the social media era, it didn’t happen, RIGHT?

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http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/video-paris-landmarks-hyperlapse?xid=soc_socialflow_facebook_tl

The above link, just showed up on my newsfeed on Facebook. And wow, Paris has sure changed in the last 19 years, since I’ve been there.

I’ve been kinda quiet on social media, since I’ve come home from Las Vegas, other than my blogs I wrote, last week.

And it was 2 weeks ago, that I left for Las Vegas. And while I put a lot of my trip in check-in, pictures and comments on Facebook, for many reasons, one primary reason, stands out, to most who know me well.

So, that I actually remember my own trip to Las Vegas.

And how my adventures there, made me feel.

Having strange long term and short term memory issues, and knowing that I have that, is a very mixed blessing.

While most people give me credit for adventures that I’m willing to go on, as well as share,  being a complex medically, mentally and cognitively disabled chick, they also know I spend an enormous amount of time, at home, alone.

Most of my time spent, is trying to keep the memories I have, of my life when I had my children, living with me. My son turns 23 on Friday, and I’ve been a mother for over 1/2 my life, now.

WOW!!!

My feeling and loving them as a mother, DID NOT change when our addresses, unfortunately, did, 7 years ago.

I was on the phone, yesterday morning and was speaking to someone about a volunteer opportunity, that I might be eligible to do.

And I was trying to explain the events in my life and sum up my life, in a 40 minute telephone conversation.

And that was hard to do. The person I was on the phone, was nice about it and I understood that the questions that were asked, were necessary.

I was trying to convey of how blindsided I was about how the events in my life, changed in the last 10 years. That while I still tried to live a life with purpose and meaning, and be grateful that I was still alive, that I’m always going to have to refer to my past, as far as the best years of my life, were concerned.

Not my present, not my future, no matter what I do in my life, to try and make it meaningful for myself and for others.

So while I can still smile, when I talk about that time that I went on a business trip to London, and Princess Diana was on my plane (something I reference both on Facebook and my blog on occasion and I also took the Eurostar to Paris) in June of 1996, the fact that Zachary, my eldest,  had a mother who could take time off from work to bring birthday treats, to school, will always be a bigger deal, to me. Volunteered for every holiday party, in his elementary school career, as well as took him on vacations.

But the day to day stuff with my children, when they lived with me, has meant the most.

The fact that I could get my 2 children who were 10 1/2 years apart, that I was raising by myself to 2 different daycares, and worked full time, drove a car, maintained a household, then was still as I was getting sicker, still planning on starting my own business, 10 years ago,  the irony that I can’t do any of that, any longer, when people used to tell me they didn’t know how I did so much, is so far, NOT  lost on me. When I saw my daughter briefly the other day, she was shocked that she didn’t know that she had been out of our state, when she was younger and I was able to tell her about when we went to Florida and Wisconsin Dells, when she was a toddler.

It makes me profoundly sad, that my children had two different mothers, in me. And that she loves me so much, even though she has no expectations of me.

It’s just what is lost on me, and in me, that HAUNTS me. I know how lucky I am to have children, I know how lucky I am that everyone I love the most, is still alive.

I can’t escape the irony, either, that as hard as it is, to try and remember anything significant, that my writing is getting slightly better, even if my memory isn’t.

I go back to my old blogs and it’s “TL:dr” situation for me. With my OWN writing. Nothing has changed though in the last almost 2 1/2 years that I launched my blog, as a disabled writer, other than I try my hardest to be a little more concise.

People ask, on occasion, what would I do, if I could go back and change the past, what I’d do differently. Sometimes they are asking about whether or not, I’d have my gastric bypass, again. Some people will insensitively ask, whether or not I regret having my children (I don’t answer the latter question, I just look at people in HORROR, and it’s enough for them to know that it’s so not appreciated).

I can’t honestly say that there is anything that I would’ve done differently, given my circumstances and skill sets, at the time that I experienced anything from wonderful to horrific.

Not that it matters, I can’t go back and change anything and that’s something I’ve learned to make my peace with.

I have to say, for someone who at the age of 45 1/2, while most of my significant life, is over and was over before a billion people have decided to hang out on Facebook, I’m still not OVER.

So if you wondered why I pick and choose certain things to highlight  in my “social media” life, I hope this makes more sense now. I hope it makes more sense of why I’m pretty much the same, in my “offline” life, as I am online. And why I choose to live such a transparent life, but that I take breaks from social media, often (another blog specific to that, will be written, soon) and need my privacy and being reclusive, too…

For someone who never took anyone or anything for granted, I still will always struggle with my current circumstances, even though I know that life could be and definitely has been, much worse.

And it will be worse again, so I know that the universe doesn’t need to take that, as a challenge.

Just hopefully I’ll retain what I have in memory and skill sets, to get through it.

So, while I can’t say I’ll always have memories of London, Paris, Las Vegas, NYC, Miami and Fort Lauderdale given my memory issues, it’s what happened in my life, in Plymouth, Minnesota, that meant the most  to me(my children and I lived in Plymouth,MN other than 3 years, when Zachary was a toddler that we lived in New Hope, MN).

And I’m grateful to know the difference that the relevance of my life, past, present and future, isn’t based upon the relevance of it to another, especially a stranger or someone who doesn’t have my best interest at heart, on social media.

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Lisa livin’ life la vida loca in Las Vegas/Las Vegas part 1…..

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I had come into some extra money in September and hemmed and hawed,what to do about it….

Most people in my circle, especially, don’t understand that my finances are month to month (and barely that, even thought they know I don’t have a lot of money),and  I was a lot better about saving money both working and not, when I had my children.

But that was before the social media era, or at least before I knew about it. Not knowing what Facebook was, until early 2010.

Up until exactly a week ago, I had never been as far west, from Minnesota, where I live, other than to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but because of my disabilities, I hadn’t been on a plane or out of the state of Minnesota for ELEVEN years.

I had decided to go on a trip, either to Las Vegas, Los Angeles or San Francisco….

I be too poor to go to California. So a week from yesterday, I booked a trip to Las Vegas and left exactly a week ago.

Paying for myself, getting around Vegas, all by myself, as well as getting myself to and from the airport, by myself, departing on 9-29-2015 and returning early morning on 10-3-2015.

The reason why I chose Las Vegas, was fairly simple. It was a city I wanted to see and I could do so, on my limited budget. It was a place I could travel on a non stop flight and get a nice hotel room, in case my pain levels were too high, to bop around the Strip.

I’m actually allergic to the sun now, due to my long term deficiencies from my gastric bypass. I’m also terribly heat sensitive, so even with my explanation that I had wanted to still see the Vegas before I croak, most people were surprised, but supportive that I’d book an adventure in the DESERT in Nevada.

If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s AWESOME. I did fairly well, as while I’ve traveled in the past by myself to Florida and went on a business trip to London, 19 years ago (also took the Eurostar to Paris, when I was in Europe), I had even had adventures in Brooklyn (as well as flying by myself) when I was 14 and visiting family.

However… I’m 45 1/2 years old, with multiple complex medical, mental health and cognitive  disabilities, now . While some people were supportive, some people thought that Sin City, was the last place someone with unmedicated Bipolar 2 disorder, should be.

I actually booked the trip, looking for an adventure. I honestly didn’t believe with my current set of circumstances and where I was in my life, that I deserved an actual vacation.

l also booked my trip in haste, but not due to being impulsive. I left less than 24 hours after I booked my trip, but that was so I didn’t spend October’s money on my trip. As my son’s birthday is in October and my daughter has a few days off, this month, from school.  I had a little under over to spend while I was in Vegas. Not a lot of money, by any means,, to travel out of state for almost 4 days.

The gamble that I took, was relying on myself, to get myself and my stuff to and from Las Vegas, in one piece. I lost about $22 gambling. I spent about $60 in food and about$50 in cute jewelry, purses and knick knacks. And $37 to see a show at my hotel (my hotel, traveling with disabilities and traveling alone as a female, will be in my next blog).

I came back with $60 to my name. That’s actually unusual for me, at the end of any month, to have that much money…

What I learned on my trip, was PRICELESS and invaluable. I learned that I do deserve to treat myself well, not just as a distraction. I learned that some people, who claim to be a friend, aren’t so, but that didn’t shock me at my age. It  just shocks me , why they try to even bother convincing me, that they care, when they obviously don’t.

And I don’t wait around for anyone, for that reason anymore. I learned I could walk in high heat and sun all over the Las Vegas Strip, as I only took a bus from the McCarran to Fashion Show mall and walked EVERYWHERE I went, until I left from Excalibur to go back to McCarran, to go back home via an airport shuttle.

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I had though,  multiple social media buds, who were super supportive of my not only going on an adventure but a nice trip. I had though real life peeps who couldn’t find one nice thing to say about my going on a trip by myself or how I looked. But I’m not a complete idiot. I know who is in my true circle and who isn’t.

But most importantly, I learned after 40 years of being told I’m not worth anything and believing it, that I’m worth being treated well by myself and by others.

So no, other than the gamble I took, going to Vegas with disabilities, I don’t live a crazy life.

Whether I’m home or out of state……….

I also don’t care much, about those who don’t have my best interest at heart. My life has taught me, I don’t have much more time to waste. It wasn’t out of ego, that I posted a bazillion pics of Las Vegas on Facebook.

It was out of knowing, that while I know I can take care of myself, it gets harder to do so, even with as little responsibilities that I have at this stage in my life. That my memory issues are getting worse. That I’m on my 17th life and I’m living it the best that I can. And I can still bet on myself…

This time I won big 🙂

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Note: Above pic of me, taken on 10-1-2015, from my junior suite at Stratosphere Hotel and Casino. Picture above, taken from Level 108 Observation Deck at Stratosphere, on the same date.

Also Note: My math SUCKS… Could be a little off on exact dollar amounts, spent, but know I didn’t spend more than $850. As bad as my math sucks, I haven’t bounced a check, in the history of having a checking account 🙂

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