Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
Yesterday as I was waiting in line at the grocery store, it occurred to me that life has a way of coming full circle. As I struggled with physical pain and growing impatience waiting, compounded by persistent aches, I remembered back to when I was a community worker helping severely disabled mentally ill people. Often we would take small groups on outings; at the time, their favorite place was a local fast food restaurant. Many times, a worker would order and bring it back to the table for a group member; the higher goal was to have a person order themselves; plan and place their order by waiting in line, count the change, make sure they got the right food and bring it back to the table to eat.
For many this was a difficult task because of the steps involved, potential for error and inherent anxiety of looking foolish in front of others. Some people couldn’t easily count change or figure out what they wanted in relation to the amount of money they had available. Also as they waited in line, most felt the weight of others watching, wanting them to hurry; after all it was a fast food place. So this everyday activity, accomplished easily by others, became a burden difficult to overcome.
Waiting in line at the grocery brought me back to this moment; when climbing the smallest hill seemed like a mountain. For many, because of different circumstance, completing every day activity becomes a major goal, taking weeks of practice to accomplish. Consider are these accomplishments any less than those which change the lives of hundreds?
For some waiting in line, ordering a cheeseburger and fries, and paying for it yourself was a victory hard won. Some days because of pain, going to the store, paying bills or being civil to another is a struggle.
For each, life is like this- within the ordinary- a journey of how high we can climb.
See my book The World of Pond Stories. To purchase your copy go to Amazon:
https://www.bit.ly/bitkoffpond (Paperback $13.99 | Kindle $5.95).
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