One Useful Thing

I made a rule for myself once I realized I’m disabled. I want to accomplish one useful thing a day, every day, if that is possible. Given my situation and diagnoses, that’s a much more reasonable expectation than checking off a list of tasks completed. If I can do more than one thing, that’s great and it’s not really unusual. The rule reminds me that I have “bad” days, where I’m in poor shape physically or mentally or both. The rule is that the one thing needs to be something other than my daily routine (no counting taking a shower or eating, for example) and should have a useful function in my life or be really enjoyable. Yesterday, I set out to do at least three things and that backfired pretty hard. Today, I did my one thing, and I had a much better day.

When I first wrote this, I forgot all about doing my haircut this morning before my shower. That actually makes two useful things. However, the haircut is not difficult unless I’m in pretty serious bad condition.

The useful thing at the center of my day was grocery shopping at Aldi’s. That came available after Sean, who does maintenance for the owner of this apartment building, let me know his schedule would work better tomorrow rather than today for changing the hard-to-operate lock on my apartment door. The trip to the store is a necessary thing, but I can do it whenever I’m ready thanks to my bus pass. (That is, I don’t have to  depend on someone else’s personal vehicle–and schedule–to travel.) By the time Sean called, I had already returned from a noon meeting, and nothing remained on the agenda. I checked the bus time, which could be correct by today, and headed for the stop. The heat and humidity returned as forecast, and my well-being depended on not spending too much time away from conditioned air. That worked out.

With no reason to hurry and not too much to remember, the trip went well. I had a 3-item list and, as usual, filled in other things when seeing the items triggered my memory. Although I felt drowsy, I still got almost all the grocery items I need that won’t melt or spoil in the heat. I also bought a curtain at the big thrift shop out that way, but it turned out to be only one, not a pair. For a total of $0.81 so far, I’ll match it another day and count it as a good find. If worst comes to worst, it’s a nice big piece of fabric for some future project.

On the trip home I was sleepy, but I remembered to stop at Kroger’s and try to pick up my prescriptions. They somehow failed to prepare one of them; it will be ready tomorrow instead of today. In about two and a half months here, this makes at least four fumbles by that operation. I will be finding another pharmacy.

I got home and watched the local news. The temperature was 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) at 5:18 p.m. (17:18), with a heat index of 95F (35C). It’s important that I rode the bus and did as little exercise as possible in that weather. Determination or no determination, keeping myself as healthy as I can outranks all the “you can do anything” attempts at encouragement I hear.

The bottom line is that I’ve had a nice quiet day by following my own rule. Living moderately gives me better health and more satisfaction than my old habit of trying to conquer whatever gets in my way.


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