The beautiful thing about life is that it’s completely unpredictable. It’s fluid and can’t be expected to hold any course. If you forget this, you’ll either be pleasantly surprised or thoroughly frustrated. Plans, while useful to make, will always drive this point home.
This weekend I had every intention to sail with BAADS, but — like the previous four weeks — life had other ideas. As I’ve mentioned before, my goal was to be sailing solo by early summer, but as I look at the next three weekends I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Of course, if I stretch the definition of early summer into mid-summer, then I may still achieve this objective. Sometimes it’s just a matter of reframing the definition.
What kept me off the water this weekend was something important. An attendant of mine had a schedule change with his other job and needed to give me notice. Unfortunately this notice was very short (four days), which meant I needed to find a replacement immediately. Under normal circumstances I’d like to have at least a couple of weeks notice so that I can place an ad on craigslist, set up interviews and then hire someone without feeling rushed. This amount of time allows me to space the interviews in such a way that I’m still able to do everything else in my life — work, work out, sail, rest my ass — and be confident that I’ve had enough time to find the right person.
For myself — as a quadriplegic — my attendant care is the single most important element in me being able to live independently. Everything in my life stems from this and it can’t be overstated. Finding the right person isn’t so much about finding somebody who can physically do the job (though, that’s certainly part of it), it’s about finding somebody who I’ll enjoy being around and will be a dynamic addition to my life. Rarely do I look at a resume or call references, I go with my instincts and — not wanting to sound too new agey — the vibe I get. It’s a unique relationship, intimate and rich, and a great many of these people become — and are — dear and longtime friends.
So while on the one hand it’s a drag to replace a friend and great attendant, and to rearrange my life to accommodate a succession of interviews, it’s a great opportunity to meet somebody new and to add yet another dimension to my world.
I didn’t get to sail this week, but ultimately I’m sure that’ll take care of itself. The trip — or any sailing I do — depends greatly on the dedicated assistance of my amazing attendants — in preparation, support and direct participation. Their commitment to all aspects of my life — from the seemingly insignificant to the grand — is forever heartwarming. Knowing that — even as folks come and go — is a powerful thing. I’ll gladly move anything around in service of its success.
Even the timeliness of this blog.