This weekend reminded me, once again, that it's pretty hard to get together with your healthy friends when you live a mostly homebound life because chronic illness.
I've talked before about how my life resembles aspects of the fable The Tortoise and the Hare.
Once again, it hits home for me about how chronic illness has transformed me from a hare into a tortoise. In the fable, the tortoise wins the race. But in real life, I am the loser. My friends are still all hares and they are moving fast. I can't keep up, which means I keep missing out on all the fun.
I'm missing out because:
- I physically can't drive in traffic 30 to 45 minutes each way to meet up with my friends
- I'm broke because I live on Social Security Disability
- I don't do well in the crowded, noisy places where all the fun is at
- I need to be sitting down all the time--no standing, dancing, walking, bowling, etc.
- even when I really push myself, I can't last more than a few hours doing any activity
So as I pondered this question while sitting down taking my shower, I realized that my real problem was I that I just wasn't old enough yet. Sad to say, I think the real solution to my problem is to wait until I am a senior citizen.
Think about it: there are senior centers all across the country and their sole purpose is to engage older people. These centers offer transportation, meals, activities and opportunities for socializing. When it comes to services designed to get you out of the house and into the community, senior citizens have a huge advantage over younger people living with disabilities.
Which made me sad to envision that my current, middle-aged years living with chronic, disabling conditions were going to be my lonely, homebound years.
But maybe I am wrong.
Maybe you, my readers know something I do not.
So this week I am asking you to share with me your advice on how I can meet new people who are looking for a tortoise for a friend. People who live close to me. People that I can get together with, face-to-face, and go to the movies, get a bite to eat or hang out at a quiet neighborhood coffee shop every once in a while. People who don't mind slowing down and spending some time with a tortoise...
I am really interested in hearing what you have to say on this subject, either by leaving me a comment here or heading over to the Oh My Aches and Pains Facebook page and joining the discussion there.