Thursday, February 11, 2010

Counting my blessings! Really!

Random fact of the day: I have to edit a lot of bridge columns at work. I can now tell you an awful lot about bridge except how to play it.

Hearing aids: One of my hearing aid batteries quit on me today and I didn't have any extras in my purse. It's not that big of a deal, really. Just annoying. It's like all the sound in one ear just gets cut off. Makes me feel off-balance. But it's different when I deliberately choose to not wear one hearing aid (usually because the earmold doesn't fit right or something). That doesn't bother me. Getting caught without spare batteries does. Weird, right?

I buy batteries in packages of 16. They usually cost something like $13, $14 per package. Not great, not horrible. I change my batteries maybe once every couple weeks, or once every week and a half or so. So I figure I use four batteries a month. So one package can last me several months.

A few weeks ago, I walked into Radio Shack to get more batteries (Radio Shack is my supplier, yo). They were marked as $2.99 each. I thought for sure it was a typo and they were really $12.99 each. NOPE. They REALLY were $3 apiece, so I bought six packages. YUP. That is like two years' worth of batteries for $24!!! WIN.

I've been thinking about hearing loss and relationships. I've blogged a bit about that before (here, here, here, and here ) but I don't really talk about the good things. There are good things and there are good friends and people who DO want to help. I think that often I just look at the ways that hearing people do relationships and how much easier they have it. When I look at my own life and realize it doesn't look like theirs - I don't function like they do, make friends like they do, etc - I assume I've failed. I think that others don't care because they don't interact with me the same way they interact with others.

But the thing I need to get is that's not true. I haven't failed. Just because people interact with me differently doesn't mean they don't care. It does mean they have to put a little more effort in and yes, I think that sometimes people who haven't gotten to know me are intimidated by that, but for every one like that, there are five who aren't. And yes there are times when people forget to speak clearly or they look away or get a little impatient, but how can I fault them for that? How can I expect them to remember everything all the time? How can I, when I'm human, too?

I'm so grateful for my church. They WANT to help me communicate and get plugged in and DON'T WANT to see me isolate myself and they recognize the dangers of doing so. We're learning together, I think, how to navigate this communication thing. I'm so thankful for my friends there - who pick up a notebook and jot notes for me. Without asking. For friends who know sign language and can clue me in from across the room. ;)

I'm thankful for my friends and family (who I totally take for granted) who love me for ME and chastise me for ME and tease me for ME and not for my hearing aids. And even the stuff about me they don't like - that doesn't have anything to do with my hearing aids but everything to do with who I am as a person. I love them for doing things like having a quiet side conversation with me at a crowded party. For cheerfully planning one-on-one activities, for texting instead of calling, for tagging along to movies that are 30 miles away.

I wouldn't trade my job for anything. Not because of the work itself but because of my bosses and co-workers. They so freely and naturally clue me in when it's apparent I've lost my place in the conversation. They choose the quiet part of the restaurant when we go out to eat. They let me know what I missed when we have company-wide meetings. They say things like, "If you ever need anything, let me know!" "What can we do to help?" "What if we tried this?"

Man, I've really got it good.

In other news: I'm going to pull a Seth Meyers and do my own version of "REALLY?!" (the clip I linked to isn't captioned, so please forgive me if there's any offensive content!)

Winter Olympics? Really? The Olympics for cold-blooded creatures who think they're too cool for normal sports? Also known as the Games That Remove All Hilarity From Thursday Night's Lineup. Really?

Google's Buzz - REALLY? What is this? Facebook for Google? Foogle? Twitter for Google? Twoolge? Worse yet, Facebook, Myspace AND Twitter for Google? I'd make up a word for that, but my keyboard might explode. Really.

Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow!

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