Phyllis Tarlow Fine Art - Hudson From Bear Mt
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“Wondering” What Defines #Disabled…

“Wondering” what defines disabled? The word #disabled, in my opinion, is, in part, a mindset. According to Merriam-Webster, Definition of disabled: 1a : impaired or limited by a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition: affected by disability.

For the first time in my life, I’m taking a chance on being a bit more open about myself. Why now some may say, well because while to most people I’ve lived my entire life as a “disabled” person, WRONG….I’m here to tell you I WAS NOT disabled until a couple years ago.

Yes I am a #PersonOfShortStature or #LittlePerson, but, that did not make me disabled.  If we review the definition above:

  • “impaired or limited by a PHYSICAL…” for me, because I couldn’t reach something didn’t make me “disabled,” if it did, I think there would be many many many more people labeled “disabled.”
  • “impaired or limited by a MENTAL..” I had a successful career for 30 years with a national non-profit where I was responsible for raising millions, yes millions, of dollars each year.
  • “impaired or limited by a COGNITIVE OR DEVELOPMENTAL…” all I can say is I surely didn’t have, nor do I have now any cognitive or developmental issues.

After 50+ years of living a “normal” life of maintaining a successful career, driving a car, owning a home, flying across the country, snowmobiling in Stowe, VT, parasailing in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, swimming with the turtles in the Caribbean Sea,  swimming in the oceans, what makes me disabled now, I now am technically a #paraplegic, #paralyzed from the waist down after walking in for hip surgery and sadly being wheeled out.

Unfortunately, being a little person with shorter arms, I can’t reach anything beyond maybe 6″ in front of me from this now permanent sitting position.  So why now, why put this out there now? I’ve been searching for the last 2.5 years for answers and/or solutions to how to live, how to live a life when nothing is within reach.  So for this reason, I say now to all those who have lived with a disability their entire life or to those, like me, find themselves facing a new challenge/disability for the first time, I get it!

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

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