The definition of success varies from person to person. It depends on how a person feels and on their capabilities and goals. As a woman who has cerebral palsy, my view of success obviously will be different than that of someone who can walk. My goal in life is to be as successful as possible.
If you ask anyone who knows me, they would probably tell you that I love life. I want to live as well as I possibly can. My goal is to leave a positive mark on whomever I meet and a lasting impression on society that will hopefully remain long after I’m gone. I try to set my goals high enough to challenge myself, but low enough that I can attain them.
Sometimes, my successes are easy to obtain. For example, I set exercise goals each day to keep active and moving. I’ve learned that I won’t meet any goals if I don’t keep my body moving. I have arthritis, and I know that moving as much as possible keeps the pain away. I start exercising as soon as I wake up and continue until I go to bed.
Laziness tries to creep in, but I push it away. I know the consequences of not exercising: weight gain and stiffness. In addition to that, I don’t want to be weak because my independence lessens when my muscles are weak.
I want to have a successful marriage, but it doesn’t just happen. It requires both people to express their love, kindness, and understanding each day. It takes patience and time. I think our marriage is successful, even though it’s not perfect. We make our way through every disagreement, even if it’s unpleasant. We tell each other we love each other every day, often multiple times per day. Cerebral palsy doesn’t affect my marriage, since we both know what I can and cannot physically do.
Being a successful mother is also important to me. A successful mother, in my opinion, guides her children to do the right thing, makes them feel loved and respected, allows them to have fun, and teaches them to exhibit kindness. Of course, this takes time and energy, but it’s the best work ever. I love helping my children be the best they can be. Sure, having cerebral palsy does get in the way, but I use my strengths as an advantage. My children love me no matter what, and I will always love them.
A successful teacher doesn’t necessarily have the highest paying teaching job. I do have my degree and certification in education, but I use it in a variety of ways. Giving speeches about disabilities and disability awareness is one way that I use my degree. I also am an aftercare teacher for the YMCA. The children are so open to learning and having fun. I teach a weekly religion class during the school year. I love helping children figure out right from wrong and how to live in kindness.
I also strive to be a successful friend, daughter, and boss. To me, success means working hard to find my happiest life. What does success mean to you?
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disorder. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.