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When I first was on my own, I realized that I had a lot to learn.  First, I was in charge of my own life, and making my own decisions about everything.  When I lived with my mom, she would help me make decisions, or would make household decisions without discussing them with me.   Now I have to make all of my decisions.  But I do have people who will help me along the way. 

Besides being in charge of my own life, I am in charge of my own staff.  I am their supervisor.  Being a supervisor is very challenging at times, but I am learning as I go along.  Supervising staff can be a challenge because sometimes I felt my staff was not used to taking directions from me, as a person with a disability.  Sometimes I thought they did not take me seriously.  I realize that a disabled person’s situation is unique because of many of us needing such personal care.  Sometimes , I think it is hard to separate the supervisor from “the patient”.   But I am learning to have more self confidence, and I realize that I can be in charge and keep the respect of my staff.  I respect them and all they do for me, as well.

When I was still living with mom, I did not realize how many day to day household responsibilities that she had, that I just took for granted.  I knew she had to go grocery shopping, but I did not realize how much groceries really cost.  The first time I did the shopping, I could not believe how much I had spent for what seemed like not a lot of stuff. But my staff person helped me realize that I had done well, because some of the things I bought would last me several weeks.   I had to look at the bigger picture.

Even remembering to buy household supplies, like dish soap, laundry detergent, paper towels is something I need to remember some times.  My housemates and I share the responsibility of buying household cleaning supplies, I just need to remember to take my turn too.   I should let you know here that we each buy our own food, but sometimes we put stuff together and share a big meal together.

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