Welcome back to another Memoir Monday and another answer to a question from the:
Q: Are your leisure activities or hobbies affected by disability? How do you work around this?
A: Of course they are. I don’t know what kinds of things I would be into if I had all my sight. I sometimes wonder. Would I like sports? Would I love to paint? However, it does no good to linger on these questions. I like to have fun and enjoy myself just like anyone else.
I love to watch movies: in the theatre or at home on the couch. I know a lot of visually impaired people who could care less and who would place movies very low on the list, but I have always loved to escape and get lost in an interesting storyline, with gripping characters, played by my favourite actors.
This is addressed in last week’s post:
I might not have been able to enjoy all the movies I’ve enjoyed over the years, if it hadn’t been for people like those in my family who learned to describe the action going on on the screen, so I never felt left out of popular culture and the blockbusters of the day.
Now, of course, there were services such as DVS (descriptive video service) and my brother and I used to order movies from a catalogue. They would arrive in the mail and we could watch movies on our own.
This is where I first discovered my love of Gone With The Wind.
I like to think I have a wide variety of hobbies and interests, just as varied as anyone else.
I would probably love to paint now, if I could see. I miss the times, as a child with more sight, when I would draw for hours at a time with my beloved markers. This hobby I had to give up, but I have replaced it with others.
Spending time with family and friends isn’t really affected. I fit in with them because they know me and accept me. We have fun spending time together.
I love to go to concerts, on day trips/road trips, and theme parks.
The big question and the universal joke made by and for visually impaired people would be the issue of driving.
One of my favourite things to do is go for a drive, especially at night, with my favourite music playing. I love feeling like I am moving forward, speeding ahead, an energy and a relaxation I get no other way.
I never have to drive and can always just sit back, in the passenger seat or in the back, and enjoy the ride, leaving other people to concentrate on the road.
Of course this means I am never able to just jump in my car and go for a drive alone, but with the possibility of technology and the driverless cars that already exist, who knows what the future may bring.
I have had the chance to sit on a parent’s lap, when I was younger, and drive around a WAL-MART parking lot at night. In my dreams I drive sometimes and perhaps that’s a sign that I could be good at it, if circumstances were different.
My main hobbies are reading and writing, both not impossible with the help of technology. I need help from special equipment, such as: Mac computers with built-in voice software, electronic braille displays, and iPhones. These things continue to improve and there is no telling where things could be headed.
I used to have shelves and shelves of thick braille books and volumes. This could be cumbersome at times, but nowadays space is more plentiful with the inventions I mentioned above.
With the help of these technologies I spend time on Facebook and other social media like most people these days. An entertaining distraction, taking up maybe more time than it should.
I have a tandem bicycle. I can walk alone, depending on whether I know the route. Going for a walk outside in my favourite autumn weather is better arm in arm with a loved one. Sometimes I take my dog. Sometimes I take a cane.
So the song applies to all girls, even me. It’s important to have fun and to have time to relax and kick back and I look forward to this, with others or solo. I find ways around the problems that can arise, if it’s something I really enjoy. I owe my parents for helping to show me, from a young age, that this is possible.
Next Week I will answer a broader, more open-ended question for the challenge:
Does disability affect you in other ways? If so, how?
Which hobby or leisure activity that you enjoy would you think might become difficult or impossible to do if you lost your sight? Which one would you miss most: driving, painting, sports? How do you think you might adapt?