Its all in your attitude…

27 Aug
Frustration is an emotion we regretfully indulge in each day.  We allow the little things to get the best of us, bringing out the ugly demons we so often try and shackle.  But, sometimes the overwhelming amount of frustrations explode.  As it explodes, words and hollers slip our tense lips and our eyes glaze over as if we’ve been possessed by another being.  Frustration isn’t typically aimed at any specific target, but it can land upon the innocent. I try not to take my frustrations out on those I love or the strangers I often come across.  I’m not saying I’m perfect.  That would be a false statement, but I try my hardest to remain calm and collected and deal with my frustrations in a logical manner.  In every negative I try and find the positive.  Even if the positive is so small that Google map cannot locate it, I still try and look past the negative. 
Being disabled can cause a life full of constant frustrations.  I know first hand that its very easy to get sucked into the “poor me” mentality, like a big black hole.  But, I am a strong believer in happiness is all in the attitude.  One has to choose to see the brighter things in life, rather then the dismal.  And even when I do become frustrated for valid reasons, I choose to smile and move on.  If you allow it, frustration can be a temporary emotion.  If not, you choose to be stubborn.  It will linger and eventually run your life to the ground.  Frustration can turn to anger, and then to resentment.  That is not a life to be lived.  As a matter of fact, that is not living at all.  A life full of negativity is not healthy for ones soul.  If you cannot change the situation, why get frustrated?  Take what has been placed before you and turn it into something good.  People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.  

Why am I writing about frustration and ones attitude?  The answer is simple.  I’ve been inspired by a few things recently.  I’ve had to face many of my own frustrations with my disability.  I’m been cold towards those who have stuck by my side through thick and thin and I’ve noticed my frustrations have caused me to grow introverted at times.  So, I’m working hard at not worrying about the “what ifs” in my life and just go with the motions.  My frustrations are no ones problems, but my own and I cannot take it out on others. 
This summer has been very eventful for me.  I have surrounded myself around people I love and have made great memories.  I have been to many gatherings, which requires me to figure out transportation.  I own a disabled accessible van that has a ramp for my wheelchair, but I cannot drive myself because of my physical situation.  So, I have to rely on friends, family, or caregivers to drive me to where I need to be.  But, sometimes I cannot find a driver, which leaves me to rely on Access Para Transit (a public taxi service for the disabled and elderly).  I (and many others) have a love/hate relationship with Access Para Transit.  The pros of Access is that the ride cost no more then $3 each way, they take you all across the Los Angeles County (which is a lot of ground to cover), and it’s a easier option of transportation then the bus.  The con of Access is that Access runs like a bus and has share rides (pick ups/drop off of other passengers on route).  So sometimes, the ride that would usually take 20 minutes can turn into a ride for an hour or more.  And sometimes the passengers are not the nicest or they smell. 
I know people that have expressed their frustration with Access.  Whether it be how late they are running or how the driver didn’t pick them up and so on.  But, my luck I haven’t had a bad experience yet.  And I probably just jinxed myself.  Maybe its because I don’t send out negative vibes saying how much I hate Access.  The way I look at it is we are lucky to have a service that will drive us at such a cheap rate and if they are running late you have to consider the drivers route and traffic.  I’ve seen on many occasions passengers roll up to the van and the first thing they say is, “you’re late!”  The poor driver cannot win for nothing.  I usually always greet the driver with a smile and a friendly greeting, no matter how later they are or how tired I am.  The driver does the best he possibly can do. 
 I’m typically not a confrontational person.  I am an opinionated person, but I know when its best to pipe in.  Last night I finally met my match in the Access Taxi.  I had just been picked up around 12:30am up at Universal City walk and we had to pick up one passenger down the street before dropping me off at my house.  Luckily the other passengers pick up wasn’t far from city walk, so I knew I’d be home soon enough.  As we drove to the next pick up, I was happy, reminiscing the fun times I just had and enjoying my nice buzz from my Dirty Shirley.  But, as we pulled up to the next stop, my happiness had diminished quickly. 
A middle-aged woman hollering in pain cut my buzz short.  She was ordering people around as if she were in charge.  She quickly  transferred herself out of her manual wheelchair onto the back seat while yelling, “take me to the hospital, my foot is swollen!”  To my assumption, she broke her foot.  She then asked the driver who was being dropped off first and the driver told her that my drop off was first.  She started cussing and putting down the driver and threatening to report him, while calling me a bitch.  And right then, I had to say something.  Not because she called me a bitch or ruined my buzz, but because she was taking her frustrations out on the innocent driver.  So, as to my attempts to put the middle age woman in place by telling her that Access is a taxi and not an ambulance, she then tries to say I’ve never felt pain.  I laughed at her and said, “Yea because you’ve had 10 surgeries in 19yrs”.  She quickly changed the subject.  She whined about having to drive 10 minutes into Burbank and if she’d known she would have had her neighbor drive her to the hospital.  I do not understand why she waited “2 hours” for access if she had another way to get to the hospital.  Though I know her excruciating pain fueled her frustration, I couldn’t allow her to be rude.  I told her she was being rude and shouldn’t have put the responsibility of her pain on the driver.  I’m not sure if she got the message, but I did get her to shut up. 
 I’ve been guilty of taken my frustrations out on those who help me, but I honestly try my best to stay calm and respectful to others around.  And, if I am rude or snappy I admit fault and apologize for my behavior, which the lady did not.  It’s all in the attitude.  Be grateful for every situation, whether it is bad or good.  It’s all mind over matter.  

One Response to “Its all in your attitude…”

  1. wayne eusanio August 27, 2011 at 11:16 PM #

    Outstanding outlook and so well written.

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