Welcome back to challenge number 2 for Cerebral Palsy awareness month and as you can tell this was cutting the grass. When my friend first challenged me to cut the grass, I was up for it like I’m always up for anything when in fact I’d underestimated how challenging this was going to be. This is because the area of grass on my garden is quite big and flat so therefore, I thought this challenge would be one of the less complex challenges and let me just tell you it wasn’t and I had a lot more help with it than anticipated.
First, I couldn’t start the lawnmower as multitasking was required for this job as I had to hold down the lever whilst starting the engine. Of which this was far too much of a complex task for me as my brain sends mixed messages, therefore, for me to be able to complete this task I was almost be working against my brain! However, once the engine was started I was up for having a go and facing this challenge head on!
Cutting the grass on the flat and straight was fine, a bit tiring after a few minutes, not impossible. But, when I got to the end and had to turn the lawnmower around the task suddenly became a lot more difficult yet again requiring multitasking skills to ensure I didn’t let go of the lever. I did manage to make this manoeuvre, by using up a lot more space than the average person probably would. Meaning that yet again, I found my own way of getting the task done!
The next hurdle was emptying the grass… This didn’t go to plan and after one attempt I made the decision to let someone else do that part.
This challenge wasn’t my most successful challenge and I did tire quite easily meaning I didn’t complete it all and missed parts out like emptying the grass. However, I did get a lot out of the task about my boundaries and how sometimes I’m not even aware of my own boundaries. I could have just told you about all the aspects of the challenge that went well and just ignored the hard parts. But why pretend to be something I’m not? I’m not being negative about my limitations I’m just being realistic and there is a significant difference. I am very determined, and I have always had the attitude that nothing will stop me from achieving and reaching my potential. Although there still must be a point of which I need to be able to take a step back and realistically evaluate the situation.
We’re all allowed to move the goalpost from time to time however we still need to allow ourselves time to think about how manageable moving that goalpost is. I’d like to think that in the future when I’m a homeowner that I am able to use the lawnmower successfully but for now, being able to cut grass is not a skill I need. I get very frustrated when I can’t complete a task successfully and I admit that I am slightly disappointed with how this challenge played out. But isn’t there more important things to worry about? I’m known for stressing a lot but 9/10 times when I evaluate the situation, I begin to realise there’s nothing to stress about. So why waste energy?
I’m Georgia a 19-year-old with Cerebral Palsy and I do struggle to complete activities of daily living like cutting the grass. I’m not going to shy away from the fact that I can’t do these tasks and just avoid them because then how will I ever get better? This was my first time cutting the grass, therefore, this was a learning opportunity as now I know the areas I struggled with. I can think of ways to overcome them. For example, an electric lawnmower would be easier. I may never get any better at using the lawnmower, but I can accept this as they’ll always be other challenges that I can face. It’s about knowing what’s important to you and cutting the grass isn’t important to me so the fact that I’ve not completed the task successfully doesn’t matter. It’s not worth stressing and wasting energy because I can use that energy for something much more important! Having CP has taught me a lot about prioritising and making sure that I put all my energy into what’s meaningful for me. I still get this wrong and put energy into aspects of my life that don’t need as much energy and there’s going to be times where I do this again but if I remember to take a step back and put my needs first then my energy will always be used in the most meaningful way.
Thank you for your time,