Thoughts of the real Matt Stone
Smile

I have made a bad habit of using this blog to bitch.  Frankly, I’m sick of seeing me do it, and I want better.  So it is time to start thinking better.  I am going to start making good things happen, even if I’m not changing anything.

How do I propose to do this?  One thing I have been told inspires positive thinking is to be thankful for the things in my life.  Despite my bitching, there is a lot great in my life, and it is overdue for recognition. 

I love my friends.  They make me feel great, and I love seeing them.  Despite some of my flaws, they are always there for me.

My family has always been a huge part of my life.  They go above and beyond to provide support and this is truly invaluable. 

I have found some great friends and resources through activities I take part in.  These activities have occupied much of my time.  Whether they provided me with needed training, improved my health, or provided me with precious contacts, all have served as great resources.

I have embarked once again in education.  I love what I am learning, and my government has recognized my ‘condition’ as a disability and has made it easy for me to return to studies.  With my vision, resources have been made available to me to make studying a great deal easier. 

Those are only some of the many things I appreciate in my life.  This is not to say that everything is perfect.  There are things I always want to ameliorate.  Even some of the things I am happy about have issues.  There are moments where I am so fed up I don’t think I can handle anymore, but I think back to the happiest moments in my life, and even then I complained and did not take the time to appreciate the good things.  So I am now taking the time to appreciate all that is right.

This does not mean that I will accept all that is wrong.  I will try to improve it, but must be happy for all I have that is right.   I know thanksgiving was last weekend and this may seem late, but thank you.  If you are reading this, I am very thankful for everything you do for me, you make me smile. 

The Unreal Real Matt Stone

This blog has the title of “Thoughts of the Real Matt Stone” but I want to clarify something for any readers.  It is true that these are all real thoughts of mine, but this is not an accurate portrayal of me, at least it’s not necessarily me.  I am a person who looks to put a positive spin on everything in life, and I often joke, frequently by implementing sarcasm. 

At the same time, I can be serious.  I can be an open book or I can just listen and be a shoulder to lean on. I just want to be clear that there are many sides to Matt Stone that are all real.  I just frequently use this blog to express some sentiments that cause people to misinterpret me. 

What’s more important to me is to be part of others lives, so I am comfortable with being virtually anything.  So smile and I hope to talk to you soon. 

Controlled Intensity

I realize that perhaps I occasionally over-invest in the ideas I have in my head without any proof that I have reason to do so.  I am an intense person sometimes, and I allow that intensity to control my actions.  I admit that this is often a flaw, but it is one that I am working on.

But there are occasions where this over-intense over-commitment has proven beneficial.  In getting my favorite job, I learned in the first interview that one of the main goals was to obtain accreditation at Canadian and US government bureaus, so I went home and called those bureaus and discovered exactly what was required.  This experience was so beneficial that I feel that giving 110% is always best. 

But my intensity is not always beneficial.  I’m not saying I need to change who I am, but I may benefit from being who I am at a decreased percentage or not as frequently.  This is not changing me, but perhaps maturing. Age brings wisdom and all that jazz.  I need to start recognizing which situations merit which behaviors.

I will try this approach and hope that it works.  Though I am currently happy and perhaps do not require change, but I am always looking to improve myself, as are most people.  Turns out I might be human.

Smiling in the Sun in the Summer

It may come as a surprise to some people that I rarely say this, and others may be surprised to hear me speak this term, but I am currently content.  This is not because my status in life has altered in any large way, it is just that I have empowered myself to be content with some pleasant things.  I am not settling, nor am I perfectly pleased with everything in my life, but I am smiling at the good things.  This is not to say that I am ignoring the things in my life I need to change, but I am allowing myself to enjoy the good things for once.

To be honest„ this feeling of pleasure impacted me after I installed an application on my phones that allows me to text, call, set the alarm and work with contacts and see call history without needing a magnifying glass.  This isn’t like my computer; where it enlarges everything, but it allows me to conduct basic functions in super large print.   I found this app on my own and took the initiative to install it, but more importantly, I can now use my phone like others.  It is true, I need to return to the normal screen to start my music, go on the internet or use other apps, but still it’s great.

I was also extremely content Thursday night, when I accomplished a difficult task, by taking the avenue Mont Royal and pedaling up the entire mountain without stopping, at the fastest speed accomplished by my group this year.  And it was constant pedaling, sometimes very slow and hard. 

Today I canoed 8 km with a guide in 2 hours, after walking 4 km with him.  This was after having gone to the gym yesterday, before walking 10 km with my sis to see the international fireworks festival of Montreal in the old port.  I also saw some jazz fest shows this year.  I am finally taking the time to enjoy this great city and the activities available in the summer. 

Nothing huge has changed and I’ve made no great accomplishments, but I’m happy and smiling.  Here’s hoping that continues, as I return to school in the fall.

Comedy, Drama, always theatrical

I have a tendency to deal with much in life in a humorous way.  Occasionally, this is uncalled for, but I must first explain why I have this tendency to allow others to better understand me and perhaps others.

Throughout my childhood, I was dramatic.  Perhaps reflecting what I saw on television, I thought being dramatic would benefit me.  In fact, I was voted most over-dramatic in high school.  Throughout CEGEP, I looked to change that.

I was also nervous about getting older.  To deal with both aging and being over-dramatic, I used humor.  I was also mirroring what I saw at home (how my dad acts.)  I have realized that I can’t use my influence of others behavior as an excuse.  I am solely responsible for my own actions.

I had previously concluded that the best way to deal with aging and being over dramatic was this humoristic approach.  However, I have accepted that aging is an inevitability that I can’t prevent, one of those side-effects of time.  I have also concluded that dramatic and humoristic are not polar  opposites of each other.

 What I have concluded is that neither drama nor humor are unwanted, but each have their time and place.  I must learn to better identify those times and places.  I must be honest, my humor (often in the form of sarcasm) and my serious nature will remain, but I will try to identify opportune moments for them. 

A different World

I have often stated that I am legally blind.  However, stating it often does not provide clarity.  Clarity has always been a problem for me, but I will try to provide some in order to make you understand what I see and why I act as I do.

Statistics wise, it is easily said that my vision is 20/200 or 10%.  What that means is what you can see from 200 feet, I can only see from 20 feet.  That is clear; however that does not explain my condition.  If you looked through glasses that only provided you with 10% vision, this would not suffice.  You would be accustomed to seeing the world regularly, and have to adjust to my capacity.  However, I have always had this vision.  I remember when I was in high school that a student in my grade was legally blind and glasses were brought in to see like he did.  I saw no difference, but said nothing because I assumed I was using them wrong. 

I used to think that was an advantage because I am used to seeing things this way.  I am considered deluxe blind.  In many ways I am, and I am not complaining about my condition.  However, this makes it virtually impossible to understand the world you see. Now it is true, I have recently acquired a pocket telescope that makes things eight times bigger and improves my vision a great deal.  However, there are numerous problems that impair me from walking around with this device on my face all the time.  For one, I see very little at a time.  I see less than the size of a dime and it is eight times as big, so unless I know where to look, this device is useless. 

What is more, I need to re-adjust this device for every distance that the object I’m looking at is located.  It is not like I just adjust once for my eyes and while I’m adjusting, I can barely see what is there.  If I don’t know where to look, I may be adjusting to look at the wrong thing.  However, this device allows me to read street signs and addresses.  When I do accomplish the adjustment, I am amazed that the world is seen so clearly.  However, if I’m looking at someone, I must realize that they can see me with even more detail.

The bottom line is that I have no idea how you see the world.  It blows my mind just seeing a focused item with the telescope, the fact that your whole world looks even better than that is unthinkable to me.  However, because I don’t know what you can see, I have never asked people to provide me with details.  I assumed that everyone saw as I did.  Basically, my world always looked different and I thought everyone saw like that.  So I have always taken my reality for granted and avoided asking questions, cause I thought everyone saw as I did.

Basically, I lived my life in much ignorance.  However, I was obviously good enough at it that no one ever questioned what I saw.  I may have taken a lot for granted, but this allowed me to see what others may have missed.  Being comfortable with the world this way is great, but helps me very little, because there are few that do see the world this way that I need to relate to.  So in life, I need to optimize my strengths and push my weaknesses aside, but I am still aware of them.

There are few who can tell me what I should do now, because I know of no one else in these shoes.  I don’t want to start asking for details all the time, but I also don’t want people to explain everything to me as if I saw nothing.  I welcome your ideas.

New Adventures

 

My search for activity and fulfillment has led me to a few new places.  These adventures are positions … positions without salaries.  Some might call these internships.

One is with the “Association Sportive pour les Aveugles de Montreal” (frequently refered to as l’ASAM)http://www.sportsaveugles.qc.ca/asam/   This is fitting for me, as I participate as a member on an almost weekly basis.  I was granted the position that was ideal to my interests and creativity.  Though there were openings to assist in general with administration, I choose a position to help develop and roll out sporting events for the group.  My title is Directeur Sportive. 

I completed my first day tandem cycling with l’ASAM and am now going to do the Tour de L’ile. 

This internship is not going to occupy too much time.  Though I do have another task.  I am working with some former colleagues from radio and others from the theatre, music and dance scene on www.curtainsup.tv  This is a website for arts in Montreal.  This will also not involve too much time, as everyone involved is doing this in their spare time.

I had started a while ago interning with Kutoto.  This is an app available online at www.kutoto.com that allows users to find qualified candidates to complete tasks they need to complete.  This app has recently appeared on the morning Global News show.  I’d like to say that this is thanks to me, but I had nothing to do with that.

I have also applied to do a continuing education graduate diploma in Applied Marketing at McGill in September.

Tha t‘s what’s new for now.  Is it enough for me?  I hope so.

What Now

I saw an expression today that made an impression on me.  It said something about appreciating what you have before you have to appreciate what you had.  This rang true because, undoubtedly, I do have to appreciate what I have.  And I have it good, despite all of my complaining, which I am not proud of.  However, I am also struck thinking about things I once had and loved and didn’t appreciate when I had them. 

Looking back on the things I appreciate once having, I am inspired to appreciate the things I have more now.  I am ashamed of the excuses I make for the things I don’t have.  Excuses provide me with no benefit.  They are what they sound like, excuses.  When you have an “excuse” this is only motivation to find another way to accomplish this task.  I think calling them reasons puts them in a better light then the name I used previously. 

I need to take the chance to rejuvenate my network of friends, as I have learned that my strong network of friends was the reason I had a lot of the happiness I once had.  However, many of my friends have moved away, and those still here are married or busy with employment or other ventures.  I feel lonely, but I should use this feeling as motivation.

Perhaps I do need a new adventure, a new life somewhere else where I am not expected to already have a strong network of friends there.  Of course, there are many things I appreciate right here.  My family, the support and activities here for people with impaired vision like mine, and the friends I do still have here.  A new adventure is only one of many ideas.  Of course new employment would rejuvenate my mind, but finding employment to fill a personal need is not likely to find a position.  It is true that I want to give back, and maybe my previous idea of being a career student isn’t as ideal as I once thought. 

I am currently pondering.  I don’t have any answers to my questions yet.  I always appreciate any input, but I acknowledge that this is a decision I have to make for myself.  Hopefully we’ll speak soon.   

The Sweet and Sour Truth

 

There have been many instances in my life where my low blood sugar has led to many negative consequences.  I am fully aware of this, but I wish to provide some insight on why and how it feels. 

The easiest question to ask and to answer is why does this happen.  There are a number of reasons sugar can go low.  Not enough food, too much insulin, too much exercise.  The factors are numerous, but having this medical condition for most of my life, I should be able to control them better.

Clearly I could just leave my sugars high.  The side effects of high blood sugar extend far beyond a dry mouth, sweating and an unpleasant nature that I clearly have when my sugars run high for long periods.

High blood sugar is linked to numerous medical side effects.  They include possible kidney disease, heart disease, loss of limbs like toes.  However, as bad as those could be, the condition that scares me so much that I am prone to low blood sugars is vision loss and possible blindness.  Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults.  I know I am “legally blind” but I have been this way all of my life.  I am so dependent on this vision that the possibility of losing this ability scares me beyond belief.

Now there are some issues that make low blood sugar more problematic for me.  First off, I cannot always feel low blood sugars coming on.  Attempting to prevent lows by taking less insulin or eating more may result in prolonged high blood sugar, and I have already stated the problems there. 

What is more, the symptoms of low blood sugar differ every time.  They may include increase sweating, shaking, lack of balance, and numerous other things.  However, when my sugar drops I am often A, unaware and B, not there.  I mean I act, but I am not in control of my actions.  Telling me that you think my sugars are low will not register with me.  I will not think of verifying my sugars myself because I am not thinking.  I seem to react best when I am told to check my blood sugars.  I am prone to follow instructions. 

More importantly, I need to find a way to prevent low blood sugars.  I am going to speak to my doctor again after I had a recent incident with very negative consequences.  I am not going to promise to change, because I can’t.  But I will state emphatically that I need change.  What is more, I apologize for all the wrongs I have caused due to low blood sugars. 

A Mix of Good News and No News openes my eyes

Hello once again readers. I hope we are all well today.  As you should know if you read my blog, I am once again in school.  It has not all been smooth sailing, but it is providing me with what I was looking for in returning to school.

Last night, I had to present a project with my team mates.  Though I was not as involved in constructing the project, I took a lead in preparing and organizing the presentation.  I once again felt comfortable taking a leadership role.  This was something I definitely wanted from this trip to school:  to improve my self confidence and make me feel comfortable in the type of leadership roles I desire. 

What is more, the presentation went well, and I received much thanks and approval from my team mates.  All smiles in this aspect.  Receiving approval for taking a leadership role is something I needed, so I am very gracious for this . 

However, at the same time we are nearing the closure date for contributions to the Retirement Savings Plan in order to impact this year’s income taxes.  I was preparing to make a contribution with some extra funds I have.  However, it was brought to my attention that I am not likely to live a long retirement and should enjoy the money now.  I have been aware of my lackluster medical condition for a great deal of time.  I have thought of this many times before, and have addressed it lightly with friends, saying things like, “it’s not like I plan on living a long life.” 

However, my own comic approach to this fact did not prevent it from hurting a little when it was brought to my attention.  What is more, I have been taking steps to improve my health, and feel like I can live a long healthy life. 

This brought me to once again wonder if I should make an RSP contribution.  I am fortunate enough to have funds that I do not need to spend anytime soon.  I have put the money into the bank where my retirement fund is.  However, a couple of times I went to make the call to contribute funds, I have been interrupted.  I am not a believer in anything that would cause life-adjusting interruptions, but it does feel kind of weird.  That being said, I have not decided what to do. 

Only in writing this blog did I realize something that may be obvious to others.  I should take control and make this decision for myself.  This does not mean not to ask for advice, but I had sought advice only to backup the opinion I already have.  I need to take the initiative and make this decision for myself.  Thank you blog, you opened my eyes.