Muscle memory, rote memory, natural ease, mindless process -- those are the words that I would use to describe the everyday things I do. Y'know the things like: going from bed to chair, chair to toilet, shower to chair, getting dressed, slipping the towel out from underneath me, going from manual to power chair etc. These are all the routines of daily living for me, and for many of us I'm sure. We don't think about them because we've done them over and over again. We don't change the routine because we know where to put our foot on the foot plate, where to grab onto the wheelchair, how to pull ourselves into the car - we know what works, and what doesn't. It becomes comforting even when we don't think about what we're doing. To other people it might seem awe inspiring, to our parents or physical therapists it might seem like "independence," but most of the time we just shrug our shoulders and continue on. Whatever why is it such a big deal? Everyone else does it too we might think to ourselves. 

Until something happens and the routine gets interrupted, or it needs to go on hiatus for awhile. 

Maybe it's several weeks or several months? Something as simple as putting your shoe back on after getting out of a long leg cast might feel out of the ordinary, out of routine. Remember the first moment you put your foot down on your chair's foot plate after recovering from an operation? Or the first time when you have to navigate some new territory in your walker, or crutches? A few weeks ago I got a new manual wheelchair, and I thought wow this is like one big do-over. I had to re-learn how to transfer out of a chair that doesn't have swing-away leg rests. I needed to learn a new way to transfer into a chair that has side guards. I learned just how much and where to push on my wheels to pop wheelies over curbs. Those are the do-over moments that I am lucky enough to have, because I know that not everyone gets them. That not everyone realizes the natural and mindless routines of our days can quickly slip away from us. 

When we were kids we wanted do-overs because sometimes the results were not what we wanted. And we'd argue, scream, cry, and plead for "one more chance," or "can I have a do-over?!" Those are also the instances when we would learn that the natural mindless process of things are not always the results we want. What we want never happens naturally, instead it takes a lot of conscientious hard work and effort on our part -- this is the one surefire thing I have learned in the process of growing-up. There aren't ever any easy "do-overs;" the only 'easy' thing that we can ask of one another is the ease of opening our hearts and minds towards results we all want. It's only an easy do-over if we aren't doing-over by ourselves. 

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