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  • How do you define success?

    Posted by alyssa-silva on July 25, 2022 at 11:00 am

    I really love this recent column from a fellow SMA News Today columnist, Sherry Toh. In it, she writes about her journey to becoming a freelance writer and how she never went the formal education route. Sherry was too “sickly,” as she put it, but discovered a knack for writing through her love for reading. She adapted to her circumstances and still came out on top. I especially love how she mentioned she chooses to focus on her successes and not what she lacks. It got me thinking about how we all define success differently.

    To me, success means feeling healthy and managing SMA so that I’m still able to do the things that I love. What does success mean to you?

    robin-c replied 1 year, 10 months ago 6 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • blake-watson

    Member
    July 25, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    Oh man great post. Yeah I think success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder—it’s different for everyone. We have a lot of crap to deal with so we definitely don’t need to beat ourselves up over whatever it is we think we lack.

    Regarding work, I think most people I know with SMA have an unconventional road to employment. I was without full-time employment until I was 30, and I criticized myself constantly about it before I got my first job. In hindsight, I wish I had gone easier on Past Blake—he was doing the best he could.

    I think employment is important and employment for people with disabilities is an area I’ll always feel passionate about. But we shouldn’t think that you gotta be employed to be successful. There are a lot of ways to contribute to society that aren’t going to college, working a 9-5 for 50 years, and retiring to Florida. 🙂

    • kevin-schaefer

      Member
      July 26, 2022 at 8:01 am

      Hey Blake, great blog post! Thanks for sharing.

    • deann-r

      Member
      July 27, 2022 at 11:04 am

      Awesome Blake!

    • alyssa-silva

      Member
      July 27, 2022 at 8:15 pm

      Great points, and great blog! Curious about this highly customized on-screen keyboard you referred to in the blog though. Haha your link doesn’t work. Do share!

      • blake-watson

        Member
        August 8, 2022 at 10:01 pm

        Oh man, I wonder how long that link has been broken. ???? Thanks for letting me know! It’s a little bit dated but this is an article about my customized onscreen keyboard:

        https://blakewatson.com/journal/writing-and-coding-with-the-macos-accessibility-keyboard/

        I’ve added some new buttons to it since then, but much of it is still the same.

      • micaela-macdougall

        Member
        August 9, 2022 at 9:00 am

        I love this layout!  Do you know if there is a way to customize the iPhone keyboard layout too?

      • blake-watson

        Member
        August 15, 2022 at 2:13 pm

        I haven’t kept up with mobile as I can’t really use my phone easily anymore. But I do know iPhone supports third-party keyboards now. Try searching the App Store.

      • alyssa-silva

        Member
        August 10, 2022 at 7:13 pm

        Holy cow this is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. Micaela, I’m not sure. Hopefully, Blake can help you out!

    • robin-c

      Member
      August 16, 2022 at 12:18 pm

      Blake, slightly off topic….but what part of Florida will you be retiring to? I live in “northwest” Florida. ????

      • blake-watson

        Member
        August 16, 2022 at 11:06 pm

        Robin, you are not too far away from me then. I’m in Mississippi.

      • robin-c

        Member
        August 17, 2022 at 9:12 am

        ????

  • deann-r

    Member
    July 27, 2022 at 11:03 am

    One thing I’ve learned is when you have a disability thinking outside the box becomes second nature. With that we can also define success outside the “normal” confines. At 42, success might be married with kids and a career. For me success is being a pet parent, not overdrawing my bank account while I await my meager paycheck and being a pee math prodigy. Tomorrow success might look different.

    • blake-watson

      Member
      August 8, 2022 at 9:33 pm

      Yes exactly this. I keep having to learn and relearn this. 🙂

  • alyssa-silva

    Member
    July 27, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    A pee math prodigy ???? oh man, DeAnn. That’s a good one. I consider that one of my successes too. I also agree with what you’re saying. Success is subjective.

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