The last 12 months has brought quite a lot of change.
In September 2014, I started a new job at the Northeast Independent living program. There I began to work with people with disabilities and it brought some of my personal life work full circle. I would receive referrals from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission then I would work with the people on living independently in the community. This was one of many new transitions that I have been experiencing over the last couple months. As I settled into this new job I also was still settling in to my new home with my boyfriend and the new community we had moved into.
I continued to work on my book. This is been a childhood dream that I had been working on for about three years at that point. In October I finally pushed myself to get it finished. As many of you already know the end of October 2014 I self published my book on Amazon. It is called “The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination”. The support that I received with my self publication was amazing my job of two-month did a book signing for me. My social network of friends and professionals spread the word about my book. As the holiday season arrived many people were inspired by the book and bought it as a gift for other friends and family.
Last winter was very hard all the snow and cold kept me from going outside. Work was closed off and and I have a lot of fear about going outside as I wasn’t sure if I would slip and fall and hurt myself. I took the opportunity to learn new cooking and baking recipes. Then I got to work on getting my book into Kindle format. Within a few weeks I succeeded in getting my Kindle formatted book. This was exciting to me as I wanted to be able to have my book in at least one accessible format. As I’ve learned through the years that as much of the bookworm as I was reading a regular book was often difficult with my hand so close to my shoulders.Between my book being available in softcover on Amazon and then in Kindle I thought life couldn’t get any better.
February brought so much more transition by boyfriend and my dad started on our new kitchen that was promised to be accessible. The plans were exciting and the accessibility absolutely thrilling. Gone almost 2 weeks without a full kitchen my boyfriend says to me you want to go out to dinner tomorrow night. I quickly agreed and said as long as we can have vegetables. He smiled and said that is not a problem. The following night we went to my favorite restaurant Outback. Just before dessert he kneed down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I was so surprised and so excited! The next some seven months would bring a lot of planning. We agreed to have a short engagement so on September 27, 2015 we married. It was the most beautiful day. I had long red dress my husband to be wore a kilt the colors of red and black. I walked down the aisle bagpipes and drums. A reception having elements from Princess Bride and Star Wars. It really was the most amazing day of my life!
October 2015 brings one year since the publication of my book. It has been quite a year as you can see that from above. In my first year I sold 300 books some of that was online, book signings, and family or friend requests. In the next year I hope to get my book out more and use it a teaching tool at perhaps some of the schools. My story is similar to so many people’s stories out there with disabilities. In the sense that they struggled or continue to struggle each day. Society expected less from them and they were always surprised that person succeeded.
“The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination” by author, Sheila Radziewicz
The award winning self advocate and inspirational speaker, Sheila Radziewicz, writes from her heart sharing how she has overcome unimaginable adversity in her life. Highlighted with her beautiful poetry, she teaches us all that “nothing is impossible . . . the impossible only takes a little longer.” Her story is spellbinding! Anyone who seeks inspiration and motivation MUST purchase and read this dynamic journey of her life.
This amazing story is now available in Kindle and part of the lending program so you can share with your friends and family! Enjoy Sheila’s story today with full color pictures of her adventures. “The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination” is a page turner and her story will remain with you always. Her unapologetic frankness will bring you both joy as well as sadness and you will find that her zest for life is contagious! Order your copy today http://ibty.in/ZcWfs
Sheila Radziewicz is not just a self advocate, inspirational speaker, and author she also holds a B.A., as well as a M.A., in criminal justice! Sheila’s newly published book, “The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination”, is more than just a book. It is a message about ability. It is one example about how living with a disability can be amazing despite society’s challenges. One must purchase this book and experience her undaunted way of achieving so much despite the odds and obstacles society has put before her. This book makes the perfect gift to anyone you know. It is recommended for teachers as a means to educate about intolerance and differences. Her story is moving and inspiring, as she talks about her determination to succeed in an able-bodied world.
“The Impossible Only Takes a Little Longer: One Woman’s Story of Determination” is a page turner and her story will remain with you always. Her unapologetic frankness will bring you both joy as well as sadness and you will find that her zest for life is contagious!
About the Author: Sheila has been fighting injustices her whole life. After receiving her black belt in Taekwondo she began motivational speaking. Since then, she has spoken to adults and youth nationally and internationally sharing her passion for life.
At a very young age I was giving a tool that was the beginning of myself independence it was my hook my parents understood the importance of me becoming very independent and they decided they would take a broom and cut it down which ended up being about 21 inches and they took a metal hanger and they cut it down formed it into a hook and then put it into the end of the stick that is what became what I call my hook and later many of my doctors and therapists called my dressing stick it was not always easy to use my hook nor did I always want to use my hook. No one was able to truly teach me how to use my hook because their theories didn’t always work for my reality . Therefore I needed to figure it out on my own and that took time I struggled at first because I needed to figure out how to make this hook help me be able to pull up my pants. It didn’t always work when I slid into the lining of the pants I needed to roll it sometimes or not just use my hand when holding the hook with time I realized it was a combination of my hand and my chin and figuring out where just right was when trying to dress.
As much as my hook gave me independent . It also required me to rely on it and I didn’t always like that I remember when I was a kid deciding that I was going to figure out how to put my pajama pants on without my hook. I was on the floor in the back bedroom of my grandparents house and I decided that I can reach or maybe I could wiggle and somehow this would work. It did work it took a lot of effort and I think I gave myself a pulled muscle here and there but I succeeded in being able to pull up the pajamas pants by being very flexible and wiggling. That success made me feel so good because I realized that there were times that I could do something without my hook and that mattered a lot to me. As my preteen years came and I started really not liking my Hook and it came to the point that I stopped just hiding my hook when I have to go to the restroom at school to just deciding that I didn’t need to go to the bathroom until I got home. The thing that really made me ask my parents to do something different with my hook was sleepovers I was at the age where sleepovers were important. I used to go to the YWCA as the time and they were doing different sleepovers and now there was no way to not go to the bathroom anywhere but home and I decided that I needed a travel hook because this hook didn’t fit in my backpack at least that’s what I told my parents.
I remember the two trial hooks. The first one looks just like a ruler. It was flat and it folded up which I thought would be perfect. Unfortunately when I took it to the sleep over and tried to use it is extremely difficult and I needed to ask for some help which is really embarrassing I learned that was important to make sure that it works just right before leaving the house. The second hook was made of metal and had a spring in it. The idea was that you pushed down it to made it longer and pushed down on it to close it down. In theory it was great in practice not so good. When I went to use it I pushed down on it a bit hard and before I knew it the spring sprung out of the metal and I jumped under the bed. Back to the drawing board my dad went and the third one was prefect.
The hook I use today is a cylinder made of aluminum which is collapsible into three sizes 7, 14,or 21 inches. It fits in my purse very easily and is very light. Through the years I have grown to accept my hook as an extension of me. I’m no longer embarrassed by my hook nor do I try to hide it when I have to use the restroom in a public place. My hook has given me independence that would never have been possible without it. Now when someone sees my hook I’m open to questions and see it as an opportunity to educate another about disability.