How I see it – Reward or Punishment?

On handing in my PhD, I decided to go back to something I love, Yoga classes as a reward for submitting my thesis. Today I am wondering if this, in fact, a reward or a punishment?

The Yoga class is fantastic and a great Yoga studio, however, the accessibility makes this less of a reward. I last went to Yoga classes when I could still drive – making this a very convenient; however, no longer driving makes it difficult.

Option one (what I did last week): Taxi (Uber or Ola) home from work (10 mins), taxi to yoga (15 mins), yoga class (75 mins) and taxi home from yoga (15 mins). What this means is a total of just under two hours which seems reasonable.

That is until you add up the price. Taxi home from work ($12) Yoga class ($25), taxi to yoga ($18) and taxi home from yoga ($18). This means that I pay $73 for a Yoga class that is supposed to be a reward. This price for one Yoga session is not sustainable.

Options Two (what I did today): bus to the station ($2.50), bus to yoga ($2.50) yoga class, ($25), bus to the station ($2.50), wait at bus home ($2.50). That works out at $35, which is much more reasonable until you look at the timeframe.

Walk home from work (30 mins), change (5 min) and walk to the bus stop (5 mins) bus to the station (15 mins), wait at the bus station (up to 30 mins) bus to yoga (15 mins) walk to yoga (5 mins), arrive 25 mins early due to the bus schedule (25 mins), yoga class, (75 mins), walk to bus stop (5 mins), wait 25 mins for bus (25 mins), bus to the station (15 mins), wait at bus station (40 mins), bus home (15 mins) walk from the bus stop (5 mins). Adding up the minutes, this is five hours and means arriving home at 2200 to make dinner and go to bed all for the reward of one Yoga class.

What this illustrates is the cost of having a vision impairment, not only in terms of money but time as well.

When I could drive and get around in the dark easily going to a Yoga class was simple. Now it is a little more complicated and means weighing up the price, time and risk associated with getting around at night.

I am a “part-time” white cane user what this means is that I use my white cane when I need to and put it away when I don’t. Being a cane user (mostly at night) is only recently something that I have become comfortable with sharing with others. The problem with this is that people do not understand that a person can see and need to use a white cane.

An example of this occurred on the way home. I was at the bus station, and because of the fact it was after 2100, it was dark, the lights were bright, and the glare was a big problem I was unable to read the bus number. The platform I was waiting at was expecting several busses at that time, so just getting on wasn’t going to work. A bus approached, stopped, another passenger got on. I used my cane to tap the bus step to judge the distance (while the driver watched me), said “Hello, is this the 923 bus?”, he pointed to the sign and said “read it.” while looking directly at my white cane.

I was quite distressed by his actions. I scanned my Hop Card and went to take a seat. On reflection, there were several options I had at this time. One, confront the driver and tell him that I thought this was rude; explain and educate him, or ignore this. I could have opted for interacting with the driver regarding this but after a day at work, and spending a further 5 hours on having to a Yoga class, it wasn’t worth the effort.I considered the first two options, but as other passengers were waiting for the bus, I chose to do nothing.

What I want to illustrate with this is that there is a cost associated with having a disability. Furthermore, at times, it can be more than a monetary value, it can include, time, effort and the need for resilience.

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