You might think me slightly crazy but I am enjoying my disability and retirement more than anyone knows
I want to thank the Good Lord who gave me these ten years which have been some of the best of my life. I am still alive, enjoying the experience and learning everyday.
My name is Stephen Pate and I am a workaholic. I became a workaholic after watching my father who was one too. There is little pleasure without work, or at least my brain is wired that way.
Retirement at 50
Up until my forced retirement at age 50, I was a driven entrepreneur who accepted no limits. From little PEI, my last business went public on the stock market and fulfilled my wildest dreams.
I’ve been working since I was 8 or 9, can’t remember. Despite childhood polio and wearing an ugly full-length leg brace I shoveled walks, delivered prescriptions and wrote. They started paying for my stories when I was 15.
I like work and never like to quit. I learned when to quit though after I recovered from the onset of post polio syndrome .
The 90s was a whirlwind ride of hop scotching North American airports on Monday mornings that came to a sudden end when my body said “No!”
With the onset of post polio syndrome I got weaker, needed a wheelchair to get around and an afternoon nap.
Of course that’s an over-simplification. There were several years of intense physical and emotional pain. I’ve seen enough doctors and therapists to start a clinic.
How frustrating but guess what – new doors opened. I’ve met hundreds of new people and made lots of new friends and enemies.
I got to form Expecting Rain, a rock and roll band.
Somehow I learned to write music and songs. When I was working playing music was a sometimes Saturday morning luxury.
For the past five years, I perform somewhere every week unless my disability forces me to stay home.
Another career opened up as a social and disability advocate, not for money for the personal satisfaction of helping people. There truly is more happiness in giving of yourself than making money but it took disability to teach me.
I went back to one of my first loves – writing – and became a self-publisher with more than 2,000 stories published and millions of readers.
Micheal LeClair taught me how to video, a very cool medium for expression. With over 200 videos, we’ve gotten almost 300,000 views on YouTube. There are comments and emails everyday from people all over the world.
If I hadn’t been disabled, none of that would have happened. Something else would have happened. Other people would have happened but this is the best life I can imagine.
PS – wheelchairs are fun. There’s more to this story I’ll tell you tomorrow. I need a nap right now.
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